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(Global Times) Chinese netizens have called for a ban on vulgar wedding traditions after an intoxicated man was reported to have forced a kiss on his daughter-in-law.|
Video uploaded online showed the man walking the bride, later confirmed by media as the man's daughter-in-law, to the front of the stage before grabbing her from the back and kissing her on the lips.
The video sparked heated discussions online, with many netizens calling it "disgusting."
The man, surnamed Bian, from Yancheng, East China's Jiangsu Province, released a statement through his lawyer on Monday saying that his actions were meant to lighten up the mood and that he did not really kiss his daughter-in-law. He asked people to delete photos and videos of him "kissing" the bride; otherwise he said he will resort to legal measures.
Liu Ping, a Guangdong-based designer with more than 49,000 followers on Sina Weibo, defended the man, saying that netizens overreacted because it is a local tradition.
"It's like giving the bride's virginity to the father first. It's a symbol of filial piety to allow the father the first bite of tasty things," Liu said. He noted that the region around Yancheng is largely influenced by Confucianism, which values filial piety.
His comments were later regarded as an "insult" to Confucianism.
The tradition is common in Yancheng and a neighboring region, a Yancheng resident who asked to remain anonymous, told the Global Times. "We joke about a love affair between a man and his daughter-in-law at weddings. But it's just for fun, and there's a bottom line."
Local police are investigating the incident. They warned that modern weddings should create a "healthy and civilized atmosphere." They added that traditions which insult or hurt others should be avoided.
Many places have these kinds of "vulgar" customs at big events such as weddings and funerals, but they usually avoid criticism once people label them as a "tradition," Xu Fanchi, an expert at the Nanshe Traditional Culture Research Institute in Suzhou, told the Global Times.