Hanoi tries to "civilize' weddings, funerals, etc...

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Hanoi has issued a set of regulations aiming to ensure that traditional events like weddings, funerals and festivals are held in a "civilized" manner.

The regulations recently signed by deputy chairwoman of the Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc ban the use of firecrackers, flying lanterns, burning of votive objects and the use of loudspeakers of more than 25 watts.

Festival-goers are also prohibited from offering or donating money at festivals, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

Government officials are not allowed to use their office funds as wedding gifts or funeral offerings. They are also prohibited from using their office vehicles to travel to these events, and they are not allowed to visit during working hours.

For weddings, the regulations "encourage" Hanoians to keep the festivities limited to just one day and ensure that music is not played before 6 a.m. or after 10 p.m.

For funerals, a dead person has to be put into a coffin within 12 hours after death and the family of the deceased is not allowed to serve food for visitors.

The regulations have attracted controversy as most people are against any ban on serving food at funerals, a traditional custom.

Most people agree with the ban on loud music too early or late.

Nguyen Thanh Cong of Long An Province said he totally supported the regulations, saying that many visitors and neighbors are annoyed by the loud music played during weddings and funerals.

However, most people think food should be served during funerals.

"Many friends and relatives from far away often come to the funerals and stay. What should they eat if food is not allowed to be served ?" said a local Hanoi resident named Thai Binh.

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