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Unique cultural features in “bride kidnapping practice” of Hmong people

TQO - The Hmong people have many unique customs, one of which is the “bride kidnapping” (or wife pulling) practice.

In fact, the “bride kidnapping” practice is done when a couple fall in love with each other without the consent of their parents and relatives. Therefore, the boy dates the girl and pulls her to his home with the support of friends.

The “bride kidnapping” practice of the Hmong people.

Meanwhile, at the boy’s house, his parents confine a hen in advance. When their daughter-in-law gets home and is about to step through the door, they use the hen’s shank to scratch behind the girl’s back and say “hon ve” (soul back).

The “bride kidnapping” practice takes place at night. On the morning of the third day after that, two representatives of the boy’s family go to the girl’s house to officially inform on the girl’s being taken to the boy’s house for marriage and ask for the wedding to be organised, as well as discussing and agreeing on the wedding time and offerings.

Nowadays, the “bride kidnapping” practice is still present and preserved in the life of the Hmong people as a cultural beauty aiming to honour and promote women’s role in both the family and in the community.

Hoang Anh

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