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Unique wedding custom (3) Blang people: Tea-serving reveals whom she loves

Updated:2018-05-16 18:28:39   english.yunnan.cn

Yunnan’s diverse living environment and cultural deposits have contributed to the evolution of a great variety of marriage customs. From marriage customs of various ethnic groups, we can feel the charm of Yunnan culture. Today, we present you the Blang wedding custom.

In the marriage customs of Blang people, tea is very important, from marriage proposal, engagement to wedding ceremony. In addition, tea is also inseparable after marriage.

Young people from Blang ethnic group gather and look for their loved ones on jubilant occasions such as the Tea Ancestor Festival and the Water-Sprinkling Festival. When night falls, young wooers sit around the fireplace in the house of the beloved one to sing songs. In front of every one of them, there is a cup made of bamboo or wood in which there are tea leaves. The girl they pursuit will fill water into the cups, which is a subtle way for her to express her feeling. For the one she loves, she will fill less water into his cup, indicating that she wishes he can stay at her home for a longer time. And if she fills up the cup, she wants the person drinks more tea and then goes to toilet and will not come back.

Tea is the soul of Blang people. It must be served at various rites including the wedding ceremony. After young people tell their family members their affections, their parents will send relatives to have a talk about the marriage at the young lady’s home. The relatives will be trusted with a bag of tea and a bottle of wine which will be presented to the girl’s parents during the visit. If the family of the young lady shows no objection to the marriage, they will accept the gifts.

During the ceremony, the couple needs to serve tea for all seniors at the ceremony and receive their blessings. At night, they will prepare water for elders of both sides for washing their feet, and make the bed for them. In return, the elderly will give the couple some cash or gifts. Thus, the ceremony on the second day comes to an end. On the third day, an elder will introduce all relatives to the couple.

By Wang Dan (Daguan Weekly)   

Photos by Meng Zhigang and the Interviewees

Keywords:   wedding custom Blang people