Courtship and Marriage

In traditional Chinese society marriage was virtually universal for men and women. Chinese girls were usually married off shortly after puberty by arranged blind marriage. The brides and grooms often took no part in selecting their own partners. Negotiating the "bride price" and other financial transactions, setting a date for the wedding, and deciding how the marriage ceremony would be conducted were the jobs of the family elders.

The practice of blind marriage arrangement left no room for courtship. It was believed that love could only be created between husband and wife after their marriage. To have love before they were married was wrong. It was common for a couple not to meet each other until they wed.

In the early decades of the 20th century, better education for the young in China brought challenges to the custom of arranged marriage. In the United States, children of Chinese immigrants also rejected this traditional practice.

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