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A Traditional Chinese Wedding Gift

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Subject :A Traditional Chinese Wedding Gift
Published By :
Location : Papan town, Perak
Estimated Year : 1960
Media Type : Artifact
Source : Ian Anderson, Ipoh
Remark :

The photograph above shows a traditional Chinese wedding gift (a framed calligraphy), given by a father to his recently married child or children as indicated by the letter "父" on the top right of the calligraphy, which literally translates to "father". In the old days it was a rather common wedding gift from the parents of the newlyweds with blessing for the couple's continued happiness and prosperity in their marriage, other than the red envelopes. 

It is assumed that the father hired a calligrapher and paid for the tools and materials requested by the calligrapher in order to prepare the calligraphy: an ink brush, the ink, a red Xuan paper (宣纸), and a wooden frame for the calligraphy.

Starting from the top, the two letters "父命" translate to "the father's will", then the letters "和" which means peace or harmony and "善", which means kindness. So one can tell that the gift represents a father's blessings and wishes to the couple so that they would live in peace and harmony and treat one another with kindness and patience. Traditionally the calligrapher would complete his calligraphy work by applying one or more personalized name seals that serve as an identification, akin to a signature. However, instead of using a name seal, this calligrapher simply wrote his name by hand, as can be seen from the four letters in the middle,"桂蘇佳字", which translate to "the good words by Gui Su". A calligraphy like this is usually hung above a door or on a wall.

Filename : 20180108-002