In Japan, salt is considered a holy offering, while in Russia it’s dipped in bread and eaten by newlyweds as a matrimonial gesture of wealth, prosperity and support.
At this Chinese wedding, it was poured into fresh wounds inflicted on a soon-to-be groom to serve as a reminder that marriage can be tough — or so it was claimed by the man’s clearly sadistic family and friends.
The excruciating ordeal, captured on video, is another extreme case of a wedding hazing ritual on the mainland.
Known as naohun, the rituals stem from a traditional Chinese custom where practical jokes are played on members of the wedding party.
In recent years, however, China watchers have noticed that the practice has become increasingly vulgar, humiliating and violent.
The most recent “ritual” to go viral, filmed in the city of Shaoyang in Hunan province on March 29, clearly fit that trend.
In the footage, posted on Shanghai-based website The Paper on Monday, a groom can be seen wearing nothing but his boxers and with visible lashes on his back.
Presumably questioning his decision to tie the knot, the man had reportedly been beaten by friends and relatives as part of a reportedly local custom called “beating the bridegroom,” which villagers claim symbolized the fact that marriage is not easy and the groom should cherish it.
But to truly appreciate marriage, a simple beating was not considered enough, so a side of salt was served up and, like the idiom, poured into the wounds, in an ordeal described, quite correctly, as “vulgar” and “crazy” by mainland netizens, and “hurty” by Coconuts HK staffers.
“How is this a blessing?” one commenter asked.
It’s a good question and we’re not really sure, but what is certain is the “beating the bridegroom” custom makes this hazing ritual in November in Shanxi province — which saw a groom wearing red underwear tied to a lamp post pelted with eggs and paint — seem fun in comparison.