Punctual weddings urged


Tue, May 16, 2006 - Page 2

The first dish was served at exactly 7pm on Sunday at a Changan W Road restaurant hosting a 40-table banquet. The group was the first success in the city government's ambitious campaign to encourage people to show up at wedding parties on time.

The city plans to give the first 100 "on-time" hosts a valuable gift.

The city has also provided invitation cards carrying the message "We're echoing the city's punctuality campaign, and the banquet will start on time."

Only parties with more than 10 tables are eligible.

At the banquet on Sunday, the bridegroom's father, surnamed Lo, said that when he learned about the city government's campaign, he registered on behalf of his son and his wife in the hope that they could take the lead in raising awareness of the importance of being on time at such events.

"It saves everybody time," Lo said.

He added that he hopes punctuality will become a part of people's everyday life, and not just at weddings.

The city government actually allows some wiggle room.

Hosts receive a special gift from Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) if their parties begin within 10 minutes of the time indicated on the invitation cards.

The city's Civil Affairs Bureau officials will keep a keen eye on when registered parties begin to serve the first dish in what is traditionally a 10 or 12-dish banquet.

The officials said that many people feel annoyed by wedding banquets that are delayed by half an hour or even one hour, because they feel that their time has been wasted.