Arranged Marriages in China
Imagine marrying a complete stranger, despite your feelings and against your will with no option for a “re-do” or divorce. Young Chinese men and women of the past, were unfortunately not strangers to this situation. Arranged marriages have been a large part of Chinese culture since approximately 402 B.C. These weddings were most often arranged by a matchmaker, or pairs of parents looking to gain financial or social power. Because the culture was male dominated, it was the groom-to-be’s family who chose the bride. After the bride was selected, the groom’s family would contact a matchmaker to ensure a strong astrological match to avoid disaster that a mismatch would bring. A strong match would bring honor and harmony to the families, as well as many gifts. If the match was untrue, marriage was not at all an option, and a different potential bride was selected, but if the match was good, an obligatory letter was sent to the bride’s family validating and finalizing the engagement.
Santa Clause Smells Like Lutefisk
“Cass, we’re almost there!” my mother says excitedly. To my sleepy ears her voice seemed to be coming from a few thousand miles away though she was only a few feet away in the front seat of our Dodge Caravan. As consciousness gradually washed over me, I felt us turn left off of the highway and across a set of railroad tracks. Descending down, the crunch of snow and gravel under the tires served as a further request to awaken which prompted the opening of my very tired eyes. Upon opening them, I was delighted by the familiar sight of my great-aunt’s house. Simultaneously comforted and excited, the log house looked particularly wonderful; aglow with Christmas lights and life. A handful of cars were parked around the garage signifying that the rest of the family had already arrived. By the time we reached the crest of the driveway, I was mostly awake and more than eager to see some...