Marriage life of the Pumi people: children above all
The Pumi ethnic group mainly resides in Yunnan Province along the Nujiang River.
There is a unique marital custom in the Pumi ethnic group. In the past, parents decided their children's marriage. Now, the young are free to arrange their own marriage.
Young women and men get to know each other at festivals and daily labor. They find opportunities to talk with each other and if they both have a special feeling, they will go to remote places to sing love songs.
If a man and a woman are engaged, they cannot date before the wedding. After the wedding, the bride lives in her mother's home. The couple must secretly meet until they have their first baby.
The host of wedding points a stick twined with colorful ribbons at the marrying couple's heads to wish them good luck. A ceremony to respect God is followed. Then, the groom treats all the guests to a feast. Special meat and wine made only by Pumi people are necessary. All the guests will sing a song before the meal. After the meal, they sing and dance to celebrate the wedding until the next morning.
The custom of robbing a bride is still kept in some places. On the wedding day, the bride goes to work on the farm, and the groom may send someone to steal the bride before the wedding begins.
The bride leaves her home but cannot enter the groom's home on the same day. She stays at a remote place near the village. However, if they live in the same village, the groom can bring the bride home before sunset.
Before a pregnant woman is to have a baby, a special ceremony is secretly held. A baby's clothes are not to be made before its birth and people are not allowed to enter the pregnant woman's house and eat her food.