traditions in Laos

Akha wedding in Laos – Tribal customs and traditions in Laos

Unfortunately you can’t take photos in the villages, but the wedding I took part in during my stay at the Akha village in Laos would have deserved a very respectable photo shoot. But people are reluctant and jealous of their traditions and customs, women are shy and perhaps the idea of ​​feeling like a fun object for a tourist wearing shorts and sneakers doesn’t attract any of them.

After 5 hours of grueling trek crossing the jungle we arrived at the Akha village where we would spend the rest of the afternoon and night.
What was an exciting exploration tour immediately became truly exhilarating.
In this village I attended a wedding.
This evening I can easily count as it is a moment of those that I can only remember forever as a moment of real life one of those that makes you experience cultural differences first hand, transporting you for a few hours into tribal lives and cultures.
But starting from the beginning and to tell the sequence of facts here is my story, the one made of nature, opium and karaoke.
Akha village has approx 500 600 inhabitants there are many children, if you arrive in the afternoon you only meet children, there are no women and there are few men around.
The dirty shirts, the rudimentary games, there are those who push the wheel with a wooden stick, those who build a wheelbarrow with wooden planks. Girls, on the other hand, almost all have a small baby on their back, they hold it with a band on their back, the baby carrier at the beginning.
At three in the afternoon there is silence and only the voices of children playing can be heard. They go to school in the morning, a cabin built from bamboo and with a blackboard inside.
In the afternoon they play waiting for their mothers to wash them with river water when they return from the fields.

Click the button and find all search platforms and book your next trip yourself.

Plan your trip yourself

Read also: Trekking in Laos – Discovering the Akha culture

traditions in Laos

The scenery is perfect. I get excited again after a long time. I have stood out over time, I am the different one, I am travelling.
At sunset one karaoke music this karaoke managed to reach the top of the mountain in the middle of the jungle, it begins to expand throughout the village obviously reaching my ears and my curiosity.
I discover that the event of the week is a wedding and we had arrived in time for the celebrations.
After discussion with the village chief we are approved to participate, see but not photograph. It was possible to photograph only the exteriors.
The scene that appears before me is the following.
Two wooden tables covered with banana leaves. Beers, cigarettes, sweets, toothpicks, 3 different types of rice (sticky rice, risotto-style boiled rice and boiled rice), pork fat, fried suckling pig and a very spicy tomato sauce all distributed on the tables in an orderly and methodical manner.

traditions in Laos

Karaoke music, i.e. two amplifiers with colored lights and a stereo, is played by the village DJ while the village girls dressed to the nines with these colorful and sequined hats continue giggling and setting the table.
The real wedding, however, is inside the house, so I go up the stairs to see the bride and the scene in front of me is colored by lots of people crowded around a sort of round bamboo basket covered with banana leaves where the food is placed. In the village they don’t have plates, they eat on banana leaves.
The women are on one side, the men on the other.
The women chat and smile. The men eat quickly and speak little. Afterwards they will talk even less.
I didn’t see any women outside, I thought they were all upstairs eating, the VIP room where the 16 year old who was getting married should also be and in any case I wasn’t able to see because she was always covered by someone or with her back turned.

Here families do not decide on marriages, everyone marries whoever they want, even someone from a nearby village. In this case they were two members of the same village.
Having sat down outside, I realized that I was the only woman not only at the table but within 300 metres, if we exclude the girls who were helping and those who were at home.
It was explained to me that the next day would be a women’s party, women are shy and don’t go where there are other men and where they get drunk.
The local alcohol is pure alcohol which they call whyskie, I had to try it, and obviously there is no shortage of beer.

Actually mine Wedding present they were just 2 beers.
Everyone brings the newlyweds something that will be used that evening, alcohol, beers, cigarettes. Everything is for everyone.
Then around the girls with a tray of coke collect money in cash for the spouses and in exchange he gives you a glass of coke and 2 cigarettes that you have to smoke with the diners.
Meanwhile the karaoke continues.
Between a meal of lard and sticky rice, I decide to go back upstairs to see how the celebrations are continuing.
The scene that presents itself to me is a scene with a great surprise effect. If two hours earlier I had left noisy and awake tables, now I find the women continuing to chat as before and the men lying on the ground smoking opium. Some have been asleep for a while now.
They have slow, graceful movements, they are lying on their side and seem to have little strength. They look at you and look down. I would have liked to take a photo and immortalize this scene that I thought was postcard-like and impossible to find.

Down below the men get drunk, the notes of Thai music make me walk on the road on the way home, the pigs free in the village keep me company while in my pajamas and coat I look at the starry sky which reminded me of that of Morocco and I think of the beauty of the moment I had just experienced.
The grunting of the pig next to me was the last sound I remember.

Disclaimer: In this post, some of the links provided are affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through these links. However, this does not incur any additional cost to you. The commissions I receive through these affiliate links they help fund and support my blog, thus maintaining its independence and lack of sponsorship. I always strive to provide you with the best information and advice possible, based on my personal experience and research. I would like to underline that your support is essential to keep this blog alive and continue to provide you with quality content. Thank you for your support!

Plan your trip yourself

Read also:   Women traveling alone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *