Monday, April 30, 2012

The Day Minxi's Mom Married a Chicken

This is a true story of life in China in the 1930s.   Family and family matters are very important Chinese culture and were even more so in the 1930s.

As the eldest male in his family, Mr. Liu was expected to be the first to marry.  He was also very smart and got the rare opportunity to leave town and study at University.  This was a great honor for the family but caused a bit of a crisis when Mr. Liu's younger brother announced that he had found the woman he wanted to marry. 

In China in the 1930's, the mother and father had the ability to say yea or nay to a marriage but the elder Lius felt like the younger bother's marriage was a good one.  Only one problem.  The younger brother couldn't marry until the older brother was married.  A suitable wife had been found for Mr. Liu but there was no way to get him home for the wedding.  What were they to do?

In Minxi's home town there is a tradition. When the bride and groom cannot meet, they find a stand in for the missing spouse; a hen for a missing wife, a rooster for a missing ma.  So one day, in the green of the world, in Southern China,  Minxi's mom, this is completely true, stood up and took her wedding vows with a chicken.

The good news, from the chicken's perspective, is that it could now not be eaten until the real Mr. Liu got home some months later.  

Mr. Liu bested by rooster

I think a lot of men would like to cut the head off their wife's ex.  Only Mr. Liu can say he actually did it.

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