nds because all my saved money has been spent on building a new home for the yo
上海千花坊ung couple and buying new necessities for them, such as household appliances,” Shan said.
Luckily, Shan had reason to celebrate because he was saved by a new rule.
Right before the wedding, a specific standard was established banning high-priced betrothal gifts, or caili in上海千花坊
Chinese. Other extravagant customs, including holding grand wedding ceremonies or funeral rites as well as inviting an e
xorbitant number of guests and using lots of cars to pick up the bride and her relatives, were also prohibited.上海千花坊
The government of Feixiang district – which covers 265 villages, including Shan’s, with a population of 410,000 – found the competitio
上海千花坊n to see who could give the best betrothal gifts and hold the grandest wedding ceremonies had become a big headache for villagers.
Families of young women envied those who gave lots of money to a bride’s family and held ex
pensive ceremonies with many guests, said Cai Fuhai, Party chief of Nanduqi village.上海千花坊女神会所
They would ask parents of their soon-to-be sons-in-law for similar treatment, Cai said.
According to the standard, no more than six cars can be used for picking up the bride and her rela
tives. Previously, up to 40 cars would be used as part of a grand and impressive wedding ceremony.上海千花坊
Furthermore, guests are served a simple meal – a vegetable and meat stew, or daguocai in Chinese – rather than a meal wit
上海千花坊女神会所h dozens of courses. Finally, group wedding ceremonies are encouraged and betrothal gifts are discouraged.
Families who obey the standard may enjoy benefits such as free physical examinations for parents and
newborns at local hospitals. Pregnant women may also receive discounts for examinations during pregnancy, Cai said.
Families who do not obey the rules are required to make a self-critical s
peech during a meeting attended by villagers and local government officials. Those wh上海千花坊女神会所
o refuse to make the speech and admit their wrongdoings are exposed on local television and other media platforms.
Villagers fall in line
According to the Feixiang district government, more than 1,000 families of young wom
en have refrained from demanding betrothal gifts from their bridegrooms’ families since 2017. About 1
00,000 households in the district have signed commitment letters promising to obey the standard.
Government statistics show that the cost of a wedding has been cut to less than 30,000 yuan, down b
y about 80 percent, and the current cost for a funeral is less than 5,000 yuan, just a sixth of the previous cost.
After a disappointing performance in 2018, China’s economy appears to be stabiliz
ing. In the first quarter of 2019, GDP growth, at 6.4 percent year-on-year, matched that of the previous quarter. But grow
th in industrial production exceeded expectations, expanding by 6.5 percent year-on-year (and by 8.5 percent in Mar
ch). Even exports growth was positive, albeit weak, despite the ongoing trade frictions with the United States.
Moreover, fixed-asset investment (FAI) grew by 6.3 percent－0.2 percentage points higher than in the previous quar
ter. Investment in real estate grew the fastest (11.8 percent), followed by manufacturing (4.6 percent) and in
frastructure (4.4 percent). The growth of investment both in real estate and infrastru
cture was stronger not only sequentially, but also year-on-year. As usual, consumption growth was stable.
The ongoing International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 in Beijing is all about gar
dening, but it doesn’t shy away from high technology that improves visitors’ experience.
To provide visitors with information services, ticket purchasing, parking, travel routes, introductions to scenic sp
ots, medical services, performance arrangements and traveling tips, a mobile phone app called Expo 2019 was developed.
It’s like having a tour guide at hand, said Guo Ziliang, an official at the Beijing World Horticultural Expo Coordination Bureau, the expo’s organizer.
“The app shows people how to conveniently and efficiently make their way through the park,” he said. “It also helps improve the park’s reception capacity.”
The 162-day expo, from April 29 to Oct 7, is expected to receive a total of 16 million visitors.
The app, available in bilingual versions-English and Chinese-can be downloaded for free from online app stores.