Ready, set, marry!
On China’s National Day, the Chinese government repealed a decade’s old marriage law. Prior to 5:00am today, you had to get your employer’s permission to marry. Not surprisingly the number of marriage registrations jumped dramatically after the law was repealed, with lines going around the blocks of government offices even with extended hours. Wedding halls are all sold out. There have been mass weddings on Chinese TV today.
This was a throwback to the Danwei system of state-run working units which, in the best interest of state, controlled whether you could marry, divorce, get a passport, or get an education for your child. Some of those in line today were filing for divorce now that couples no longer have deal with a mandated mediation by the local civil affairs department.
Over time these laws, like many official functions, occasionally amounted to extortion by employers before these were approved.
The government has not given any indication that it will repeal the household registration system that dictates where Chinese may live.