There is a rule that Tujia daughters get married have to cry, it requires the crying sound must be moving and loud. Of course, there are special “Weeping Songs”, which are traditional crafts. Tujia girls from the twelve-year-old must began to learn sing weeping songs. In the past, girls are not allowed to get married when they were not cry. And now, the weeping-marriage customs only happen in the remote cottage. Tujia daughters get married have to cry, when the crying sounds move the people and touch girl herself ,people all think she must be a smart ,kind and good wife.
Regardless of the form of marriage how to develop, it is a everlasting customs that tujia girls get married must have a happy and sorrow crying ceremony before they get married. Even with the development of the economy and the running of the time,. Tujia girls must obey the rule that they should treat family and friends to celebrate the joys and sorrows of the weeping songs before they go into another man’s family. People laugh when they feel happy, people cry when they feel sorrow. But getting married is a great joy and exciting thing, why the girls should cry in their wedding days? As a matter of fact, you may think the crying sound is a marriage lament. However , crying means singing ,which has a profound sense.
Bride usually begin to weeping before they get married one month ago, however, some of them begin to cry two or three days ago. Her family are ready to dower their daughters while talking with sorrow feelings. During a month the girl dose not cry repeated，they should cry their ancestors, father and mother , sisters and brother, matchmaker, and themselves. Lyrics are the traditional model, but also smart girls give an improvisation while they feel sad about their family . Tujia girls will express their emotion with the “cry” the emotional with the form of cry-singing. Of course, they are really sad , most of marriages were caused by cruel matchmaker’s haphazard behavior and ultimately hurt the girl’s life.
Weeping will be the climax of the day when bride get married. The day before they got married, neighbors, relatives and friends will come to give congratulations. The bride will invite her nine best unmarried companions to accompany the bride crying, called “ten sisters meeting.” These nine crying girls will play an important role to bride , so whether they lived near or far, regardless of wind and rain, the bride’s family will sent the car to pick up the girls .After Ten sisters gathering, the bride’s family will put together two square table, place them in the middle of the main room, girls who are older than bride will sit at the main seat. And peers will sit on both sides of the bride . The crying contents are mainly containing talk about sisters friendship, but also to encourage and comfort the bride.Cry until midnight, the bride’s family invite ten sisters to have supper, in order to thank to nine sisters’ company. Under the parents and matchmaker’s marriage-arrangements , arranged-marriage are so common at that time. So the bride often complaint about the matchmaker and express their dissatisfaction with a customary marriage.
Weeping is a rule to Tujia people on Wedding day , and they think, “no cry no fun, no cry no good.” It is a polite and friendly to cry when bride takes her farewell of friends and family . For those who sitting in a cheerful and singablle atmosphere do not cry , the bride will feel unhappy for his disrespected .
Why are the girls crying before they get married ? What are they crying for? This is a very sense rituals in life, but also bring a great interests for marriage customs.There is a saying: “People no hurt no tears.” Why they cry? Because in the old institution of marriage, the girls(especially working class family ) are always victims of “to be threw” (sold) to her husband , and they are under the sorrow of physical and psychological harm. Thus, the Xiangxi girls will cry before they get married, they want to cry ，they want to shout . so, weeping songs is the best means to express their feelings.
Following are some aspects that bride crying for:
● By Weeping bride will express their thanks to the parents’ upbringing and relatives devotion of love . the girls will move to another place because of marriage. the bride first think about that they will part their relatives, Due to the parting, the bride grief, crying singing with expression of sadness on the apartment with their parents. They want to express their great gratitude to their parents and their relatives. Parents’ contribute are countless: teaching how to cook ，how to knot hemp rope ，how to rear firewood ，how to needle and how to write words …. All of these tell us that Mother raised her daughter with all she can while the daughter can not be able to repay their mother when they get up, but also sad and ashamed of doing nothing .
● Marriage is such a important thing to woman’s life , of course, its main function is to convert a women from daughter to a wife . Daughter and wife are two completely different roles: on the one hand, the bride farewell to her role of being a daughter , which is overwhelmed uncomfortable feelings to say goodbye to past lives; On the other hand, the bride will began to perform a strange wife role to take responsibilities, and thus scared. Therefore, the bride must be active to find some way to get rid of its original character into a new role. This role of women mutation certainly a tremendous psychological pressure and burden, they need some way to eliminate tension, “Weeping Song” just provide a legitimate and effective way. Women in the weeping ceremony is given the right to speak, they take this right to release emotional stress, burden and farewell to the past when converting role change ,and finally be ready to accept a new role for future.
● So who are they that mastermind to put the bride to be involved in the marriage? Matchmaker!. so ,brides cry to “curse matchmaker” make a complete difference in the front section to cry with her friends. they are more angry and resist. girls are not willing to leave their parents, they worried about their future to live in a strange and might unfriendly place, except for being familiar with her husband. They complaint about the unfortunate marriage, they complain about involuntary marriage, they song the voice of opposition and they expressed their feelings of helpless. “Weeping Song” dose not directly complain about the feudal marriage system , which was impossible to they to achieve such high degree of awareness . They are also reluctant to directly accuse their birth parents, so they put emotional resentment pouring directly to “matchmakers” who have knot two strange people to live together .so ,the lyrics are sharp and incisive.
● Weeping Songs also express the unequal economic status between women and men . And they also express their disappointment and dissatisfaction mood about economic status and rights after suffering the losing of their basic rights and private ownerships, women gradually lose right to inherit property, lost the right to transfer clan incense. Which basically determines the lowly status of women, gradually degenerated into men’s vassal, and even become the men’s “property”. The female will be ruthlessly excluded from their families, the benefit of the familyies have nothing to do with them. A weak woman unable to fight in front of the powerful feudal forces and only take full advantage of Weeping chance to express this emotional catharsis, to curse and to complaint. Therefore, there is a bride’s tears: “If I were a man, the family all will belong to me; but I was a girl , father and mother took me out of the house, overnight I became a stranger.” Under this shackles of feudal ethics regime, women lost an average right that an average person should have. For this they are powerless to change their fate. Therefore, they make great complaint to feudal society.
Tujia weeping-marriage contains real weeping and false weeping. A real weep means that some remote areas are placed on mountains or more further , women have rare chance to visit relatives after married ;Another is that because a lot of the girls were matched by the matchmaker, a lot of “husband” are never met before , girls were worry that they could not married a good husband.
A false weeping also has its implication, the local Tujia people believe in the gods, which means they should cry until dry their tears before marriage, and then they will live a good and happy life forever. So it’s quite spectacular to Tujia weeping-marriage , and it ranges about 3 days’ crying, or even a week or a month. They usually cry for their relatives , friends and matchmaker and so on.