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The Wedding of Va

A young man of  Va ethnic minority begins to Chuan Guniang (drop around girls' houses and play with them) at the age of sixteen or seventeen. He can visit a girl's house by himself or together with other young men. Girls do not have fixed sleeping places. They sometimes sleep at home and sometimes sleep in other girls' home; sometimes sleep by themselves, sometimes sleep with several other girls. No matter whether or not a girl likes the young man who comes to visit her, she should sit up to talk with him or she will be regarded as impolite.

The Va people prefer to marry their girls to the young men in the same village. After a young man and a girl get familiar with each other, he will ask the girl to comb his hair. If several young men ask her to do so, the girl takes turns to comb their hair. While if there are several girls and several young men, each girl can choose to comb hair for one man or each young man ask his favorite girl to comb his hair.

Young people of Va enjoy free love: a young man can have love affair with several girls and a girl can accept courtship from several young men. After they have known each other, the young man may choose the most suitable girl and say goodbye to other girls, and the girl returns gifts from other young men after she picks out her favorable young man.

Dreams play a significant role in love process. The Va people think if a person in love dreams of a big forest, a forest of bananas, flowing water in gutters or picking melons and fruit, it means he or she will lead a happy life after marriage. The auspicious sign in dream can push forward the relation between the two lovers. While tigers, falling trees, broken bridge, or wearing new dress with the lover, etc., are all ominous signs indicating the two cannot marry each other.

Family members of Va formally enjoy equality and maintain a complete family together. However, authority of husband is actually more outstanding. In the family, a wife is responsible for farming, spinning, cooking, and housework, etc.

After a young man gets married, he can separate with his parents and set up a new family. If the family only has one child, the man lives with his parents after marriage. If the family has several sons, the parents choose the most filial one and live w ith him. The son that lives with his parents is the No.1 inheritor to the family property and daughters have no heirdom.

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