Hazed Chinese bridegroom to sue friends after wedding day pranks go too far

A Chinese bridegroom spent his wedding day in hospital after being hit by a car while trying to escape hazing by his friends. Photo: Sohu

A bridegroom in southern China who was struck by a car as he fled wedding pranks plans to sue the friends who tormented him as part of the traditional and notorious male rite.

While most men put up with wedding day hazing, Ai Guangtao hired a lawyer after he was left with a fractured skull and a big financial headache, news website Btime.com said.

Ai, 24, ran across a motorway near his home in Zunyi, southern Guizhou province, on his big day in November to escape “tormenting” by his friends when the accident happened.

They had thrown eggs at him, poured beer and ink on him, tied him up with plastic tape to an electric power pole and thrashed him with bamboo, all in the name of creating a carnival atmosphere for his big day.

“I was so tortured on my wedding day that I got angry. They chased me, and I could barely see anything because there was ink all over,” Ai was quoted as saying.

“Somehow, I ran to the motorway – even after that one of them was still chasing me.”

A car hit him and careered into a barrier. He spent two weeks in hospital with multiple injuries, including a fractured skull.

Police decided Ai was responsible for the accident, and the car owner’s insurance company demanded nearly 30,000 yuan (US$4,400) in damages, the website reported.

“Now the insurance company is suing me, so I’ll have to sue my friends,” Ai said.

Before the legal dispute started, the groom’s entourage admitted blame and contributed more than 6,000 yuan towards Ai’s medical fees.

A tradition that emerged thousands of years ago in China to expel evil spirits, wedding hazing remains popular in many parts of the country despite widespread criticism in recent years when boisterous spirits got carried away.

Besides bridegrooms, parents, brides and bridesmaids can all fall victim to practical jokes, sexual innuendo and humiliation.

As most Chinese couples do, Ai and his wife officially married before their wedding day by registering their union with local authorities. There was no ceremony after he recovered from the hazing.

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