Couples 'freeze' for World Marriage Day event

Married couples, some with their children, participating in a "freeze flash mob" - posing still for five minutes - to celebrate World Marriage Day outside ION Orchard yesterday. A total of 280 people took part in the event. To mark their wedded bliss
Married couples, some with their children, participating in a "freeze flash mob" - posing still for five minutes - to celebrate World Marriage Day outside ION Orchard yesterday. A total of 280 people took part in the event. To mark their wedded bliss, they held signs stating how long they had been married.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

For five minutes amid the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road yesterday, Mr William Wee, 80, held his wife Nancy, 79, and the couple "froze" in that pose for five minutes.

With one arm over her shoulders, Mr Wee looked at his wife lovingly. "The most important thing for me in a marriage is to love and bring joy to one another," said the retired navy officer.

The couple, who have been married for 58 years, were among 280 people who "froze" in different poses at 5pm outside ION Orchard shopping mall to celebrate World Marriage Day, which is observed on the second Sunday of February every year, just before Valentine's Day this year.

The flash-mob event was organised by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter (Singapore).

"We wanted to encourage strong marriages with this initiative," said Ms Christina Bong, coordinator of the non-profit body.

"We realise that marriage is not an easy journey, with increasing divorce rates and challenges that couples today face."

She added: "Strong marriages are the foundation of strong families."

Marriage Encounter was formed by a Catholic priest, who created a series of conferences for married couples in Spain in 1952.

Since 2011, the Singapore chapter of the pro-family initiative has been celebrating World Marriage Day with a flash-mob event. It also runs programmes for married couples.

Many other countries, including Australia, Belgium, Ecuador, Guatemala, Italy and Spain, have also held similar flash-mob events to celebrate World Marriage Day.

Passers-by on Singapore's main shopping belt, who were puzzled by the scene, only had to notice the placards that read: "Please do not be alarmed. Just happily married couples having fun."

All of the couples involved in the event held signs showing the number of years they had been happily married. One participant, Mrs Priska Marina, 27, who got hitched four months ago, said marriage had opened her eyes to a world of understanding.

"So far, our wedded life has been wonderful. We learnt to be transparent with each other and do things together," said the branding executive.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2019, with the headline 'Couples 'freeze' for World Marriage Day event'. Print Edition | Subscribe