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Oddity 17 Monks can have love affairs

In Dai ethnic group, it is the custom to marry men into women's family. Guys will be married off at a certain age, while a girl at certain age will bring a husband to her own family.


The Dai people believe in Buddhism. Boys will be sent to the Buddhist temple as monks at an early age. There they will learn the Dai language. In contrast, girls will be sent to schools to learn Chinese.


Boys and girls of Dai ethnic group begin their romance at an early age, hence comes the custom of "Little monks falling in love". When walking on the streets of some small towns, you may see quite a lot of youngsters in monk's dress riding bicycles, with beautiful maids on the rear seats. This custom with intense ethnic flavor presents enchanting scenery in the stockaded Dai village in the remote mountainous area.

The NW Yunnan highlands around Zhongdian and Deqin are predominantly Tibetan in culture. Buddhist monks in this region, like in Tibet itself, are not required to hold to a celibate lifestyle (though many of course do). It is thought that this practice is influenced by the fact that many families send a son to the local monastery on a temporary basis, and after his religious duties and education are completed, the young man invariably returns to secular life and marriage.




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