Week 11: Interview — Kelly Yan


Yan Min is a 29-year-old from Shaoxing City, Zhejiang Province. She just had her wedding last month on the 26th and 27th in her hometown. It was a Chinese traditional styled wedding on the 26th and a modern/Western styled one on the 27th. I was there for both days and got interested in how the two weddings had different practices. I interviewed Yan Min 20 days after the wedding. This short clip is the interview put into a nutshell. We talked about how parents play a big role in wedding plannings, setting-up (especially for the Chinese styled traditional wedding), and even wedding style choice. She mentioned that she had once imagined a small Western styled wedding at the beach, which did not happen eventually for various reasons. The main reason why there would be a traditional Chinese styled wedding with all the procedures and steps, many meanings of which she still doesn’t know to day, is that their parents would ask for it. This idea came up again when I asked whether the wedding made any changes to her life. She said things weren’t really different before and after the wedding. The wedding is more like a ceremony and mark that they are now “officially” married, and sometimes an “assignment to turn in”(交代) for her parents. We also talked about the differences between two wedding styles, aside from the procedures and logistics. She said that the idea of participation and gathering of all is crucial in a traditional Chinese styled wedding. In the end, we talked about the future of such weddings, where many different procedures are required and may vary from place to place. It’s not surprising that she pointed out the possibility of traditions fading away. After all, it’s really a lot of work to gather some 500 people and have a feast, especially with the urbanization process.

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