The International Steam Pages


Shibanxi Holiday 2009 - Wedding of the Year Bagou

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It had been an ordinary sort of morning in Bagou, except that there were extra tables outside the restaurant by the market.

Life went on much as usual, the street was cleaned up, but this time as firecrackers went off:

Outside, another kind of table had been set up

Red notes were coming in thick and fast and names of donors carefully recorded:

Having made their donations, the guests immediately started to tuck in and demolish the box of beer supplied to each table, barely half an hour after the market traders had vacated their traditional spots:

As the bride and groom did the rounds, the tables were served dish after dish (some 13 in all I am told):

We had known for a week about the event and had planned carefully, the family had no idea of our presence or intentions. In fact, it was pure serendipity for them as not one other camera was in sight and they will get a record of their special day in due course. Inevitably at this stage,  we were invited to join the party and seated at the top table in the restaurant, but first we had to record the couple with the caterers who were clearly feeling the pressure of the occasion:

This was my diner's eye view of the banquet:

It was as well that I had parked the video camera as there were innumerable toasts as at last the happy couple could relax a little:

In the absence of an official photographer, after the meal we gathered the two families together around the 'reserve' table, too bad someone left their video camera in the wrong place - that'll be a Photoshop job for the copy we print our for them!

After which it was time to tidy up the mess, 

while some of the guest resumed their normal afternoon activities:

It had been yet another wonderful Bagou experience:

The groom, Wang Jian Ping is 21 and from Chengdu; after leaving school at 16, he went to a further education college where he trained to become a beautician. The bride Hu Ye Mei is the same age and from Bagou, after leaving school in Ma Miao at 16, she went to Chengdu where she sold trainers in a shopping mall. The couple were introduced by mutual friends and have opened a beauty parlour in Chengdu with the help of their families. No doubt when the new family grows (very soon), the baby will readily be 'adopted' jointly by both pairs of adoring grandparents.


Rob Dickinson

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