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Twins wed twins in mid-winter night's dream
( 2003-11-13 09:15) (China Daily HK Edition)

A pair of twin brothers marry a pair of twin sisters: a perfect Shakespearean comedy.

The 27-year-old Chen brothers and the 24-year-old Gao sisters stage a perfect Shakespearean comedy. [Photocom]
The only difference: It is not set in southern Italy hundreds of years ago, but is scheduled to take place in northeastern China's Changchun on November 23, 2003.

The 27-year-old Chen brothers have known the 24-year-old Gao sisters for 16 years. The elder brother, Chen Kun, will tie the knot with the elder sister, Gao Ning, while his younger brother, Chen Peng, will wed the younger sister, Gao Ding. Both couples will ring the wedding bells together.

Now comes the really strange parts:

All four of them are acrobats with Changchun Acrobatic Troupe. The brothers bear such an uncanny resemblance that even in-laws constantly get into comedy of errors. Fortunately the Chen parents are better at telling the daughters-in-law apart.

Both wedding chambers are located in the same building, on the same floor, side by side. They are decorated in exactly the same way, down to the bric-a-brac.

But hold back your imagination from running wild.

This is the first time all four of them have been in love. The brothers were only 12 when they were recruited by the Acrobatic Troupe and the sisters were nine. Even though there were banters of "twin sisters for twin brothers" from the very beginning, nobody took them seriously.

But it has not always been perfect harmony, the two couples have opposite personalities. The younger pair are both outgoing, and they started dating in 1998.

But the more guarded elder pair did not show perceptible traces of mutual affection until both their parents struck upon the idea and asked them about the possibility. They discovered that the elder brother and sister also had a thing for each other, but were just too shy to express it.

The two couples got their marriage licences two years ago. But in China it is not a neighbourhood-certified marriage until one throws a big wedding banquet.

What has prevented this is that the Chen brothers and the Gao sisters are always on tour overseas.

The twins not only have similar taste in picking spouses, they also share almost everything.

According to their parents, they have always been very close. So close that the newly-weds have decided to continue the tradition and pool their personal finances even after marriage. "We'll share everything we earn and even have every meal together," said one of them.

However, there is some points of distinction. The elder couple's apartment is on the east side of the floor and the younger ones' on the west side. It was not a random choice as it is dictated by local customs.

Such symmetry is beyond the reach of the plot of A Mid Summer Night's Dream.

The only question that remains: Will their kids look alike, too?

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