Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post March 22 article, the original title: A Chinese city begins to ban “vulgar” wedding insults after a series of wedding jokes went too far, leading to several incidents.
A city in eastern China has officially banned the infamous wedding joke tradition — a tradition that allows guests to have fun by teasing the couple and their bridesmaids. Several departments in Zouping, Shandong province, issued a joint announcement last week, explicitly outlawing “bad wedding jokes” and calling for “wedding customs” reform.
This phenomenon, of “vulgar weddings”, refers to some people forcing newlyweds or other guests to strip or be tied up, forcing them to wear degrading clothing and signs, forced insults, indecent assault on the bride and bridesmaids, or even forced to carry out degrading and indecent acts.
The above announcement stressed that such behavior will be punished by the public security organs in accordance with the law, depending upon circumstances, constituting criminal investigations of criminal liability. “Enhancing civilized awareness, consciously resisting evil and vulgar weddings, returning weddings to warmth and romance, and letting the “ribald jokes towards civilized blessings” !” This new policy has been widely praised by the Chinese public. One Weibo user wrote, “Of course such behavior needs to be declared illegal. Some people are harassing others purely under the guise of joking around during weddings.” Other netizens said, “It’s hard enough to have a wedding these days, leave aside the overwhelmingly vulgar performances and jokes”.
Literally, the Chinese term “nao hun (noisy wedding” means “loosening up at wedding functions,” a long-standing tradition dating back to the early Han Dynasty to ensure a lively wedding atmosphere and show interpersonal camaraderie. In contemporary weddings, this custom has been extended to include teasing and even harassment of bridesmaids. But such practices have recently become one of the hotly debated issues as more and more wedding high jinks across China seem to have become too extreme.
A video of a Chinese actor couple at their wedding in 2016 came under heavy criticism after it was revealed that several men had lifted a bridesmaid and tried to throw her into a pool. The bridesmaid screamed and struggled violently until another bridesmaid came to her rescue and stopped the men.