My Chinese colleagues are all talking about the TV drama Naked Marriage Age. But when I first heard of the term “naked marriage”, the image that popped up was a nudist ceremony – one where people said their vows without wearing any clothes.
What in China is considered a “naked marriage” is simply a normal marriage in Australia.
The expectation that a man should provide material goods before a woman will accept him is a completely foreign concept to me.
In Australia the likelihood that a couple will have a house or car as soon as they tie the knot is remote.
We have something called the Australian Property Bubble, which means that real estate prices are inflated.
I’d be happy to find a good place to rent in Sydney which wasn’t either hours away from civilization or which didn’t cost an arm and a leg.
For a married couple to own a property in a big city is a luxury, not a necessity.
I recently attended the wedding of my friends Christina and John, who are both 23.
Both were sharing houses with multiple roommates up until the day of their wedding.
Without full-time jobs, Christina and John had a modest wedding – she bought her wedding dress from a charity shop and altered the frock to fit her.
His parents helped to pay for the wedding. After the marriage Christina was unemployed and John was still working part time.
The newlyweds moved in with John’s family for four months, before finding a place to rent.
Buying a house isn’t a priority for them right now and won’t be for a long time. Christina and John’s story is not unique.
Australia is a very modern and multicultural country so it is impossible to generalize about all marriages.
But it’s safe to say that most people get married to whoever they want and however they want without worrying about being judged.
For instance, civil marriages, once considered unconventional, have overtaken religious ceremonies since 1999.
In Australia, more than half of all marriages are performed by civil *celebrants (Australian Bureau of Statistics).
For the Chinese, a “naked marriage” may be a new trend for many young couples, but for Australians, this has been the norm since what feels like the beginning of time.