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Crying Wedding for Tujia girls Crying Wedding for Tujia girls
What is Crying Wedding? In western countries, parents often teach their children "do not cry", especially in the case of the boys. In sharp contrast, Tujia girls are taught the art of crying by their elders when they are very young. As they fetch firewood on the mountains or wash clothes along the rivers, in the groups of three or four, the youngsters gather and practice weeping and sobbing in various postures and with many gestures. Ten to fifteen days ahead of her wedding, the tujia bride cries with deep emotion one or more times each day, and this continues right up to the actual day of matrimony. This action is called "Wedding Crying". And some women actually become famous for their excellent performance at the wedding, acting in the role of teachers for the young ladies who are preparing for the marriage, or serving as an accompanying weeper for the bride.

Instead of a simple expression of tears, this "Wedding Crying" actually become an art form. It does not take a straightforward form voice, or chanting in a slow, steady tone; rather it is a blend of these ,flowing in intermittent patterns. Most crying words are handed down from generation to generation, but some are created in a special way by the bride for her wedding. All have a gentle and graceful melody.

Why does the bride cry and sob on such a happy occasion? Well ,there are a number of factors: an old adage states that a married daughter is comparable to water which has been splashed out of its container. Having no further interaction with her parents, and living in a mountains region where travel is so difficult, the married daughter is hard to return and commune with her mother and her father. In a sense ,parting at the time of the wedding means never meeting again ,and so ,at such a moment, it is quite natural for the girl to express her emotional attachment for her intimate family and her relatives. Moreover, if the bride cries loudly before wedding , there is no tear left after marriage, only happiness waiting for her.

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