From the Star of Malaysia

(Editor’s Note: In late July The Star of Malaysia printed the following story by Thomas Lee. It provides a window on the marriage of two IUP alumni from a Far Eastern perspective. The groom received a master’s degree in 2004.)

Malaysian lass swept off by American guy

Kevin and Charlene in their wedding photo

It was simply a beautiful sight to behold—the Chinese bride and her American bridegroom in traditional Chinese costumes. Charlene Wong Shieh-lin, 29, the eldest daughter of Henry and Evelyn Wong of Petaling Jaya, was swept off her feet by Kevin Paul Podany, 33, when they first met five years ago when both were attending the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

They were two very different people, from different cultures and backgrounds. They first met at a Mexican bar and got to know each other better over coffee and snacks. Soon those two people started seeing each other almost every day. They talked about anything under the sun and enjoyed each other’s company.

Finally, the two became one when they tied the knot on Feb. 2 this year at the St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh in the United States. Charlene’s doting parents and her 15-year-old sister, Ashley Shieh-Lii Wong, flew all the way to Pittsburgh to share in her big day. The wedding reception in the U.S. was held on board the SS Gateway Clipper, a riverboat steamship cruiser.

They then flew back to Malaysia when the traditional Chinese tea ceremony was held at Charlene’s family home at Damansara Jaya in Petaling Jaya. On Saturday (July 19), Charlene’s parents held a wedding thanksgiving dinner at the Palace of the Golden Horses in Kuala Lumpur.

Being a prominent leader in his local church and the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship, father Henry’s guest list had no less than 500 close friends and associates. Many of Henry’s old schoolmates at the Methodist Boys School in Penang, including former Thomas Cup champion Tan Aik Mong, were present with their wives.

Kevin’s widowed mother Nancy Podany was there, so were many friends and relatives who came from as far as the U.S., New Zealand, Japan, China, Singapore, Brunei, and various parts of Malaysia. Kevin is a port superintendent with the APL shipping line at the Port of Newark in New Jersey. The beautiful couple went to the idyllic island of Bali for their honeymoon. They will settle down in Newark.

Reprinted with permission of The Star.