Over-the-top marriages, burials become targets to relieve financial burdens.
The central authorities have started a two-year campaign to regulate and correct outdated customs in rural areas, such as the payment of exorbitant bride prices and luxurious burials, to relieve rural financial burdens and promote Chinese traditions of diligence and filial respect for the elderly.
The campaign started in August and is expected to end by December 2023, according to a notice released by eight central departments, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of ChinaParty of China and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
Local authorities should respect people's traditional customs when implementing the campaign and take appropriate measures that can be more easily received and accepted by people in rural areas, according to the notice.
In the campaign, people in rural areas are encouraged to keep weddings frugal and for families not to ask for or pay exorbitant bride prices. Expensive gifts in lieu of cash are dissuaded against and banquets or parties with the purpose of collecting money must be avoided to relieve financial burdens on rural people.
Some feudal and superstitious funeral events, such as performing ghost marriages and luxurious burials, must be stopped and eliminated, according to the notice.
It states the prohibition of long-lasting and over-the-top banquets for marriages or funerals, which may result in waste. People who file complaints are required to file complaints with local authorities.
Central departments such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Civil Affairs are required to organise county-level inspection teams to visit villages to learn about the real situations of these customs. The teams will analyze the reasons for the customs and find practical solutions by the end of September.
The notice said that Party members in rural areas should take the lead to put an end to bad habits and customs.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Rural Revitalization Administration should guide villages in making their customs and traditions more reasonable by the end of December. The regulations should include guidance on organizing appropriate marriage parties and funerals.
Well-behaved families who show their positive value to society will be praised or rewarded, according to the notice.
Agricultural departments at all levels are required to report to the central authorities in late December this year and December 2023 in order to summarize their work in regulating rural bad habits and customs.