I’m running down to the love market, Honey!

May 12, 2010

love market 3 490

Here is a story idea which Hollywood is going to buy from me for maybe four million dollars, so don’t tell anyone else.

These are ethnic Hmong people waiting for lovers at a “love market” in Vietnam. The captions say that on one day a year, ”married men and women wait for the return of their former lovers with whom they can meet again without jealousy from their spouses…”

VIETNAMAre you fricking kidding me? Can we run through this deal again, more slowly?

So married men and women meet up with former lovers, and get a one-day free pass from their spouses?

Do the spouses in this village not have access to machetes, pipe wrenches or rat poison?

How does this annual conversation even go down, anyway?

“Lamar, is it that time again already? Land sakes! Well, run on down to the love market and see your old prom date, and I’ll just stay at home with the children and plow the fields.

“Oh wait, Lamar, I almost forgot! You can’t go without breakfast! Here, take some of these extra-special muffins I made and eat them on the way…”

Love market slideshow

Join the Oddly Enough blog network

Follow this blog on Twitter at rbasler

Top: Ethnic Hmong wait for their lovers at the Khau Vai ‘love market’ in Vietnam’s northern Ha Giang province, May 10, 2010. For nearly 100 years, the Khau Vai love market has been known as a lovers’ rendezvous. Local residents annually gather there from March 26 to March 27 of the lunar calendar to seek lovers. Married men and women wait for the return of their former lovers with whom they can meet again without jealousy from their spouses during this one day out of the year. Single young men and women also seek lovers at the market. REUTERS/Kham

Right: An ethnic Hmong man lies on the ground drunk at the Khau Vai ‘love market’. REUTERS/Kham

More stuff from Oddly Enough

28 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Blog Guy, do you think that outsiders can go to the “love market” and meet up with their former lovers? Or is it only for locals? I’m only asking for a friend! ;)

Posted by Jibberish | Report as abusive

What I keep thinking about here is the lucky former lover heading to the market on this special day only to find that guy who is already passed out drunk.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

“Feel the love by joining the Oddly Enough blog network!

“How long can I possibly keep this up? Find out by joining the Oddly Enough blog network!”

That was a bonus one.

I have more of a concern about the young children there waiting for their former lovers.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

True. Or maybe that’s really just Lamar, having eaten his wife’s “special muffins” on the way to the market….

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

I am going there next year RB… you are too cruel to tell us AFTER the event :-(

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

Umm…. I dont think I want to go to this market at all!!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Really? That drunk guy might still be there….

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

The kids are there because somebody told them about puppy love and they’re hoping for a beagle.

Posted by AllThatJazz | Report as abusive

Let me guess – for “inexplicable” reasons authorities notice a spike in domestic violence and divorce rates every April in the Giang province

Posted by Tical | Report as abusive

Lost things are always prized very highly. And imagined romances with former loves will always seem better than they actually would have been, better than the relationship you may with a current partner.

You don’t have to pick up the dirty socks of former loves or listen — wide awake — to the snoring of a former love at 4 a.m.

A real relationship may find it hard to compete with an imaginary relationship with an ex. Maybe it is a good idea to remeet with an ex, so that you can see that s/he is a real person, not a perfumed/cologned ghost. I don’t know.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Shoot! We got this right here in the States, only we call it Mardis Gras!

Posted by Mboughan1 | Report as abusive

All my former lovers are jerks, so that won’t work.

Bob, would I have better luck at the Social Safeway in Georgetown?

Posted by kgolden1 | Report as abusive

Well kgolden, that’s my neighborhood store, and I don’t think running into Blog Guy is anybody’s idea of “better luck.”

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

@AllThatJazz…LOL….beagles are awesome though!

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

That’s quite a crap form of stalking.

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

@CrowGirl: LOL :D

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

Doc, now we all know what your wife goes through….
Basler, I think I am worth nore than a drunk’s attention…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Of course you are, Shra. But is it fair to prejudge this young man just because he’s down at the Love Market during working hours, wearing a disco-style leisure suit and passed out from cheap liquor? Once he wakes up, he could be the best catch at the market.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Did you know that there is some sites called Matrimonial sites that exist?
You dont???
You didnt hear it from me then…. I dont want to zap myself…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Isn’t that E-Harmony?

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

See – those rice-growing bras suddenly make sense now. You can go to the love market AND tend the crops at the same time.

Posted by zeitgeist | Report as abusive

The thought of running into any of my ex’s makes me shudder, and not in a good way!

I’ll skip the love market thanks. Me and my cat are happy the way things are!

:D

E.

Posted by egeria | Report as abusive

I agree E… most of the time, I actually feel, “What the hell was I thinking!!!!!!!!!”
Yeah, not a good thought/feeling…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

How typical is this? You go out looking for love, but all you find is beer. Men – sometimes we really are just that dumb.
OK – MOST of the time we are really that dumb.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Okay “tend the crops” is my new least favourite euphemism – EEWWW !

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Nosmo, that is a highly unusual realisation!! I am so glad for you!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Nosmo, thanks a lot for that… now you’ve gone and given it away!! Shra, zap him, please… he’s gone and revealed secrets AND has taught something at the same time!

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

I call that self-realisation M… he doesnt deserve to be zapped at all… :P

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

[...] sent my $4 million check for it yet, but one of the best true yarns of the year was the “love market” for ethnic Hmong people in [...]

[...] //'); //]]> breasts | China | cultures | festivals | humor | traditions Blog Guy, I like it when you find interesting traditions practiced by other cultures, like for instance that “love market” that you wrote about last year. [...]