Getting married is expensive in many cultures. In China, customs put extra pressure on men to prove their success before getting married. But rising living costs make this more and more difficult.

So a new trend has appeared: a kind of no frills version of wedding, called a ‘naked wedding’.

Worrying about the bills? (credit)

The following excerpt is by Andy Yee for Global Voices Online. Read the full post here.

“A new term has become popular recently among Chinese netizens: ‘naked marriage’ (裸婚). Don’t be mistaken, but the term has a special meaning: it means getting married without a house, a car, a diamond ring and a proper wedding ceremony. Just taking a picture and getting a marriage certificate is all that is involved. Will you accept such kind of marriage?

Among these ‘naked’ aspects, having no house is the key point. A popular Chinese TV drama, Dwelling Narrowness, strikes chord with China’s ‘house slaves’ (房奴), especially those born after 1980, whose youth ambitions are wrecked because of the high property prices in China and inability to afford a mortgage.

Perhaps ‘naked marriage’ is common in Western countries, as couples in love will not care too much about having no flat, car or a big fat bank account. However, it is different in China, as housing is a very important symbolic guarantee. Few unmarried young women (or their parents) would agree to marry to unsuccessful men. And one important criteria of success is whether you have a flat.”

Read more:
The unhappy losers of new-look Europe – high property prices affect young people in Western Europe too
East meets West – from Chinese artist Yang Liu
Chinese blogs from Blogs of the World


About the author

Lucy is English and first ventured out of the UK she was 19. Since then she has lived in 4 different countries and tried to see as much of the world as possible. She loves learning languages, learning about different cultures and hearing different points of view.