There are many differences in the way people get married in China, Ethiopia, and the United States.
In China, the ages for girls and boys to get married are between 21-25 years old. If the girl and boy want to get married, they have to ask their parent's permission. The bride and groom don't go to the church because the government doesn't allow them. So they have to have a banquet outside the groom's house. Also the groom's parents pay for the party. After the groom picks up the bride from her house, they go to see the groom's parents' house. First, the bride and groom have to pay respect to the parents. They both kneel down and bow to the parents three times. Then the groom's parents hand the bride a red envelope and rings or chains.
After this, the party goes outside the house. The groom's parents hire a chef to cook for the party. By the afternoon, there is plenty of food on the table. People start to eat and drink. After the wedding celebration, the bride and groom go to live in the groom's house.
According to Ms. Karen Rosenbaum, a student teacher at Blair, the wedding customs in the United States are different from China. She said that the ages for girls and boys to get married are normally between 21-40 years old. "Usually a man and woman decide to get married," she said. They don't have to wait for their parents to find a wife or husband for them. Sometimes the couple goes to church for the wedding because they belong to a religion. But some couples do not want to get married in a church. They can get married in many different places.
When the bride and the groom are married in a church, a minister leads the wedding. He asks the bride and the groom if they want to be a couple. Then they both agree, they exchange wedding rings and kiss each other. It's common for the bride and groom to have a party by renting a restaurant or some other big room. At the party, people play games on them. Everyone dances to romantic or fun music. People have a good time.
Normally the bride's family pays for the wedding party and the groom's family pays for a small dinner night before wedding. After everything is over, they go on a short vacation called a honeymoon. Afterwards, they will live in a house for themselves.
Tizeta Girma, is a junior at Blair who is from Ethiopia. In the Ethiopia, the man and the girl usually get married when they are less than 26 years old. If the girl and the boy want to get married, the man has to send someone to ask the girl's family. Usually the groom and the bride go to a church, and a priest gives an engagement paper to them. Normally the bride and the groom wear different clothes in difference places in the wedding ceremony. "In the Church the girl wears white and the man wears black dress," Tizeta said. When the groom and bride go outside the church, they wear special crowns." They also wear special robes.
The groom and bride have a party in houses of both their parents. Sometime they will have lunch in the bride's house for lunch and dinner in the groom's house. Sometimes they rent a hotel or a restaurant. In the party, they pay for the band to play the music for the party and people dance. Then the groom and the bride become the couple. After three days, they go back to the girl's house for dinner and wear the traditional Ethiopian clothes.
Copyright Silver International Newspaper 2001 (This page was created by Marvin Rodriguez.)