Thursday, March 25, 2010

An American Wedding in a Chinese Classroom

"Marriage is a holy and scared institution."

So said the officiant at the "wedding" in my teammate Lisa's culture class last week.  (He said it twice and I giggled both times.)  Every year during the marriage unit in culture class, Lisa has her sophomores re-enact an American style wedding.  I went to watch one and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The whole class got into the spirit of the day by decorating the room and writing a huge "Happy Wedding!" on the board.  They rearranged the classroom into rows with an aisle down the middle.  Then Lisa assigned parts: officiant, bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and parents of the couple.  Because the class had over 30 girls and only 5 boys, a few of the groomsmen were actually women. 

Once parts were assigned, the girls descended on the bride and decked her out in a full-coverage veil wrapped with plastic red flowers.  It looked like a religious head covering gone terribly, tackily wrong.  The wedding party gathered outside the classroom and walked in to the strains of Lisa's ipod.

The actual ceremony was based on a script from a real wedding in the U.S.  Many of the classmates were taking pictures and video-ing the ceremony on their cell phones as the embarassed bride and groom said their "vows."

They were triumphantly declared Mr. and Mrs. and then walked down the aisle, straight into the reception.  Lisa had gotten a big, flowery cake mounded with giant frosting flowers.  The bride and groom cut the cake.  True to American wedding form, the bride mischeviously smeared cake on the groom's cheek (as the best man physically restrained him so he couldn't fight back.  Ever seen that at an American wedding?).  Pretty soon cake was everywhere, and it wasn't long before even the minister had a frosting beard. 

Overall, I'd say the wedding was a smashing success.

Lisa assigning roles

The ceremony

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