Cousins' weddings are about the only reason that I go travelling anymore. =D I love it though, I always come back with such an optimistic outlook on life having seen family and met new family who are invariably from somewhere else.
This trip took me back to my ancestral hometown of 順德 Shun-De. I wasn't born there; I was born in 廣州 Guangzhou (which you may know better as Canton). But I have family there and, for all the drama, comedy and tragedy, this is what makes it "home".
I'm confused as to whether Shun-De is a city or a district of 佛山 Fo-Shan and how it's related to 樂從 Le-Cong. The mailing address that I got for my Uncle's house is different than the one they gave me last time. =P
The bridegroom is my father's cousin's son. That makes us Second Cousins. But in traditional Chinese culture, if your fathers are brothers, then you're a closer type of cousin. This type of cousin is considered a straight sibling: 堂兄弟姐妹.
Because confusing foreigners is a favorite Chinese pastime. We do this more than mah-jong, tai chi, ping-pong and Go put together. =)
My Paternal Grandfather is my Great-Grandfather's second son. Albert's Paternal Grandfather is my Great-Grandfather's fourth son. The Shanghai Clan is my Great-Grandfather's fifth son's family line. My father and my 國叔叔 Uncle Guo are brothers. And that makes me Albert's sister. Albert's children and my children will be 姑表 cousins. Albert's sister Fong-Yi is also married and has a family of her own. She calls me 家姐 "elder sister". Her children and my children will be 姨表 cousins.
- If you're cousins and related by your two fathers, you're 堂 cousins, which are almost straight siblings.
- If you're cousins and related by the father of one and the mother of another, then you're 姑表 cousins.
- If you're cousins and related by your two mothers, you're 姨表 cousins.
There will be a test.
The new In-Law family is from 杭州 Hangzhou. They're pretty amazing people and complement our family very well. My new Sister-In-Law, Joanna (Fiona? I don't refer to her by her English name and she doesn't really use it, so I'm not sure)... she is such a girlie girl =D Really pretty girl, so much fun and totally has a "northern Chinese" face =)
The wedding was CRAZY. 126 tables total. And these are 12 seat tables. 1512 guests. One thousand, five hundred twelve. =O =O =O Now THAT was an exercise in crowd control. And yes, true to form, Dad and I made a speech in Cantonese, Mandarin and English. The bride's family speaks Mandarin and our family speaks Cantonese... our family also speaks craptacular Mandarin XD We had to translate stuff and squeeze in a bit of English at the end. It was a good speech, we got so many good comments about it. It was very compact and to-the-point, very powerful sentiments and we translated so we wouldn't leave anyone out.
Speaking of craptacular Mandarin, my Uncle Guo's name has the character 國 in it. Mandarin is 國語. He was joking that because he is 啊國, his pronunciations (however he mangles it) are always accurate 國語 ("Guo's Language").
Yeah, the supreme dorkiness runs in the family XD