The H’mong ethnic romance exchange will be revived in the mountainous city of Sapa. The event, which is expected to attract hundreds of local artists and craftsmen, will take place starting at 7 pm. at 10 pm. on November 28 and December 5 at 2 Fansipan Street in the resort town of Lao Cai province, northern Vietnam. Its aim is to showcase and promote indigenous cultural values, as well as help younger generations and local tourists to experience the city’s traditional “love market”.
Residents of the city are expected to bring baskets of corn and rice, as well as dogs and chicken to the fair. Young men and women will wear colorful and lively traditional clothing for the event, exchanging messages of love and affection through dances, pan pipes, songs and traditional games.
The culturally distinctive custom of H’mong ‘hai pu’ (bride cross-dressing), similar to that of a man proposing to a woman, will also be present at the event. More specifically, young couples generally take time to get to know each other. When the two partners feel ready for love, they set a date when the young woman must be pulled towards the man. The young man can choose any place where he wants to drag his future wife, assisted by friends or brothers. When the time comes, he takes her hand and tells her he wants to take her home. The chosen woman, although she has already promised it, offers resistance. The man and his friends take him “by force”, but without hurting him.
At home, the woman remains in a separate room, guarded by one of the man’s cousins who tries to persuade her to marry. After three days, if he said “yes,” the man’s family would bring wine to the woman’s house to seal the union. However, if the woman says “no”, she will go home safely. Traditionally, the man then gives a sum of money to his house as payment of a fine, as well as the food that he shares with his parents. They then share a glass of wine, symbolizing their future alliance.
Visitors to the event can enjoy round sticky rice cakes, local donuts, seven-color sticky rice, and thang co, which is traditionally made with meat and offal from horses or buffalo.
Source: Vnexpress International