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Chapter Summary

Night conversations through the windows were conducted between young women in their own homes and young men who came to woo them. Romantic love was normally an individual and private matter, but group courtship often took place before one-on-one love relationships were established. Such group courtship generally occurred between groups from Dazhai and Xiaozhai with different surnames. Young women from Dazhai only needed to walk through Xiaozhai on their way to plant cotton or to catch fish, for the young men to observe and follow, courting them at their workplace. The young woman typically gave her boyfriend a coloured belt or facecloth that she had woven. The boyfriend in turn presented her with soap or a mirror, or some other token of love, moving one step closer to marriage or elopement.

Keywords: courtship; Dazhai; romantic love; Xiaozhai



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