5-speed listening (Mass Wedding - Level 6)

Mass wedding goes ahead in Korea despite coronavirus



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Six thousand couples decided not to let the coronavirus deter them from celebrating their happy day. The multiple brides and grooms attended a mass wedding ceremony in South Korea's Unification Church on Friday, in spite of the health scare from the coronavirus in neighbouring China. The couples jetted in from sixty countries around the world to attend their wedding. The newlyweds were joined by 24,000 guests; some renewing their marriage vows and others watching friends and family tie the knot. The church seemed well prepared for such a large-scale event as staff handed out hand sanitizer and surgical masks to all attendees. They also checked the temperature of the couples.

The Unification Church is famous for holding the mass weddings. It was founded in 1954 by self-declared messiah Sun Myung Moon. The communal weddings started in 1961 and have seen hundreds of thousands of couples walk down the aisle. In many cases, the bride and groom had been matched and met for the first time at the ceremony. One newlywed spoke about marrying amid the global spread of the coronavirus. He told the Reuters news agency: "I'm very happy to attend this deeply blessed joint wedding. Since coronavirus is going around these days, I wore a mask to be on the safe side." A 23-year-old bride from Benin said: "I didn't put on a mask because I wanted to be beautiful for my husband."

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