China cracks down on wedding extravaganza and extreme pranks民政部：抵制天价彩礼、低俗婚闹，全面推进婚俗改革 时间:2018-12-05 单词数:2550
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China is trying to put the brakes on a trend towards increasingly lavish weddings and pre-wedding pranks which can often become violent or sexualised.
Authorities have said modern weddings are both too extravagant and against Chinese and socialist values.
The traditional "hazing" rituals couples are put through have also often been getting out of control.
Beijing’s suggested answer is to try to standardise ceremonies to a more traditional and simple format.
People in China, as in many countries, have increasingly found themselves competing with neighbours and friends over weddings, and caught up in spiralling spending as bigger weddings become the fashion.
That means expensive receptions, elaborate outfits and overseas wedding photo shoots, pulling out all the stops no matter the cost.
Guests are also expected to bring ever more lavish gifts.
Meanwhile the tradition of playing pranks on the bride and groom - originally meant as a way of helping them relax on their big day - has often been getting out of hand.
The ministry of civil affairs condemned all this as "extravagance and wastefulness" and instead proposed a clear "guidance" towards more "simple and moderate" weddings, China’s Xinhua news agency said.
Ceremonies should "integrate socialist values and Chinese traditional culture" to combat "negative social trends and wrong values" and instead set an example for society.
Authorities would "set guidelines on the process of weddings and the amount of cash gifts," ministry official Yang Zongtao said in an interview on state TV broadcast on Sunday.
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