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Unique wedding custom (6) Wa people: Finding bride in time matters

Updated:2018-05-21 14:44:35   english.yunnan.cn

In the past, Wa lads and lasses could participate in romantic activities at the age of 15 or 16. Among all the activities, “dating the girl” and “finding the bride at night” are the most special.

The activity “Dating the girl” usually occur at the girls’ home. When night falls, young people gather together in small groups and the men play the flute and “Sanxian”, a kind of three-stringed instrument while singing and dancing together with the girls. Then they exchange gifts such as tobacco and areca nuts, and comb hair for each other.

During the activities, if a male fancies a female, he will take away her ornament or scarf as a way of proposal. And the female, whether she is willing or unwilling, would scream and pretend to object. Two or three days later, if the girl doesn’t request the return of the things, it means that she is willing to marry the male. As their relationship establishes, the two will no longer participate in group activities.

The activity of “finding the bride” game kicks off at 11 pm on the wedding day and usually lasts one hour. The groom fails if he can’t find the bride even with the help of his relatives and friends before 12 am. Wa people value the auspicious time in the wedding ceremony. It is said that in the past, if the groom couldn’t find the bride before the deadline, the couple couldn’t get married even though they loved each other.

On the first night at the groom’s home, the bride doesn’t sleep on the bed, but on a mat with her bridesmaids beside the fire pit. Wa people believe that the bride is an important guest and deserves the honored place by the fire pit.

By Yangxiujie from Daguan Weekly  

Photo by Meng Zhigang

Keywords:   wedding custom Wa people