In Taiwan, it's customary to get really elaborate, fancy photos done of you as a couple before the wedding (there are stores for this EVERYWHERE). We're talking several meetings before the actual photo shoot and it is just that... a photo shoot. With elaborate dresses/costumes, sometimes destination sets, and really amazing quality photography. It's not pictures you have taken before/after the ceremony or before the reception... these are done before you get married. And that way they can all be on display at your reception wedding. But wedding photos in Taiwan are the best opportunity to wear the most ridiculous, poofy, and elaborate dresses that almost every young girl has fantasized about since childhood. They even do the same thing in a non-wedding manner and call them "glamor shots".... hmmm.... this might be in my future.... (see some examples in below pictures in the background).
It's also customary for the bride to change dresses 3 times at the wedding. Her dresses were beautiful although one of them reminded me of a prom dress. All of them were Western style dresses, the first being a ball gown style wedding dress (see in pictures below).
But the wedding/reception itself... it was family style sit down? Is that even a style? In typical Asian style they brought the dishes to our big round table (there were many round tables that everyone was assigned a seat at) and we all shared from the dishes at our table. There were lots of "what is that?" type dishes, but the dessert was good :D (there was no wedding cake that I could tell...)
It was very much a Disney show for a wedding than what westerners think of as a wedding reception (with dancing and cake cutting ceremony, etc). There was a movie of their marriage ceremony and their love for each other, a light show before the food was brought out, dry ice smoking for when the bridal party came out (and the food too for that matter... Taiwanese love their food), really epic music that we might play in an action/dramatic scene of a movie (maybe not so much a wedding), and even a platform that came from the ceiling bringing out the bride when she presented her second dress. The bride was the princess who everyone wanted a photo with and who gave out small favors to the children.... and adults for that matter....
Another Taiwanese custom... the bride and groom do not eat at their own wedding reception. They go around to EVERY table and thank everyone for coming and do toasts. And then take more pictures with guests. According to my coordinator, the wedding we attended was quite elaborate and expensive for a typical wedding, so I'm curious to hear stories from any other weddings that my fellow ETAs go to.
Thoughts on teaching continued....
These kids are doing what my friends and I did in elementary school as kids. It's kinda freaky actually. I first noticed it when the boys started doing the thing where they put their hands under their armpit and pumped their arm so it makes a farting/popping sound. My co-teacher was weirded out and even more surprised when I told her that boys my age did that back in the day. Yes, I feel I can now officially use "back in the day."
The next happened the other day when a girl called me over to show me something. She then proceeded to do that "heart beat?" thing where you connect your sleeves together in the front, bring one arm inside the main body of your sweatshirt, and proceed to pump your fist up through your shirt through the circle that your sleeves make with your body. I was stunned. I hadn't taught her that, so it blew me away that something I used to do 10+ years ago is still around, and in Taiwan no less.
Other quick observations.... The 6th graders want to grow up too fast and be super hip/cool (see below). Girls still team up against the boys... And win \^-^/. Kids still like to hide from other kids so they can't find them and then jump out and scare them (this happened with kids trying to scare me and girls wanting to scare the boys). And food is still the easiest way to take a lesson from ok to fabulous.