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Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and SingaporeGender, Religion, Medicine and Money$
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Marjorie Topley and Jean DeBernardi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028146

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028146.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2019. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 14 October 2019

Ghost Marriages among the Singapore Chinese

Ghost Marriages among the Singapore Chinese

(1955)*

Chapter:
(p.97) Chapter 4 Ghost Marriages among the Singapore Chinese
Source:
Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and Singapore
Author(s):

Marjorie Topley

, Jean DeBernardi
Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888028146.003.0005

There is a form of ghost marriage which exists among the Singapore Chinese and is known as Yin Ch'u (Ts'u)[Yinqu]. This takes place at a ceremony or group of ceremonies at which two deceased peersons, or more rarely, one living and one deceased, are married. Such forms of marriage appear to be more common among the Cantonese than other dialect groups, although there are marriages being arranged for members of Straits-born Hokkien families. However, the Cantonese are certainly quite open about the fact that they perform them, whereas the Hokkiens have been most reluctant to admit it. Ghost marriages appear to take place for several reasons: to acquire a grandson after the death of the son of the family; to acquire a living daughter-in-law after the death of an unmarried son, when a younger son wishes to marry and his elder brother has died before taking a wife.

Keywords:   ghost marriage, Singapore Chinese, Yin Ch'u, ceremony, deceased persons, Hokkiens

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