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Wedding procession in the age of the automobile: Convoy of Hummers

Instead of sedan chairs and horses, a recent wedding procession in a small town in Shanxi Province featured 12 Hummers for family members and three new cars for the bride and groom: a white BMW, a black Mercedes-Benz, and a Chevy recreation van.


The wedding procession would stop at every village on its way to the bride¡¯s family for a show of fireworks, attracting thousands of villagers thronging the scene as if it was a local temple fair.


Celebrity singers were invited to perform at a grand ceremony at the company owned by the father of the groom, a local coal and coke entrepreneurial dealer. A giant three-story high portrait of the newly weds was posted on the three-story office building. The ceremony was also in celebration of the opening of his new factory. Lunch was served to 640 tables of guests at the event.


Total estimated cost of the wedding exceeded ¥10 million ($1.34 million), according to local media, including the ¥2 million each for the BMW and Benz. The ¡°lucky¡± license plate number for the BMW through bidding alone cost ¥124,000.


I grew up in a poor family and suffered many hardships,¡± the coal dealer was quoted as saying. ¡°Now that we are better off, we would like to have a good wedding ceremony. After all, the wedding is only a once in a lifetime affair for our kids.¡±


Many friends chipped in for the event, he said, including the performance, the fireworks, and the wedding procession. ¡°It is normal to have a celebration of such a scale thanks to the interest and help of many friends,¡± the entrepreneur said. ¡°Their different levels of contributions will be paid back in kind.¡±


To be rich is indeed glorious in China today, as was declared nearly 25 years ago by the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China¡¯s economic reforms. News came a few days later that, another wedding procession in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning Province, had a fleet of 38 Hummers.

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