Four Chinese newlywed couples pose in front of the SGR Nairobi Terminus in Kenya, on May 20. (Xinhua/Pan Siwei)
by Ben Ochieng
NAIROBI, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Work at the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Nairobi Terminus on Saturday momentarily came to a halt when Kenyan workers joined their Chinese peers to witness a group wedding of four Chinese couples.
The ceremony, conducted according to Chinese traditions, marveled many Kenyans who work for the China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC), the contractor of the SGR.
The date of the wedding, May 20, was both symbolically chosen for its similar pronunciation to "I love you" in Chinese, and to mark the coming commissioning of the railway.
"Our Chinese counterparts will never cease to amaze. The wedding ceremony was astonishingly brief but colorful," Chris Musyoki remarks on the one-and-half-hour ceremony.
The wedding started with the grooms kneeling down and presenting flowers to their brides. The couples were then declared as man and wife, after which they uncorked champagne and gave short speeches as in a typical modern Chinese wedding.
They later treated their guest to a luncheon at SGR Camp 8, where people ate and drunk to their fill.
"I met my future wife three years ago during a train ride in Hunan Province back home in China after which we exchanged numbers. That brief meeting and my bravery has now resulted into us tying the nuptials today," Li Bosheng, 26, a public relations officer with CRBC, told Xinhua.
"My wife Jiao Yang is a graduate student in China and we will travel back home after the commissioning of the railway," he noted.
The railway linking the port city Mombasa and Kenya's capital Nairobi is expected to be commissioned by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta soon.
Wang Xiaoyu, who works as a technical supervisor at the Nairobi Terminus and his newly-wedded wife Zhang Weiping, who also works for CRBC as an accountant, associated their love and marriage to the new railway.
"We met here in Kenya and got married in this beautiful country. Kenya will always remain etched in our minds wherever we shall be. It is a country we cherish and whose people are very hospitable," they said.