05/13/2008 - 05/13/2008
Only a few days after the big wedding (the first day we were in Wuhan), there was another big family gathering. Lin's father, Dai Xianqiang, hosted a banquet for Lin's mother's mother, who was turning 80 years old.
This banquet was held at a new branch of a well-known premier restaurant in downtown Wuhan. In fact, it was at the original restaurant location that we had a family dinner of about 30 people when I first came to Wuhan 4 years ago, to celebrate. The food is quite good, better than you'd expect at a place that can serve 450 people at once!
There were some interesting similarities and differences between this banquet and the wedding we'd been to a few days earlier.
There were about 32 round tables of approximately 10 each. The room held about 10-12 more tables that went unused.
There was an emcee, guest speakers, and some ceremony, and volume was very high, although a hair short of ear-splitting.
A couple family members got up and gave speeches. One guy seemed to be pretty good - sounded like he was telling stories, he moved into the audience some rather than staying on the stage, and the audience laughed some.
The most meaningful part of the ceremony was a parade of grand-kids (many with family) going across the stage, presenting the grandmother with flower bouquets.
At the end of the ceremony, hot food began arriving on the tables and we began to eat. On the stage, three girls in leotards started performing acrobatic stunts, mostly balancing stuff -- kind of weird entertainment for a meal.
At the end of the meal, tables were given plastic bags and styrofoam containers to take home food. I was so pleased to see that! We were not embarrassed to take home a couple bags of uneaten stuff and unopened sodas that had been provided.