CHINA> Regional
Man 'marries' his deceased girlfriend
(China Daily)
Updated: 2008-09-17 07:27

GUANGZHOU: A man in Zhongshan, Guangdong province, "married" his dead girlfriend at a funeral parlor on Monday, Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Tuesday.

The bride, Yan Lin, 26, was was killed in a traffic accident earlier this month.

"I want her to be my wife, even though she is not in this world any more," the bridegroom, who only identified himself as Samuel, said.

Yan worked as a sales manager in Zhongshan. She and Samuel, in his late 20s, had dated for three years.

During the ceremony, Samuel koutowed to his father and Yan's mother, a traditional marriage rite that signifies the groom will look after the bride forever.

A chicken was placed beside Samuel to represent the bride.

Wedding ceremonies for dead people have taken place in Zhongshan for centuries, and chickens are usually used to represent the deceased.

During the ceremony, Samuel also placed a wedding ring made of paper on Yan's finger and then kissed her hand.

"I am now not able to give you a better life; let's meet each other in heaven. I will marry you again in the next life," Samuel told Yan.

Samuel and Yan bought a house and planned on getting married next year.

However, all their dreams were shattered when a car crashed into Yan's motorcycle on Sept 3.

Both came from Sichuan province and graduated from the same college.

But their love did not blossom until they came to Zhongshan.

"I met her for the first time in Zhongshan through a friend six years ago, but we only started dating three years ago. She was a very kind person and very filial to my parents," Samuel said.

He said in the past year he had been through some difficult times, but Yan was always there to encourage and support him.

Samuel said although it was not a legal marriage, he would keep all his promises he made to Yan before her death. He would take care of her parents as a dutiful son-in-law.

China Daily