The Wedding Banquet in Yau Ma Tei

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For the first time in my ten years in HK, I went to a Chinese wedding banquet.

I didn’t have to do much, just sit at my designated table with my wife’s friends and eat whatever they put in front of me. Luckily, no fish with a face or chicken feet, though I would’ve eaten either if forced.

If you’ve never been to a Chinese wedding banquet, it’s basically this:

i] You drink some wine and watch two people on stage introduce the married couple.

ii] If the married couple haven’t already done this, they’ll get a lawyer up there and sign the papers chaining themselves to each other for the rest of eternity.

iii] They show a slide show of pre-wedding pics and baby photos.

iv] Everyone eats as the bride and groom go round all the tables and say hi to the guests.

v] Finally, there’s about 5 days of photo taking.

Oh yeah…before the first step, you have to give red packets to the bride and groom which is basically payment for the meal you’re about to eat. Most banquets require about HK$800 [$100?]

The whole thing actually went pretty fast, even the baby photos.

The married couple were my wife’s friends, so I was sitting on a table with all her other friends, as well as a Japanese couple with a baby.

The last time I met my wife’s friends I used English cos my Cantonese level was shit, but the last month or so I’ve stepped up the learning to 2 lessons a week, so I thought, man, I’m just gonna speak Cantonese, even if they only reply in English.

Turns out my wife’s friends had no idea I knew anything in Cantonese so they went through three stages

i] shock + awe [possibly fake]

ii] Laughter at my tone fuck ups and attempt to say ‘relatives’ [it’s a tough word to say for me]

iii] boredom Continue reading

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