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Four weddings, one country - four Chinese generations (5)
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16:29, December 08, 2008

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21st century: "A play" vs. "a certificate"

21st century China has seen a division in how people choose to get married, typically the "play" type and the "certificate" type.

The "play" type, such as restaurant owner Wang, put a great deal of effort into planning special weddings. The "certificate" type, such as office worker Li Runya, on the other hand, are happy to live together with their other halves without any ceremony.

Li Runya, who had been with her husband for over a year now, told Xinhua, "As we have just finished furnishing our new apartment, we are likely to have a wedding early next year."

Li was born in the 1980s, a "one-child" generation who were often considered spoiled and rebellious. Brought up in a relatively well-off China, this generation had access to a wide range of information and has become familiar with different cultures.

Cathy Xu, 25, now working in Melbourne, Australia, got married two years ago before she left China. Like Li, she and her husband only had a marriage certificate and had been living together since.

Some others, though, didn't even wait to get officially registered to live together. "I can totally understand if two people in love live together before getting married," said Wu Dan, a customer service worker in a U.S. company's Shanghai office, "but as girls, we also have to beware of unsafe sex."

Almost every 20-something who was interviewed said they could accept living with their boyfriend or girlfriend before getting married. However, they all emphasized that they had to be quite sure he or she was the right person before having sex or living with them.

Source: Xinhua
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