For many women, the perfect wedding is the stuff of daydreams. There’s the grand entrance as she walks down the aisle looking radiant, the storybook moment where she exchanges vows with her husband-to-be, the swarm of guests handing over cash to fondle her breasts… wait, what? An odd new video shows a Chinese bride on her wedding night as she collects stacks of dough in exchange for some quality time with her boobs.
With a completely businesslike demeanor, the bride puts on a smile as guest after guests squeezes and pinches her bosom. Her “customers” then pose for a picture with the exposed newlywed before shuffling off and letting the next person in line do the same thing. It’s not just perverted men taking part, either; women can be seen waiting for their turn as well.
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Believe it or not, the bride is actually participating in a widespread wedding tradition called “Naohun,” which translates to “disturbing a marriage,” in order to sock away funds for her honeymoon. Naohun can take many forms and the practice can look especially unsettling to Western viewers, for whom a wedding is a remarkably serious affair with plenty of cultural and religious protocols. Disrupting an American wedding would definitely not go over nearly as well.
As such, various videos depicting Naohun in play have gone viral outside of China, but for the most part, they are essentially taken out of context when viewed by someone who is not native to a region where it is practiced. The average Chinese person probably finds wedding pranks with a sexual element to be just as disturbing as everyone else.
Naohun doesn’t have to be sexual, though. The bride, groom, and bridesmaids are all commonly subjected to some form of lighthearted teasing throughout the ceremony. One video shows a bridesmaid getting grabbed by a group of five men and nearly tossed into the water while struggling all the while, and another showed a bride and groom getting tied to a tree.
While Naohun is probably the most shocking Chinese wedding tradition, there are plenty of other less outlandish customs that are equally unusual. Many couples consult a feng shui fortune teller for help in determining a wedding date that jives with both the bride and the groom’s astrological background – failing to do so good result in ill fortune for the marriage. Confucian weddings have recently become all the rage in certain parts of China, where participants pay homage to Confucius and dress in ancient-styled garb.
Some cultures even have wedding traditions that might rival Naohun:
Tuareg tribesmen find love by sneaking into the tent of a woman they’re interested and ticking her ear. If she wants, she can tell him to buzz off and he has to oblige, but if she reciprocates the interest, it’s time to start talking about a dowry.
In several parts of the world, brides earn money during their wedding ceremony by dancing, not flaunting their breasts. However, some cultures actually have people pin the money to her dress, so she’d better hope they have steady hands.
Puerto Rican weddings might prove a little nightmarish for people who are creeped out by dolls. A small replica of the bride and groom in spooky doll form gets a prominent spot at the reception and eventually gets sent home with the newlyweds.
Brides in rural Scotland (that aren’t sheep) are subjected to a ritual called “blackening,” where they are covered in dirt and grime and paraded through town for all the friends and family to see. Grooms are sometimes blackened, too.
It appears that most people around the world simply have to put up with some unpleasant stuff as part of their wedding ceremony, whether it’s drunken Aunt Sally dancing on top of a table at an American wedding or a mob of grabby guests at a Chinese wedding. It’s kind of heartwarming, in a way, I guess.