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Unorthodox Marriages

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Chapter Summary

Arranged marriages were normal and they were the accepted tradition for Xiangye people. This chapter describes the relatively few departures from this longstanding tradition. Elopement attracted disapproval and stigma from Xiangye society at large and led to embarrassment in meetings involving members of the two affected families. One unorthodox elopement involved a young lady from Sebian in the southern Kam county of Liping (currently in Rongjiang county). The 'groom' hid himself away in the homes of other people during the day and only returned to his house in the middle of the night. Within three days the 'bride' had returned to her home in Sebian, about 40 kilometres away. It seems that in the minds of the young women concerned, there was the idea that if a man abandoned his wife in favour of her, this represented a kind of coup for her.

Keywords: Sebian; unorthodox marriages; Xiangye



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    Life in a Kam Village in Southwest China, 1930-1949 — Recommend this title to your library
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