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President Hodge, others celebrate Miami Merger with Chinese wedding reenactment

By Ashley Tway
On May 6, 2014

The Miami community celebrated the marriage of two Miami graduate students, Yi Sang and Weiguo Xia, with the reenactment of their modern Chinese wedding at the Armstrong Student Center April 23.

Sang is currently a graduate student in education psychology and Xia is a graduate student in computer engineering.

The two Chinese students were officially married in their homeland over the 2014 spring break. Sang is Daur, a small ethnical group in the inner Mongolia area in China, while Xia is Han, the dominate ethnic group in China. The couple's union reflects the modern Chinese culture.

The Comparative Education Club, EPIC Graduate Program and the Confucius Institute hosted this wedding reenactment as an opportunity to share modern Chinese culture with the Miami community.

"We hope today's event will serve as a small window for you to pick into people's life and culture in modern China," Chen Zhao, Director of the Confucius Institute and Farmer School of Business professor, said.

The wedding reenactment was complete with several Miami department heads standing in for the couple's parents and an introduction speech given by President David Hodge.

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs College of Education, Health and Society Judith Rogers, Dean of College Education, Health and Society Carine Feyten, Dean Marek Dollar of College of Engineering and Computing, Susan Mosley-Howard, chair of the Department of Education Psychology and Ron Scott, associate vice president for Institutional Diversity all played roles in the wedding reenactment.

The wedding reenactment was rich with Chinese wedding traditions, which were performed at the original wedding and replayed on video for the reenactment. The ceremony started with a musical performance on a Daur horse-headed fiddle, also known as a Matouqin. Entertainment included traditional Daur dancing and long song, a vocal style typical of the Mongolian grasslands, which took place after the ceremony as the couple changed into traditional Daur costumes for the wedding reception.

The guests at the wedding reenactment were able to participate in the typical wedding traditions as well.

Audience members volunteered to reenact the tradition of "yingqin" or escorting the bride to the wedding site. Other traditions included a wedding game, where the newlyweds attempted to jointly eat apples on a rope and inevitably ended up kissing. As the couple exchanged rings and toasted to each other, the audience congratulated them, reciting a Chinese congratulations phrase in unison.

As a final symbolic gesture, Scott presented the couple with red T-shirts saying "I am Miami" in Chinese.

"It was an honor and a pleasure. It is fascinating to learn about other customs, and it is always a pleasure to share such joyful mom


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