90 couples renew wedding vows at Bicentennial celebratory event, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

90 couples renew wedding vows at Bicentennial celebratory event

This article is more than 12 months old

Retired deliveryman Goh Kong Beng, 72, first met the woman he would spend his life with at an open-air cinema in Kim Chuan Road in the 1960s.

"All we did back then was exchange glances," he said in Mandarin, with a laugh, recounting how they watched a Hokkien movie on the Chinese legend Hua Mulan.

They bumped into each other a few more times at the movies before Mr Goh plucked up the courage to ask Mrs Goh out on a date.

The couple tied the knot when they were both 21 and have been married for 51 years.

They were among 18 couples whose love stories were shared at the Singapore Bicentennial celebratory event held at Teck Ghee Community Club yesterday. The event, organised by Ang Mo Kio GRC and Sengkang West SMC, highlighted how weddings across the different ethnic groups in Singapore have evolved over the years.

More than a dozen booths and exhibits showcased traditional wedding costumes, snacks and customs - some of which are still fixtures of modern weddings.

These included the tea ceremony set for Chinese weddings as well as dates and rock sugar cubes that are handed out at Indian weddings.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who attended the event, said the traditions and customs that the country's forefathers brought with them have enriched Singapore's culture as a whole.

"Of those customs, the wedding ceremony is one of the most important for each one of us in our lives," he said.

"Each ethnic group has its own set of wedding customs. The wedding ceremony represents the traditions of our forefathers that are worth remembering and passing on to the future generations."

He cited examples across different dialect groups within the Chinese community - such as having a roasted pig for Cantonese weddings and receiving the bride before dawn for Teochew weddings - to illustrate the "colourful traditions" that have "deepened Singaporeans' sense of identity and culture".

Mr Lee also congratulated the 90 couples who renewed their wedding vows at the event.