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All the tea of China

With much planning, we finally had a big wedding ceremony in China! Compared to the one we had in Cambridge, which was small and sweet with about 20 guests, this Chinese one felt more like a wedding for my parents to proudly show their 900 odd friends and colleagues that their beloved daughter was married, on the other hand it was also to show their appreciation for the best son-in-law and welcome Kris’ family with some Chinese traditions. Besides all the horse-riding, riceball-eating, arrow-shooting, fire-crossing, hair-cutting (?!)… there was an interesting part in the ceremony which was tea-related. In China, whenever a guest comes to visit, the first thing the host will serve is tea. It is a symbol of showing respect. In the wedding…

First Trip to China

Little did he know, Kris’ first trip to China in March 2013 was not only to be introduced to my parents, but also to a fascinating world of tea. My hometown is in Yunnan Province, one of the first tea-producing regions in the world, the cradle of ancient oriental tea trade, a place where the tea culture is deeply rooted. Sometimes referred to as the Southern Silk Road, the Ancient Tea Horse Road became a trade link a thousand years ago stretching from Yunnan to Tibet, Assam and Bengal, as well as to central China. Along the route, on the Himalayan highland or in the Sichuan basin, under the sun or beside the campfire, wherever the tea merchants passed by there would be fragrant scent…