50 Chinese couples marry in Sri Lanka in mass ceremony

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka,  Clad in traditional Chinese, Western and Sri Lankan costumes, 50 Chinese couples were married at a mass ceremony in Sri Lanka's capital on Sunday to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries and to promote the island nation as a tourist destination. 
The ceremony in Colombo was attended by Sri Lankan politicians and diplomats from both nations. A number of Chinese nationals attended as well. 
Soon after the couples arrived in decorated cars, the ceremony began with traditional Sri Lankan drummers and dancers blowing conch shells as a symbol of auspiciousness and performing a welcome dance. 
The couples exchanged rings and had their fingers tied together and water poured over them in Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition as a sign of unity and purity, as schoolgirls chanted a blessing hymn. 
Sri Lankan government ministers handed the couples certificates of marriage and posed for photographs with them. 
China has invested heavily in infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka and a large number of Chinese tourists visit the South Asian island nation every year. 
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National News Agency, Nepal

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