Category: China, 2012

Wedding and non-Wedding


Good night’s sleep in our basic accommodations. Awoke early, as has been the case, and finished yesterday’s blog. Had my first experience with a non-Western toilet on this trip, and I can say, without hesitation, that the toilet seat is one of the great inventions of mankind, ranking just after the wheel (unless you happen to have to go to the bathroom, in which case it moves up to #1).

Lug the baggage down, then breakfast at 7:30 at a restaurant near the guest house, slurping noodles and eggs with chop sticks. A few photos around town, before taking off for long drive to wedding. Very interesting to hear Nevada talk about her philosophy of dealing with people in taking photos. We have wifi contact on the bus through a hotspot that Xue Biao has set up, somewhat sporadic, but able to check emails and to make blog posts, which is great and friggin’ amazing. A few stops for photos along way.




Plan (revised along the way, of course) was to stop at the village of a bride who was to leave to go to her groom’s village to get married. Then we were going to stop at another village of a different groom, to witness the arrival of his bride. This is apparently an auspicious day for marriages, according to the moon.

We stopped in village of Lelia and during lunch, Lee and Nevada found the bride, who had recently had a baby, in tears. The family of the groom had refused to accept the bride. There would be no wedding.

We went on to the second village, Bengli, where a group called the 72 Dong Villages Dong live. Both the groom, Lin Gai, and bride, Yang Xia, from Gao Ping Village, are 17 years old. We spend a lot of time in the charming village, photographing a lot of different interesting people in their daily lives. We go up to the house of the groom, where we see a large entertainment center in purple and quite nice furniture that is the bride’s dowery.





We wait around for quite some time for the arrival of the bride. A procession of people arrives carrying gifts. In the procession is the bride, though we’re unaware of that and do not know who she is. Many, many loud firecrackers go off in rapid succession to salute the bride. We go up to the house and photograph her. She looks about twelve years old and is a bit overwhelmed with all the photography.

During the past two days, we’ve seen many different hair styles:




We learn that it is going to be quite some time before the celebration and, although we are invited to stay for dinner, we decline. Groom took off on a motorcycle to dont-know-where. After going up to see the area where the banquet will be held, we walk back through the village to the bus, for our long almost 4-hour ride back (even though it is only about 60 kilometers). En route home, I download edit and weed out the day’s photos. I have a much more critical view of my photos, as well as different criteria by which to judge them.

We arrive at the hotel, the Dongxiangmi Grand Hotel in Rongjiang where dinner has been ordered, including cold Tsing Tao beer. Bags have been taken up to the room, and a hot shower awaits after dinner. Life is good.

This day is a great example of how everything can”go wrong,” and you can still have a terrific day, if you are open to experiencing what’s in front of you.

3 comments to Wedding and non-Wedding

  • Pat Hemmens

    Just to put a positive spin on the “no loo seat” problem, should it arise again – apparently, the “natural” way for humans to defecate is to squat – so you’re apparently doing your intestines some good if you don’t sit on a loo!

  • fred gordon

    Hi Arnie,
    I’m intrigued by your mentioning of Nevada’s “philosophy” of taking pictures of individuals. Could you share with us some of her ideas?
    as always, your journey is fascinating!

  • Wendy

    More great photos, Dadz. You do great people. I’d also like to hear more about Nevada’s philosophy on taking pics of people, as well as your new criteria for judging your photos.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>