Thursday, April 14, 2011

One Night Stand

THURSDAY, 14th April

Now before you start getting excited, this is not about me...

Last night I was talking ot Moon, one of our teacher's aides about planning our trip to Sapa and she told me about an extraordinary custom they have up among the hill tribes. Apparently they set aside one particular night of the year where it's quite OK to sleep with a partner other than your spouse. They take it quite seriously... it's not for just casual sex, it is so couples who love one another, but are married to someone else, can have one night a year together, then return to their normal life with no recriminations!
In a society where marriages are often arranged it must have been a compromise that became accepted a very long time ago. It even has a special name, but I forgot to write it down. When Moon told me about it my reaction was of deep sadness. The more I think about the repercussions of such a custom it just becomes incredibly complicated... but that is filtering it through my western mind. I suppose for these people it is simply accepted as 'normal'... but can human emotions be turned on and off so easily?
Imagine if in Australia 22nd August was declared a day for us to practice this particular festival... and then the chaos that would result if people did...

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