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Too Expensive to Marry

19 September 2006

Groom's family on the way of sending wedding gifts to bride

A young man from Wenzhou, in China’s east province Zhejiang, recently put a post on the Internet complaining about how expensive for guys in Wenzhou to get married. And he produced a balance sheet to prove his point:

Suppose his parents have saved 200,000 yuans for his wedding, and he has an annual income at 50,000 yuans, he would have to starve himself for over ten years to afford a wedding. Not that the wedding banquet is so expensive, but the expenses associated with the preparations that lead to the wedding that is truly killing him. This includes the cost of buying a flat, purchasing furniture, obtaining a car and sending gifts to the girl.

His post immediately gain a wide response across the Internet, mainly from the young men who harbour similar bitterness and resentment over the financial burdens that are very unevenly distributed between men and women.

A Wenzhou businessman claimed he had to spend 1.7 million yuans in his wedding last year. And another young man described his failed attempt to tie the knot. His girlfriend’s parents, knowing he is just a humble wage earner, kindly told him that he only needed to contribute 100,000 yuans and they would take care of the rest. "But heaven above," he bemoaned, "from where I can get 100,000 yuans?"

It is said that after wedding, most Wenzhou men are in red and have to work for years to pay off the debts.

Probably Chinese governments needn’t worry about the gender imbalance. It seems a lot of Chinese young men cannot afford to marry anyway regardless of whether or not there are enough women around.

A Wedding Banquet without the Bride

The groom is waiting outside the restaurant in vain

Earlier this year in Kunming city, Yunnan Province, a bride deliberately made herself unavailable for the wedding banquet - the centerpiece of the wedding - leaving the groom waiting and weeping.

The bride’s parents were said to be unhappy with the wedding gifts (彩礼) that their daughter received from the groom: A red bag containing 1600 yuans. 1600 yuans? Are you kidding? Our daughter can’t be so cheap, can she?

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The First Train from Shanghai to Tibet

A first west-bound train will leave Shanghai for Lhasa on October 1, announced the Chinese Railway Department Monday. The train is said to operate every other day.

The distance from Shanghai to lhasa is over 4000 kilometres, and the journey is expected to take about 50 hours to complete. As for the price, currently a ticket for Beijing to Lhasa train service is 400 yuans (about 50 usd) for a hard seat and 1260 yuans (about 160 usd) for a soft-sleeper. And the cost from Shanghai to Beijing is somewhere between 10 usd to 60 usd for a single trip.


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