December 6, 2004

‘door ramming’ event

In a typical Chinese style wedding, there would always be a ‘door ramming’ event. No, this is not about wrecking the soon-to-be mother in law’s room door, not yet. This is about a tradition which the Chinese have been practiced for generations.

On the wedding day, the bride is usually be separated from the groom. Each of them will hold a gathering at their own residence, and when the time’s right, the groom will pompously lead a convoy of cronies (or relatives) to the bride’s residence to pick up his soon-to-be wife. The arrival of the groom is usually marked by a rowdy and boisterous honking of vehicles. Why exactly they need to do that, is still a mystery. I was told that it is a belief that the noise is to ward off evil spirits (evil mother in laws?), to ensure that the couple would lead a peaceful life ever after.
but then, we all know it never really worked… the population of evil mother in laws surpass the number of household lizards in the entire Asian region. So this is no more than just a tradition to follow blindly…

Upon arrival at the bride’s place, the groom then proceeds into the house to pick her up. But then, as with all traditions, it isn’t going to be that simple – for his bride will be held inside a locked room for ransom by her female version of cronies. In condition for her release, the groom is usually asked to comply with a series of embarrassing and humiliating requests (besides getting him to pay a hefty amount of *ang-pow or bribe money). The event of negotiating for that ransom, is thus called, the ‘door ramming’ event. It’s wicked… but fun.
*ang-pow – a small red colored envelope that usually contains gift-money as a sign of good fortune and luck in the Chinese tradition.

Yesterday, I was part of Ricky’s army of darkness that negotiated for the bride’s ransom in his ‘door ramming’ event. The bride was locked inside a room with a solid wooden door and was impossible to be mowed down by just kicks. So, it all boiled down to negotiation.

Ricky started off by yelling “Open the door woii!”. His calling was greeted by a series of giggles and some weak faint shrilling voices asking for “~ang pow … ang pow”. The group of blokes responded by playing possum – “What did they just say? Can’t hear you girls!… open the door, and so that we can hear you clearly”. (in fact, Ricky had already prepared an ang pow with a generous amount of money inside it, but he was not ready to give it to them just yet)

Voices in unison “ANG POW ! RM 9,999 !” came from inside the room.

The male convoy complained about the ridiculous amount of money… but the girls insisted. And after some exchange of teases and dawdling, Ricky and his best man slipped an empty ang pow under the fissure of the door – hoping to fool those female kidnappers inside the room (because the bride’s friends weren’t really the smart type). Ricky proceeded to knock on that locked door vigorously “Woii ! I’ve given the ang pow… now open the door woii !!”

The girls responded by rejecting the empty ang pow out from below the door, accompanied with a crudely written note “ANG POW with RM 9,999″. Then, someone suggested an ang pow with a credit card inside. Ricky slipped in an ang pow that contained a credit card into the locked room. “Woi! That’s a credit card worth RM 20,000 limit. Go swipe all you want, now open the door!”. Again, the ang pow was rejected out… with the credit card still inside. (told ya, they weren’t smart – for they could have used his card for gasoline or shits like that).

Ricky then made a short confirmation with his bestman “I think we should give them the real stuff…” and proceeded to hand them the authentic loaded ang pow to the sorority of money faced, materialistic but not very smart female kidnappers. Silence… then followed by a wave of laughter from inside the room. A clear voice then could be heard from inside –

[in Chinese] “Alright, we want you to sing a song that has the word ‘love’ in its lyrics for not less than 5 times”

You know what? The guys actually managed to come up with one of Aaron Kwok’s corniest song and sang it out loud. TWICE. It was tacky, humiliating and embarrassing at the same time, but still, the guys did it.

Then, from inside, the clear voice (which seemed to be the commander of the gang) decreed again – “Ricky, we want you to perform a blow job for the bestman”…

Just kidding. If Ricky were to do that, he’d have to marry that guy instead. Alright, the commander actually said “Ricky, we want you to perform 20 push ups…” (also known as ‘bench press’). The group contemplated for a while and agreed.

Instead of actually complying their demands, the guys conspired a faux countdown to fool the girls that he was actually performing the push ups (but he wasn’t). There was no way for them to be able to tell if Ricky really was doing it because the door was closed. And if they were to unlock/open the door – that would would give us guys the chance to barge in and they’ll lose the tug-of-war. (I suspected that they were all drunk inside that day… because that was too freaking dumb and sohai).

But then after a while, they realized about the blunder and decided to send out 2 blimps from within to do the talking. The guys tried to force the way in when they unlocked the door to smuggle out the 2 she-beefcakes but, the effort was futile. We underestimated their strength because seriously, those weren’t ordinary girls inside there. They were the types that could easily take down a whole squad of nightclub bouncers (with that sheer size)… no shit.

The 2 blimps then repeated their request – Ricky to push up for 20 times. Both sides were bargaining – and Ricky got it at 10 for himself and another 10 for the best man. So they were at it – the groom and the best man did push ups 10 each. (that wasn’t really a hard thing to do… was it? I’d do a 20 for my wife… but not more than that…).

Satisfied, the blimps then voiced their next demand – “Get 8 bills with a serial number that ends with the number 8. Any bills.” And the team of professional problem solving blokes began to dig their wallet for bills that has such an asinine detail. I mean, come on, the smallest bill is like… 1 buck. And no matter how many 8’s are there in the serial number, it’s still worth 1 frigging buck. If this was all about the belief of the number ‘8’ bringing wealth and fortune, then why not just ask for protection charms or amulets?

But we complied their absurd request anyway.

Then came the final stunt. Not exactly a stunt but more like a really weird request. They came up with a few limes with its top sliced off. “We want you to suck these limes and spit it out inside this empty cup”. Then someone from our team asked

“What do you want to do with the juice?”
“Nothing. We just want you guys to suck the lime juice and spit it out here. That’s all”
“No way… there has got to be a catch.. ”
“Alright, we want Ricky to know, that meeting his wife is akin to sucking the lime, very sour. But later, we are going to let him have a cup of honey – which means, it’ll be sweet like honey ever after”

WTF? We protested. This is a big lie! Ricky denied that meeting his wife was sour. It was suppose to be sweet, we chided the blimps. And later when they got married, when that bugger keep gaining weight, sits around doing nothing, spills beer on the sofa, and kicks the family cat – it’s gonna get really sour when his wife crashes some furnitures on his head. So, it should be, honey first… sour lime later. And those girls couldn’t seem to be able to figure this out. Well, all for the good wishes.

We sucked those limes nevertheless, and the groom had a few of us doing it together (which was quite bizarre as he was suppose to be the one figuring the sweet/sour lesson out, not us. He’s the one getting married…) and collected a full cup of lime juice mixed with drools. Just as we finished sipping the glass of honey, the cameraman (who was filming the entire event) suddenly whooped at the blimps “Now, drink that cup of lime juice!” and he got cheers from the crowd.

The reaction? “Girls, [knock knock] you may open the door now… ” – and Ricky was then reunited with his bride for the wedding that day.

michaelooi  | experiences  | 

21 Comments to “‘door ramming’ event”

  1. ashotiwoth says:

    i’ll truly dread the day this event will come to me….

  2. kyeoh says:

    u really do hate mother in laws do u?
    but cool!

  3. shanks says:

    wah piang, “sipe tham sim”! takkan u all really gave 10 grand-meh? how much did u all put inside the ang pow? guy marry damn “boh tat” wan.

  4. michaelooi says:

    ashotiwoth – dun be afraid… just follow the light. heheh.

    kyeoh – no i don’t hate them. In fact, i have no mother in law (she was long gone before we tie the knot). But from what i heard, they’re usually evil.

    shanks – i have no frigging idea dude .. on how much ricky actually put inside that ang pow.

  5. Elphinstone says:

    Chinese have alot of weird traditions one.. like the one where the bride have to marry a chicken if the groom don’t turn up..


  6. michaelooi says:

    marry a chicken if the groom don’t turn up ?? wow ! I wonder how are they gonna have sex !

  7. Beatrice says:

    “Chinese have alot of weird traditions one.. like the one where the bride have to marry a chicken if the groom don’t turn up..”

    no la.. i think that’s when the bride is marrying a deceased…

  8. Din says:

    This tradition can be a movie with lots of special effects.

  9. michaelooi says:

    beatrice – marrying a deceased ?? now this IS WEIRD. Who would want to marry a dead man/woman … with a chicken as a rep ?

    din – yeah, we can add SWAT team … and those kidnappers killing hostages… wait, there’s only 1 hostage inside – the bride…

    the bride… beatrice … damn, what next ? Bill ?

  10. oliviasy says:

    eat kuih-muih, push-ups, sing soppy songs, play guitar, eat spicy curry… just some of the usual stuff during the door-ramming i’ve seen :P tradition lor, watudoo. sometimes it’s pretty fun, but sometimes if the gals r playing too many lame & pathetic jokes, it gets really sien.

  11. YP says:

    LOL.. how ’bout telling us what happened at your own wedding?

  12. michaelooi says:

    olivia – girls are not very good at making evil plots. it’s a fact.

    YP – my wedding ? i didn’t organize any reception. just registration at an office.

    but then, something actually happened during that day, which I’ll save for another day to blog about.

  13. vincent says:

    damn! I ve never heard of such a thing before..damn troublesome all these traditions..

    i ve heard about the marrying deceased before…sometimes some ghosts get pissed offed if they died before getting married or sometimes ghosts fall in love with living beings…and sometimes they disturb living beings cause of that. So to appease their spirits need to find somebody to get married to them.

  14. oliviasy says:

    i think if it’s my wedding, the door ramming part would be really simple. my bf is from kedah, and no way any of my relatives wl ever think of going so damn far. plus i dowan them around anyway :P i told my bf, no need to ram door, just pay off my 2 sisters enuf oredi. akakakakaka!!!!

  15. Beatrice says:

    err.. yeap, marrying a deceased. weird but true. but, at least there’s no such cases these days anymore la (at least not that i know of). but those case is not uncommon during the earlier days. er.. as in, few decades ago-la. some girls (the brides) are actually forced to marry the dead. hence, the chicken to represent the groom.

    i think the the sole reason for doing that.. so that the deceased has a “family” and won’t be lonely. er.. yeah.

  16. doc says:

    This door ramming thing is blardy lame. Better off sit down, flip open portable TV, order pizza and watch football. See how long they can tahan inside. Kihkihkih.

  17. Beatrice says:


    Spiritual marriage
    Traditonal Chinese custom believes that those in the afterlife continue with a life in the physical world. People who have passed away can thus be married to people who are living- this is known as ‘spiritual marriage’. This may occur in extremis if, for example, a family has only one male heir who dies young and unmarried thus leaving the family without the possibility of ancestor worship. To ensure that this continues, the family of a dead man will search for a bride- who may be the late man’s girlfriend- and her family is offered a sum of money. If a marriage results, the ceremony is similar to the normal marriage ceremony, the bride comes to live with the dead man’s family and may then adopt a child to thus continue the lineage.
    Marriage between two dead people is also possible- if, by the help of a medium, it is ascertained that the dead man has not married in the afterlife- and a close nephew will be adopted as the dead man’s son. Spiritual marriage is very uncommon.

    … there you go..

  18. michaelooi says:

    vincent/beatrice – why chicken ? why not cats ? dogs ? or even represent it with a real person ? like a sizzling hot bimbo that you can really experience sex with ? Taboos hardly make any senses nowadays…

    oliviasy – the door ramming event can be fun sometimes. It depends on what kind of trick the girls manage to come up with.

    doc – i actually suggested that to the groom. Get a PS2, and some beers. And we’ll hang out until those bunch of kidnappers’ patience running thin – and they’ll open the frigging door.

  19. ACMI says:

    Since you seem to dislike mother-in-laws so much, would that mean that Emily also share your similar feelings of resentment?

  20. michaelooi says:

    ACMI – surprisingly, no. Emily got along with my mom just fine. So fine, that they even share the same hairdryer and facial care products (or whatever those stuffs are called).

  21. moo_t says:

    Getting a PS/2 and beer is not a test of patient, but test of endurance. Sooner or later, they need to open the door to take food/drinks and taking a leak.

    Anyway, the door ramming stuff are Hongkee culture. It is not even a chinese tradition.

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