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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Looking Back: A Village Wedding in China

I'm going to travel back in time to November 2006 when I bought my first DSLR. I remember being so excited and eager to use my brand new XTi on my trip to China a few weeks after I got the camera. At the time, I really didn't know how to use the manual functions. Randy's older brother and his wife had their wedding in Vancouver, and we were going to have another banquet in Zhong Shan, China a week after with his entire family, extended family and village friends.

This banquet was unlike any I've ever been to or experienced before. When I was looking at my (newbie) pictures, I thought this would be an interesting blog post for my readers, and a chance to see what china weddings are like in the village compared to westernized weddings that we're so used to. You will also get to see (and criticize) my work as a new photographer at the time! This should be fun!

Here is a rooftop picture showing part of the village where my parent-inlaws grew up. Parts of the village have modernized over the years, but there are still many areas that remain old and impoverished

This full day lunch and dinner banquet consisted of 800 guests - practically all of the residents from the village! The classic striped china bag (blue, white and red) was constructed into a canopy tent that was held up by strong pieces of bamboo. 80 round dinner tables were set up all around my parent in-law's newly constructed house. Their "vacation home" has 6 floors and 10 ensuite baths!

This is at the back of the tent showing the dishwashing area

All the porcelain and utensils are handwashed by the kitchen maids. With 800 guests to feed, that's a lot of dishes to wash!

Next to the cleaning area is the kitchen, where the chefs were cooking hard to prepare 10 course meals for lunch and dinner.

Smoking and gambling go hand-in-hand for the men in China

This is probably one of the most memorable pictures that I captured

The Chinese grandparents never stop working for their children and grandchildren. You see this all the time even in today's chinatown in San Francisco

My brother and sister in-law, Winnie and Terry. November 2008 will be their 2 year wedding anniversary!

Fat juicy pigs ready to get roasted

The equipment and methods of cooking seemed so primitive to me...everything I saw that day was such a humbling experience

The celebration ended with firecrackers that went on for about 15 minutes. All I remember was the deafening noise because it was so loud!

I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane, please feel free to leave me any comments! My next blog post will be a sequel to my trip in China...STAY TUNED!

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