QUAINT CUSTOMS OF WORLD'S QUEER PEOPLE
STEALING GIRL TO VHOM YOU ARE ENGAGED
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A Chinese Bride (in Center) and Bridesmaids.
In America we would far rathter
"leave her to the other man" than
be forced to steal our wife.
But tastes differ. In China, for in
stance, there is a certain spicyness
to a Chinese in having to4kidnap the
woman who refuses to .marry.
The life of the average Chinese girl
is rarely happiness unalloyed, al
though the national hooks declare
her a "princess in her father's house
hold." In due course she is betrothed
a long rigmarole of ceremony that
is a nine-day wonder in the. village,
and thereafter settles down in the'
knowledge that at the marriageable
age she will leave her father's roof
to become the helpmeet of a man
she has never met for Chinese pro
priety rigidly enforces that jio girl
shall see, hear about or speak of her
fiance before marriage.
But it may happen that in course
of time the marriage after betrothal
is postponed. The girl's family might
hedge from the whole business, mak
ing excuses until it is seen that no
reason exists for the marriage to be
delayed. After every resource is ex
hausted the parents of the groom de
cide that no other course is open than
to "steal the bride."
The custom enforces that the con
quest must be accomplished by the
betrothed husband in person. That
gentleman according secures a black
sedan chair (as opposed to the bril
liant red one used on marriage occa
sions) and then lies in wait He takes
with him a few relatives and truste4
friends. One of these carries a com
mon bea blanket, for that will be use
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