The joint wedding ceremony   Photo by Deng Guosong

A joint wedding ceremony was held for 19 pairs of Chinese and Sri Lankan employees from the China Construction Third Engineering Bureau in Sri Lanka on August 16, the day before Qixi Festival, the Chinese Valentine's Day. These newlyweds came from more than 10 provinces and municipalities of China including Hubei, Henan and Jiangsu, as well as the southern provinces and Colombo region of Sri Lanka. Because of the "Belt and Road Initiative," they came together, got to know each other and fell in love.

To the music of the wedding march, 12 Chinese and seven Sri Lankan pairs of newlyweds tied the knot. Dressed in traditional Chinese red attire, they exchanged vows with more than 300 people as witnesses.

Chen Jianyong, working for the Sri Lankan Blue Star Apartment Project, works in Colombo; his wife, Pan Xiaoxu, works near Hambantota, a 300- kilometer distance that takes six to seven hours to drive. Because of their busy schedule, they didn't even have time to take wedding photos beforehand.

"This joint wedding has made my wife and me feel full of excitement. It will be a precious memory in our lives. We will continue to work for our hometown and contribute to the friendship between China and Sri Lanka," said Srinas, a Sri Lankan employee doing business with the third tender section of the extension of the southern Sri Lankan Expressway and whose wife is also working on the project.

Before the wedding ceremony, the China Construction Third Engineering Bureau collected videos of blessings from project staff all over the world to send their best wishes to the 19 couples. (By Han Wei)