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Wedding vows in local dialect
By Li Qian

Couples are now able to exchange their vows in Shanghai dialect for the first time after  the service was introduced at the marriage registration office in the city’s Yangpu District.

To mark the launch of the service yesterday, the hall of the Yangpu Marriage Registration Center was decorated to resemble a typical Shikumen neighborhood of the 1930s.

Shikumen building, a traditional Shanghai architectural style that combines Western and Chinese elements, dates from the 1860s and has been honored as part of the country’s intangible cultural heritage.

The use of Shanghai dialect has been declining in recent years and the city has been keen to give it a new lease of life in several ways, including Shanghai dialect lessons at primary schools and introducing announcements in Shanghai dialect on the city’s buses and Metro trains.

“Promoting Shanghai dialect vows not only protects our local culture but also enriches the official wedding ceremonies at our office,” Yu Weiting, the registration center’s director, said.

It also satisfies the needs of today’s young people hoping for an individual and private service, and make them realize their responsibilities after marriage, Yu added.

However, only one of the 80 couples who registered their marriage in Yangpu yesterday chose Shanghai dialect.

Both of them were Shanghai natives and they came to the office at around 9:30am.

Wang Lijing, director of Yangpu Civil Affairs Director, held their ritual, Yu said.

In an interview with eastday.com, the groom, surnamed Wang, said he felt a sense of closeness by vowing in Shanghai dialect.

Yu said the center would be stepping up efforts to ensure that more people knew about the new service it offers.

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