This essay identifies and discusses the key cultural issues involved in the movie The Wedding Banquet, and examines their impact on the international management process. The key cultural issues in the movie can be better understood when interpreted from the perspectives of Confucian principles, the concept of face and third culture construction.
This essay discusses the cultural issues involved in the movie The Wedding Banquet. The five main characters in the movie include Wai Tung, a Chinese American, Simon, an American, Wei Wei, Wai Tung’s bridegroom, and Wai Tung’s parents, Mr and Mrs Gao. The cultures concerned are related to Chinese and American. The objective of this essay is to identify and discuss the key cultural issues in the movie, and examine their impact on the international management process. The key cultural issues in the movie can be better understood when interpreted from the perspectives of Confucian principles, the concept of face and third culture construction.
Chinese culture is closely related to Confucianism. Confucian teachings advocate love within the family, rituals, etiquette, hard work and moderation. In the movie, love within the family can well be illustrated by Mr and Mrs Gao’s exceeding care of their son Wai Tung, the protagonist, in terms of his marriage. They are very keen to have a grandson as soon as possible, so much so that they placed Wai Tung’s name in the Singles Club, hoping that they can find an ideal girlfriend for him. This kind of care is very common among Chinese families, which represents parents’ love for their children. In American culture, however, it is hard to imagine that parents’ love of their children is expressed this way. American parents normally think that adult children have their own independent choice and they normally respect their own choices, just as Simon’s parents. As American culture is characterized by individualism, adults tend to think independently. They listen to their parents but they make decisions on their own.
Chinese culture is also full of rituals and formalities under the influence of Confucianism. One case in point is the wedding ceremony in this movie which goes through many traditional procedures, for instance, a big wedding banquet where the bride and bride groom are required to perform a number of games to amuse people, new wedding room invasion, which means people present in the wedding ceremony come into the room at night where the bride and bridegroom live and play unimaginable tricks on the bride and bridegroom. In this movie, Wai Tung and his wife Wei Wei were commanded to creep into their quilt and then take off all their clothes inside before the people at the spot.