Friday, November 6, 2009

Inspiration #41: Traditions

My little sister is getting married this Saturday and it'll be my first time participating firsthand in a Chinese tea ceremony (her husband-to-be is Chinese American and we are Filipino-American).

Unfamiliar with the tradition and meaning behind it, I found these interesting facts from the Chinese Historical and Cultural Society: Tea is probably used because it is China’s national drink and serving it is a sign of respect. Lotus seeds and two red dates are used in the tea for two reasons. First, the words “lotus” and “year,” “seed” and “child,” and “date” and “early,” are homophones, i.e. they have the same sound but different meanings in Chinese. Secondly, the ancient Chinese believed that putting these items in the tea would help the newlyweds produce children early in their marriage and every year, which would ensure many grandchildren for their parents. Also, the sweetness of the special tea is a wish for sweet relations between the bride and her new family. 

{If you're thinking about conducting a Chinese tea ceremony and don't know the specifics, you can read the how-to here.}

My fiance is a good old Southern boy, raised Episcopalian and I'm Filipino-American. We're not having a Catholic or a Episcopalian ceremony although the garden we're getting married is owned by a historic Episcopalian church. Other than having food representing our cultural background for our reception dinner, we have yet to decide how to incorporate traditions from our heritage into our big day. We're a little stumped on what our tradition will be.

To get an idea of what's out there, I enjoyed Davina + Daniel's illustrative overview of various cultural wedding traditions here.

And I'd love to hear what you're planning. Thank you!

2 love notes:

Tenille said...

Hm. I'm First Nation (Dene) and the man and I are going to have a sage blessing at the wedding (cleanses/purifies your spirit). But we're also incorporating traditional stuff like moose meat stew, goulash, and fried/baked bannock at the wedding. Other little things are that I'm wearing moccasins instead of high heels, I'm debating the idea of either having a metis dance troop or drummers perform at the wedding (I'm a Metis/Dene mix). So lots of little things. SHould be fun.

I felt lost too, at the beginning, of what cultural aspects we should put into our wedding. We finally decided to use what felt natural to us. We aren't super-traditional so we weren't comfortable with doing things like blessing our canoe (I don't even know what that means) or having a pow-wow dancer perform. We wanted it to be authenticly us, if that makes sense. Focusing on the food helped us narrow our focus and just made it come together.

Vera D. said...

Tenille, thank you so much for sharing what you and the man will be doing; it sounds like you're doing what's true to you and that is the best way to go. Food seems to be our common denominator too. :)

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