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Yunnan authorities issued a notice to regulate wedding and funeral banquet costs to 200 yuan ($31.7) per table and the amount of gift money to 100 yuan per person in rural areas to eradicate extravagancy, China News Agency reported.
The notice also requires banquet holders to restrict the number of guests to 200 or 10 tables (usually 10 guests per table). The wedding meals should have no more than 12 courses per table, with the number of meat courses accounting for less than half.
The move aims to implement eight-point regulation on frugality for Party members, and increase people"s sense of gain and happiness by relieving them from economic burdens.
Only wedding ceremonies for the holders themselves or their children and funeral ceremonies for the holder"s spouse or lineal relatives are allowed to invite guests and receive gift money, according to the notice released by the Yunnan Provincial discipline inspection commission and supervisory commission.
Banquets are not allowed on occasions such as birthdays, graduations, army enrollments, employment, retirement, building houses and relocation.
Expensive ceremonies for occasions such as weddings and funerals are still common in some parts of China. Hosts under social pressure see these as a way of gaining face, but use up the family"s savings and accumulate debt that takes years to pay back.
Such banquets are not free to guests, as attendees are expected to give gift money. It is not unusual for poorer guests to borrow money so that they can give money and not lose face.
The notice warns that if Party officials or government officials hold or attend extravagant banquets, they will violate Party discipline and regulations and be punished.
Village officials are responsible for educating and persuading villagers.
If any villager holds an extravagant banquet, it is a dereliction of duty and the official responsible will be held accountable and even be punished. Extravagant banquet holders will also be punished according to related regulations.
The notice with specific limits on expenditures caused much discussion both online and offline.
One of the issues people complain about most is extravagant banquets, said Yang Mingxian, Party secretary of Wenlu village, Wenlong township, Jingdong Yi Ethnic autonomous county, Pu"er, Yunnan province. "Since the notice came out, it is well-founded to deal with the problem now."
A Sina Weibo blogger called "Shenyebuliaotian" applauds such limits, saying that it is a huge burden to give and pay back gift money, and the evil tendency of comparing expensive banquets should be stopped.
But some netizens doubt whether the notice can be put into practice.
An internet user, named "Student Zhangxiaobo", thinks the money is too small to prepare a banquet, asking, "How many courses could be made with only 200 yuan?"
Another netizen, using the name of "Augur Jina", finds it hard to define meat courses, saying, "Is celery with meat a meat course or a vegetable course?"
With no further explanation, the notice points out village Party branches and village committees can make detailed rules and procedures under the guidelines of the notice.glow wristbands pac wristbands slap wristbands uv bracelet trio spinners