I was part of Wing Fei’s heng tai entourage for the day. Being a heng tai (the term means brother) involves having the groom’s side get his bride from her parents’ home. There will be ji mui (literally sisters, but more like bridesmaids) blocking the way and presenting challenges.
This is all done in good fun. Chinese wedding door games is a Cantonese tradition and since the groom is Cantonese, it’s as essential a part of the wedding as the tea ceremony.
We woke up bright and early and got into costume. The theme is Triumph in the Skies – a Hong Kong drama series and involves us wearing pilot uniforms. Unfortunately, one of my buttons came off and my better half had to sew it on before we left.
There was also a large roasted pig (which I promptly dubbed the wedding pig) that we had to carry to Yee Leng’s (the bride) house. I thought that was hilarious – we actually ate the pork belly from this very pig during lunch. I think the middle part goes to the bride while the head and tail is taken back to the groom’s family.
They even hired a Master of Ceremonies (don’t know what else to call her) for the day. She’s in charge of etiquette and all things wedding related, and we have to defer to her for everything. She’s also a very good singer – we called her tai ka che (big sister).
Here’s the show of respect to the parents of the groom in a tea drinking ceremony. This is done before we all departed for the bride’s place. The bride’s family does not follow in this entourage.
This is the group of heng tai flanking the groom Wing Fei before we hit the road. There is also one female brother in our group, it’s not usual nowadays to have mixed groups. The bride’s ji mui team also had two male sisters.
Here’s us arriving at Yee Leng’s place. The bride’s house has been setup with firecrackers and the ji muis were all waiting for us inside.
Let the (wedding door) games begin!
The first game involved all the heng tai putting on disposable underwear while the groom wrote “I <3 Yee Leng” on our rear-ends.
It’s a classic Chinese wedding door game. I’ve seen this one (and variations thereof) many times before, it’s become a bit of a standard.
The second game was eating a wasabi laced sandwich. I had two coz I was so hungry and I didn’t mind the spiciness at all. I thought it was a pretty good sandwich, which defeated the purpose of the Chinese wedding door game (it’s meant to be a challenge).
I’m glad I didn’t do the third one coz I did the first two. Three guys were blindfolded and a ji mui is assigned to each one and they’re supposed to guess who kissed them.
Or something like that, I totally lost the plot coz it was so funny. It turns out that there were TWO male ji muis (which we haven’t seen to this point – they were hiding in the house) and they only came out to kiss the heng tais.
The fourth Chinese wedding door game had us drawing lots. I got one that said “TONGUE” with a drawing of a tongue. That didn’t bode very well.
I also saw armpit, stomach and sifatt (technically asshole but we’ll use buttocks for the sake of propriety).
The person who drew the lot had to put whipped cream on that particular part of their anatomy while another heng tai licked it off.
Our hero female heng tai did the stomach one…
…while one of the heng tais did my tongue. The ji muis made sure there was enough so no contact will be made. Haha. I spat out the remaining whipped cream.
The fifth game had the ji muis drawing on our faces with make-up.
I was transformed into a very old man.
The sixth game had the groom using a cucumber held between his legs to pop (crotch shaped) balloons we held between our thighs. It had to be done within a minute.
Me and our only female heng tai.
Some ang pow was also given to forgo the more extreme ones – you can buy a pass if you don’t want to participate in a game but it comes out of the groom’s petty cash.
Thus, with the games done, we went into the bride’s house!
Wing Fei had one last challenge to go through before the door to the bride’s room was opened – he sang a song, and the obstacles were all finally overcome.
This is the bride and the groom in their room.
I thought it was very sweet that Wing Fei and Yee Leng has been together for so many years. They’re childhood sweethearts and I believe this is the only relationship they’ve ever been in, and now they’re married.
Demystification: The bride is called Yee Leng while my better half is called Yee Ling. Wing Fei is the younger brother of my partner. I felt like I had to clarify due to the similarities in the names.
In a lot of ways, I am a “brother” in the truest sense of the term to the groom. Perhaps “future brother-in-law” would be a more appropriate term, since Yee Ling is his older sister. I’m glad Wing Fei gave me the honor of being one of his heng tais. I even wore his personal pilot uniform! I had a lot of fun on that day, not just at the door games but helping out at the wedding with my dear.
Congratulations to Wing Fei and Yee Leng on their wedding! 🙂