'Generation Gap' is a monthly series where we ask two Beijingers from two different generations their thoughts on a current issue. This time we ask Chen, 41, and Huang, 17, about bridal "hazing.
Do you think bridal "hazing" (harrassing or goading the bridal party on the wedding day) has gone too far in China?
“I think this type of ritual [where bridesmaids are pressured to drink in excess] is inappropriate. Although I don’t think you can say the alcohol poisoning is anyone’s fault – more a consequence of the culture. The case where bridesmaids are sexually harassed is a result of naohun [teasing the bride and the bridegroom on their wedding night]. It’s a social custom, and can take the form of touching the person’s face. Sometimes people naohun the best man or bridesmaid, and also the father-in-law”
“Cases [of hazing] usually occur between good friends. It can be very troublesome and unhealthy. The most important thing is to balance having a good time with other considerations, such as your wellbeing. Maybe if it were my good friend asking me to drink, I would do it, as I have faith that my best friends wouldn’t ask me to drink too much. They’d look after me. Regarding sexual assault, I don’t think it’s a major issue, as most people don’t engage in these acts. If someone from your wedding party does this, they’re not worthy of being your friend”
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