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Kai's Diary Oct. 15th - Wedding Bells

By KAI WOODICHONGQING|Oct 15,2021

Oct.15th, Chongqing, China

Wedding Bells are ringing! Something we’ve looked forward to for a long time, my son Jin’s wedding came upon us just before the start of the National holiday. It was a makeup workday, September 26, but many of us managed to get the time off to be there anyway. Jin looked grown-up and handsome, and his wife Cici was sweet, kind, and beautiful. They looked like Wedding Ken and Barbie cake toppers, so perfect was the moment that I found it hard to really believe it was happening. I made a decent speech, but most of my best jokes had been stripped before we made it there. Xiaolin told me that unlike the western tradition of hilarious and long-winded speeches, the Chinese tradition demanded short, upbeat, and profound. So I did my best. This is the last speech I have to write before the Solar Punk one for Shanghai if I can still make it to that. It was a good one. 

Vows at the wedding. (Photo by Jorah Kai/iChongqing)

The wedding itself was lovely. We got to host 200 or so close friends and family, had a great celebration, lunch, and dinner, and it was all done safely, without masks or need for worry or precautions. In most of the world, this would have been either extremely irresponsible or dangerous, but because of China’s incredible efforts to keep us safe, it was fine. For that, I am grateful. The roadmap we’ve offered from the beginning for pandemic management has kept us in the top echelon of pandemic management and provided a lighthouse for the world in how to do pandemic prevention correctly.

Many people congratulated me at the wedding, which felt a little undeserved, I mean, it was their hard work and marriage, but that is perhaps the united cultural aspect in China where the wedding is not of two people but two families. By that, I am not losing a son but gaining a daughter. We hope to travel with them a little over the National Day holiday, getting to know Cici a little more before their honeymoon vacation. I am really proud of them both and wish them a long, healthy, happy lifetime and a big, beautiful family. One of the gifts of getting older is watching those little ones grow up and make something remarkable of their own lives.

Family group photo after the wedding ceremony. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

I have to be honest too, that I am proud and so thankful for them to be Chinese- what other country or people work so hard to give their children the best educations, best opportunities, and best foot forward for their young lives? Most experts consider debts and financial issues the number 1 source of conflict in marriages, and while many young couples in their 20’s struggle to buy a home while straddled with student loan debts that will turn into mortgages and lost money to insurance companies for most of their working lives, in China many families work hard to pay for their children’s education, and then give them a home to live in, paid clean and full, with no debts or mortgage. I can only imagine being in my 20’s with my own home paid for, not a debt to my name, and a huge and supportive clan of loving and supportive family around me waiting to help me make the most of my life and raise the best children with all of their help at my disposal. This is the best, in my humble opinion, aspect of Chinese culture, next to the healthy and holistic way we treat our elderly. At least I will get to enjoy the latter, as I hope to grow old in Chongqing, a resource and font of elderly wisdom and philosophy for the next generations of our Wang family clan.

 

 

 

 

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