Jul 25, 2009

Wedding Banquets Around Asia (Almost)

Today at my Japanese class, sensei discussed about wedding ceremonies with us.
We mainly talked about the wedding banquets, and stopped just there, as there are just so many differences across countries!

First sensei and fellow classmates shared on Japanese wedding banquets. Here are some surprising facts I've picked up during the discussion:
  • The guest has to pay for the banquet
  • The guest will also give a monetary gift (similar to our hongbao)
  • The gift ranges from 10,000 yen (approx S$150+) to 30,000 yen (approx S$450+)
  • The most popular amount is 30,000 yen though
  • Do not give just 2 dollar notes for the gift (eg. two 10,000 yen notes), as that signifies breakup; 2 separate paths
  • After the banquet, the guest will collect a 'gift hamper', consisting of wine, tableware, cake, etc, as gift from the wedding couple
  • The number of guests is lesser than a typical Singaporean wedding ceremony
  • The wedding couple will have their meal on stage, with the rest of the guests offstage, eating at other tables.

Hong Kong-style
Next, our Hong Kong classmate shared on Hong Kong wedding banquets.
He only has one word to share... and that is 'Mahjong'!
There will be 3 hours of mahjong before the banquet, and another 3 hours of mahjong after the banquet.
The actual banquet? It's 2 hours.

We then asked our Myanmese classmate if the wedding banquet has the custom of 'yam seng'- a very popular item at wedding banquets (my Japanese sensei has shared that she was rather surprised by this culture when she first attended a Singaporean wedding. The loud 'yam seng' startled her :P)
And, yup, there's 'yam seng', which they called it 'gam pai', and no, there is no long dragging of the 'yam'.

Our Indonesian classmate next shared on Indonesian wedding banquet. They are usually held in huge ballrooms. There are no tables, and it's buffet-style. Mmm... this has been picked up by the local crowd too, as I've attended a few of such weddings. Anyway, she said this style was used, as most wedding banquets are crowded with many guests.
In addition, the wedding couple will shake hands with the guests after the banquet (that's the same as ours)
Shake again before the guests arrived at the party after the banquet.
And shake again after the guests leave the party.
You will need very strong hands and a lasting smile for a wedding ceremony :P

And with that, we concluded our discussion on wedding banquets around Asia.
Very interesting indeed!