Ming Dynasty - Tea Ceremony

on Sunday, May 04, 2008

Regular readers will remember that I was in Australia at the end of last year. The reason I was there was to help with the preparations and to witness the wedding of my nephew, Ming. Despite the distance, I would like to think that we have always remained quite close even as the boy grew up to be a man. In our culture, we often refer to the couple on their wedding day as King and Queen for a day. So indeed, I feel that with his wedding to his lovely wife Jean, old foggies like myself begin to slide into the sunset to make way for a new exciting chapter in the family history ......the Dynasty of Ming!

The wedding is in three parts; the tea ceremony, the exchange of vows and the wedding dinner. The newly wed couple cannot immediately begin reigning their own household until they pay homage to their parents and elders which they do so by offering cups of tea to their elders as a symbol of servitude and respect. In turn, the parents and elders will give them a symbolic gift or "ang pow" (red packet filled with money) to signal acceptance into the family and also to wish them good fortune in their new life together.

This wedding was also exceptional as the groom was from a Malaysian Chinese culture and the bride was Korean. Hence, the day was full of colourful representation of both rich cultures.

Ming & Jean - the King and Queen for the day, making their entrance

The Tea Ceremony - for Ming's parents

The Korean side of the Dynasty in colourful traditional dress (hanbok)

Malaysian relatives
(Chinese Cheong-sam - ladies at both ends of the line)
(Peranakan Sarong Kebaya - the two ladies 2nd and 3rd from left)
(Batik Shirt - sole gentleman amongst the ladies)

Fruits and cakes from both cultures

Emperor Ming discovers Korean Tradition of carrying Mother-in-law!

All photos are by LGS.


Janice Thomson said...

What a delightful Wedding! I would love to see the Tea Ceremony - it sounds elegant and sacred at the same time. I love all the colorful outfits. Good heavens you are NOT old LGS!...yet :)

Josie said...

That's beautiful. I love traditions like that. We have lost a lot of our traditions here in Canada. It's so lovely to see traditions still being carried out.

Your nephew looks like you!

MedStudentWife said...

The celebrations look beautiful and really fun,LGS. Thank you for sharing :)

jmb said...

What lovely photos LGS. It looks like a wonderful traditional wedding, even if a little mixed. The costumes are gorgeous, especially the bride's.

Greeneyes said...

Lovely Pictures , intersting to see , thanks for sharing !
Have a great day


Lone Grey Squirrel said...

The tea ceremony gives recognition of the parents and family elders in helping shape the bride and groom into the people that they have become but it also gives recognition that the couple is now an independent but linked household.

Old is a state of mind! All I can think is "When did my nephew grow up?" Suddenly he has.....by implication, years have also flown for me.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks but mayhaps my nephew may be shocked and upset at being compared with me. Haha.

The highlight was when the groom had to carry his mother-in-law piggy back. We speculate that historical hardtimes in Korea created a situation that a young groom often was not just taking responsibility for his new wife but her family. Thus symbolised by him being strong enough to carry the burden of his mother-in -law.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

There was a bit of friendly rivalry between the two families on showing off their colourful cultural dresses. I think the final concensus was that the Korean dresses were outright winners with their bright colours.

Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. Hope you will not be a stranger in these parts.

the walking man said...

It is good for our generation to fade and let them with youth and vigor move society forward.

Squirrel, I must applaud the way you take all back in your past and give us a point of reference in our present with a glimpse of tradition and ceremony. Well done.



Odat said...

How colorful! and what a nice tradition. I sure hope he didn't drop his mother-in-law! hehe.


Delirious said...

Wow, the idea of carrying the mother in law around is very interesting. I would pity my poor son in law. Maybe the idea is that if he can heft that much weight, he is strong and can work hard to support the family? Or maybe it is a subtle reminder that she will be breathing down his neck for the rest of his life? ;) lol

Dr.John said...

Great pictures. Almost like being at the wedding. Thank you so much for sharing even if you are now an old timer.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks. I hadn't realise I was doing that but I'll take the compliment anyway!

He trained at the gym for the event!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I think you are right that it was meant to prove that one was strong enough to support the whole family.

dr. john,
Age is relative but I am old to his youth.

Molly said...

What a lovely young couple! I love that they have symbolic rituals to show respect to the parents and elders! We're so lacking in that in the US.......And so colourful!

Gerbil said...

.another tradition is for the groom's parents to pelt the bride with dates, which she tries to catch in her skirts; it signifies fertility. the more dates, the more children. and geese can often be a symbol somewhere during the festivities, as they mate for life.

My husband is korean, too, but we did not have any of the korean traditions at our wedding; my MIL just wanted us married, period! ;) Those pictures were lovely!!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I agree. Some traditions are definitely worth keeping in some form or other and respect for elders is one of them.

we did discuss this throwing of dates thing. The bride's mother was keen but the official story was that they could not find sufficient dates as it was the wrong season. Unofficially, I think the bride did not want to be pelted.

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