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Four weddings, one country - four Chinese generations (2)
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16:29, December 08, 2008

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1970s: "Let's bow to Chairman Mao's portrait."

In 1971, the then 22 and 19-year-old doctors Mr. Wang Shan and Ms. Yang Ying, walked into a local marriage office in the central Henan Province with letters of reference written by their respective work units, proving they had approval to get married.

No photographs, no wedding gowns. Instead, they bowed to Chairman Mao Zedong's portrait, worshipped at home, and to their parents afterwards.

With a monthly salary of 30 yuan (4.4 U.S. dollars), Wang borrowed a door panel from his work unit to be their "new" bed. They gave candies to colleagues and relatives and in return, got teacups and paintings as gifts.

"For most people in the 70s, our dream was to own 'three wheeled things and one vocal thing' which, namely, are a bicycle, a sewing machine, a watch and a radio," said Yang.
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