” Kidnaping a wife” in some places is also known as robbing a wife, in the Mong language called “hai pù”. “Kidnaping a wife ” literally means pulling a girl back home as a wife.
Mong boys and girls often meet and interact with each other during festivals, Tet holidays and especially “love market” sessions. When a boy falling in love with a girl, he asks his parents for permission to pull the girl back as his wife. And if his parents agree, the boy will choose an appropriate time to drag the girl back to his house. Kidnapped can happen in the market, on the fields, on the street or in the girl’s house. Before going to drag his wife, the guy will ask four or five of his friends to help.
The boy will go alone to talk with the girl, while confiding that the conditions were favorable, the boy would hold her hand and say: “today I will bring you back to be my wife” and then drag the girl away. Seeing that, the boy’s friends also come out to help. When pulling, two people who know how to pull will come to both sides and lean on the girl’s armpits, put her arms on her shoulders and lift them up so that her feet don’t touch the ground at this time the girl can’t fight back (there are cases when the girls who don’t know or disagree, fight back fiercely and cry bitterly).
“Kidnaping a wife” at the Sa Pa market before
When the girl is dragged to the boy’s house, he will be put in a separate room – the boy’s room. The boy’s family arranges for a younger sister or a cousin, the boy’s cousin (who must be unmarried) to stay with the girl both to keep an eye on the girl not to run away and to convince her to agree to be daughter-in-law of their family. During the three-day period of “cohabitation” at her husband’s house, the girl was treated like a guest, served with full and thoughtful meals and drinks.
Kidnaping a wife” was recreated at the show “Sa Pa Love Market” – a unique cultural-tourism product of Sa Pa
The next morning, the boy’s parents will ask the matchmaker to bring pipe and horns of buffalo to the girl’s house to report the news and to perform the wedding ceremony. If the bride’s approval in those three days is accepted, the bride’s life officially begins (the wedding is fully prepared by the families of both parties through rituals: engagement ceremony, wedding ceremony, and wedding ceremony face again), if not considered terminated, the girls are free to find the right person for them.