On the last class with my darling graduated students we played a game. “Who’s gonna be the first…?” Things like, get married, have a baby, become a millionaire, live abroad, etc.
Well, one of those questions have been answered because at the end of December, about 6-months after graduation, my first baby got married.
Judy had a wedding in Ningbo that I was unfortunately unable to attend. But thanks to modern technology I was still able to “attend” via phone. One of my students, Silmon, called me on his phone and was a dutiful guardian carrying me around everywhere so I could see everything.
In China the wedding is more of a symbol then a legal thing. Legally, they have to go to the government office to get their marriage certificate (which they can do weeks and even years before a party), but symbolically a wedding party is the real declaration of their relationship. They don’t have legal vows or an officiant leading things, but they often give their own speeches and have a DJ or host leading the entire wedding party the whole night.
Thanks to Silmon I got an upfront and personal view of the speeches. I couldn’t really hear clearly, but thanks to him standing next to the stage I could see Judy crying when her husband was speaking to her, and I saw them kiss. I also saw her throw her bouquet and one of my other darling students, May, caught it! (In class many people guessed that May was going to get married first since she and her boyfriend have been together a long time. Now everyone thinks she’ll be next as it was foretold by the flowers.)
Then Silmon ran around the room so I could see everyone who had attended. There was more than a dozen of my babies there and I got to wave to all of them (It was too loud to talk.) One of the funniest bits was May had video called another student who is in England studying so they held up the two phones to face each other and me and the girl in England got to wave at each other. (Afterwards we texted to each other about how funny it was.)
You might think that a mere 6-months after graduation college is a bit too early to get married. I do. But apparently I am the only one. “It’s normal in China,” I was told by several students when I expressed my hesitation. In China you generally date to get married and they were together for years, so why wait? (I have a few reasons, but that’s why I’m not a traditional Chinese girl.)
So I was glad that while I wasn’t physically able to be there, technology enabled me to at least see it happening in real time and at least feel like a little part of it. Although I have to admit, watching your babies get married sure makes you feel old.