Sunday, May 13, 2012

The marriage rite of the Lo Lo | Look At Vietnam

The marriage rite of the Lo Lo

May 13, 2012
Like other ethnic minorities, the Lo Lo people regard marriage as  an extremely important event in an  individual’s life.
According to Lo Lo custom, the groom’s family must select four match- makers – two men and two women -to  officiate at  the  marriage proposal ceremony. Two happily married couples are usually chosen to carry out this duty.
After selecting an auspicious day, the  four  matchmakers will take two bottles of wine and other offerings to the  bride’s house for the  proposal of marriage. If the bride’s family agrees to the  match,  they  will hold  a feast at which the wine is drunk and the date of the wedding is set.
Wedding gifts must include both sticky rice and ordinary rice, pork and wine for consumption at the wedding party. Other gifts can include a skirt, blouse, bracelet and necklace  for  the  bride  and  even  a quantity of white silver.
The  groom’s family normally brings their offerings to the bride’s house on the eve of the wedding day, making sure that the wedding day itself is an even-numbered  day to  symbolize the union of two people, in the hope that neither of them will ever be alone again.
The offerings are handed over to the bride’s uncle, who presents them to the  head  of  the  bride’s family. The wedding offering ceremony begins with  the  bride’s family worshipping their ancestors and reporting to them on  the  union.
After this they  invite their relatives and friends to eat, drink and share their happiness. The bride is usually given  gifts of  scarves, shirts, money and other items by the guests. The ceremony involves much singing and takes place in a very intimate atmosphere. That  night,  members of the  bride’s family will sing all night long to wish the bride and groom well.
The  wedding takes place on the following day. After breakfast, the groom  and his groomsman worship their ancestors and  then  kowtow  to  the bride’s parents, uncle and guests. The uncle  then  leads his niece  from  her bridal chamber and presents her to the groom’s family.
At this juncture all of the bride’s family cries to show their their attachment to her. The bride her- self is expected  to  cry the  most,  to show that she doesn’t want to leave her natural parents. Bridesmaids from both families accompany the  bride out  of her  house.
Then  the  “bringing  the bride home”  party –  comprising the four matchmakers, followed by the bride, the bridesmaids and the groom’s relatives –  processes to  the  groom’s house.
The bride is welcomed at the groom’s house in much the same way that the groom was greeted at the bride’s house on the previous day, with drinking and singing by the four matchmakers. According to Lo Lo custom, when the bride steps into the groom’s house, the groom’s parents must temporarily hide themselves, because it  is feared that their  presence might  overwhelm  the bride’s soul, endangering her future health.
Soon after the bride’s party has arrived at the groom’s house, the bride’s uncle turns up with his niece’s dowry, which typically includes a pig, a chicken, a hoe,  a pan, a knife, clothing for the bride, wine, meat and sticky rice. If the bride’s family is  rich,  he  may  even bring a cow.
The groom’s family then hosts the wedding party, at which they too must sing together all night long to wish the young couple happiness. When seeing the bride’s uncle back to his home, the groom’s family will reimburse some money to him as travel expenses and gifts, based on the amount of the bride’s dowry.
Three days after the wedding day, the couple returns to the bride’s house to visit and greet the whole family. They stay there for a few days but then they go back to live at the groom’s house.
VCW
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