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Mosuo Walking Marriages

In: People

Submitted By bluechang
Words 724
Pages 3
The Mosuo are a small ethnic group living in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces in China. Probably the most famous and most misunderstood aspect of Mosuo culture is their practice of walking marriages, also known as zouhun in Chinese.
The coming of age ceremony, also known as the bonfire party, it’s the occasion when boys and girls at around 12-14 years of age get to know about each other. It is one of the most important events in a Mosuo child's life. Before this ceremony, Mosuo children will dress the same, and are restricted from certain aspects of Mosuo life. But once they come of age, girls are given their skirts, and men are given their pants (thus, it is called the “skirt ceremony” for girls, and the “pants ceremony” for boys).
During the ceremony, boys and girls dance together, and decide whom you are interested in. For women to express love to men, double clicks in the men’s hand is okay. For men to show the good will for the particular woman, however, they are supposed to click three times and send out their knife, the symbol of their coming of age to the woman at the same time.
After coming of age, Mosuo females can get their own private bedroom; and, once past puberty青春期, can begin to invite partners for walking marriages. Traditionally, a Mosuo woman who is interested in a particular man will invite him to come and spend the night with her in the room. Such pairings are generally conducted secretly, so the man will walk to her house after dark, spend the night with her, and return home early the next morning.

Even when the woman is pregnant and the children are born, the father may have little or no responsibility for his offspring. In fact, some children may not even know who their father is. If a father does want to get involved with the upbringing of his children, he will bring gifts to the mother’s family and state his intention to do so. This...

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