Nonetheless, people still do these stuff.
Confinement after child birth
Typically, after child birth, the mother stays at home in "confinement".
There's a dedicated cook to cook some nutritious stuff for her.
She isn't allowed to bathe. Only allowed some herbal wipes for a month.
Can only drink warm drinks, or warm herbal drinks.
Engages in a masseuse who also brings in a steaming tent to have the mother sit in the tent like a steam bath.
Some details here.
ERSG hypothesis and conclusion
Many of these practices were brought down from China when the population moved south when they migrated for greener pastures. In China, there are 4 seasons. The winds may be cold, bad weather conditions, etc. With a new mother's constitution weakened from child birth, they might have needed to take special precautions not to cause the mother to have her body get weaker. Like if she took a bath, where hot water might not have been available in olden days, and a cold wind blew, it might cause her to catch a chill. Potentially, food might be scarce and better nutrition might be needed for the mother to replenish her body's loss of minerals.
Essentially if we move with the times, I think we need to understand that many other parts of the world do not practice these traditional customs. Yes, I agree that a mother might need more nutrition to replenish her calcium, and other nutrients. So I'll still take those in consideration. However, things like not taking a bath or drinking only warm water might not be so relevant these days. Singapore is a hot country. I'm sure that having a proper warm bath and keeping hygienic is just as important. Naturally, one would need to take note not to stand in front of the fan naked when out of the bath. I think that's basic common sense. Even if you aren't a new mother, I doubt anyone would be doing that.
So my conclusion on this is. Keep the best, dump the rest. There are things that are logical. Having a good diet, resting well, keeping warm. All which you should already be doing. However, there may be some stuffs which some good meaning auntie may suggest which makes absolutely no sense considering the new environment. No point keeping practices which used to be useful in a country which is different and has different living conditions.
Wedding gate crashing
Another of my gripes is wedding gate crashing.
It's something like ragging in the University. Where the bride's friends aka "sisters" will make fun and often humiliate the bridegroom and friends aka "brothers" when he arrives at the bride's house to pick up the bride.
Often, the bridegroom and his brothers will need to eat sour, sweet, bitter, spicy food items, signifying willingness to go through thick and thin together. If the items were usually edible, I think there would be some significance to this. But more often than not, the bridesmaids concoct some formula of disgusting food or drink to make the bridegroom and friends consume.
Other gate crashing activities which I have heard of or seen, are making the bridegroom party sing and dance (Not too bad). I've seen the bridesmaids ask the males to wear bikinis or bras and sing and dance. Utterly unnecessary and humilitating.
There are instances where the bridegroom may be requested to eat a banana from a "brother" who is requested to hold the banana at his crotch.
Basically, almost anything goes. It's typically shrugged off as testing the bridegroom's love for his wife to be and the bridesmaids have a ball of a time thinking of ridiculous games to punish the guy.
Other details here.
ERSG hypothesis and conclusion
I don't know how this started, considering that a long time ago in China, the bride would be SENT to the bridegroom's house on a sedan. The bride would be married off. So where did THIS tradition break and result in the male having to be punished to marry his bride?
I'm thinking... just thinking. That maybe long ago, some guy offended his future wife one day before the wedding. He wanted to proceed with the wedding the next day and went to the bride's house with his posse only be be met with the bridesmaids. So to prove that the guy was sorry for whatever he had done, the bridesmaids went ahead to punish the guy and his mates and only after sufficient bashing did they allow the groom to see his bride and continue with his marriage.
So maybe this bride has 4 close friends whom she cried to one day before the marriage and they all decided to make the groom pay for his misdeeds. So ok fine, the marriage proceeded after the punishment and all that.
But HEY! When it was the bridesmaids' turn to get married...
They all wanted to punish their grooms just for the fun of it. And so the cycle starts.
My thoughts on this is...
1) Has the groom not proved his love for his wife already? That should have been settled before the proposal. Else she should not have accepted his proposal in the first place.
2) A marriage is typically, these days, on equal terms. No one is now buying a wife or selling a daughter in Singapore society. Why the need to punish the groom?
3) As a wife to be, do you like to see your husband being humiliated? If you do, there's something wrong with you. Both husband and wife should do whatever is necessary to ensure that each party/partner is equally respected. Not to mention in this case, usually the bride condones her friends to humiliate the groom and his party.
4) It's all in good fun... seriously? Do you tell yourself that? Why not the bride side try out similar games and humiliate themselves for the sake of proving their love?
As readers might suspect, I never had such activities for my wedding. It was a simple affair.
I'm all for a good balance. If for some significance, the couple wants to keep some tradition, then keep it rational and honourable. If they want to have some fun and games. Fine. If they need the groom to eat something, make it something that BOTH sides are willing to eat. If they need to sing some sappy love songs, by all means sing. But really, let's do away with the humiliating aspects of this "tradition". Strangely, even under the guise of tradition, I don't think that humiliating or disrepecting someone would have made it into traditional practices in the olden days.
<<PREVIOUS POST // NEXT POST>>