Until the 1940s, marriage by abduction, known as qiangqin (Chinese: 搶親; pinyin: qiǎngqīn), occurred in regions of China. According to one scholar, marriage by abduction was sometimes a groom's answer to avoid paying a bride price. In other cases, the scholar argues, it was a collusive act between the bride's parents and the groom to circumvent the bride's consent. Ethnographer Anne McLaren found that qiangqin, though illegal in imperial China, was common in rural areas, and often became a local "institution" that could be carefully planned and undertaken in a public context.
According to McLaren, in one form of a typical qiangqin, the abductor would arrive at a woman's house flanked by around twenty men. While the friends carried the woman away, the "groom" would use scissors to try to cut off the woman's pants. The woman, struggling with ensuring her dignity, would be unable to adequately fight off her abductors. The victim would then be taken to the groom's house, where the marriage would be consummated.
Chinese scholars theorize that this practice of marriage by abduction became the inspiration for a form of institutionalized public expression for women: the bridal lament. In imperial China, a new bride performed a two to three day public song, including chanting and sobbing, that listed her woes and complaints. The bridal lament would be witnessed by members of her family and the local community.
In recent years bride kidnapping has resurfaced in areas of China. In many cases, the women are kidnapped and sold to men in poorer regions of China, or as far abroad as Mongolia. Reports say that buying a kidnapped bride is nearly one tenth of the price of hosting a traditional wedding. The United States Department of State tie this trend of abducting brides to China's one-child policy, and the consequent gender imbalance as more male children are born than female children.
Other articles related to "china":
... China is the largest unitary state in the world by both population and land area ... Although China has had long periods of central rule for centuries, it is often argued that the unitary structure of the Chinese government is far too unwieldy to effectively and equitably manage the ... officials in the People's Republic of China amounts to a de facto federalism ...
... Wuhan is one of the birthplaces of the brilliant ancient Chu Culture in China ... opera, which is the local opera of Wuhan area, was one of China's oldest and most popular operas ... gave birth to Peking opera, the most popular opera in modern China ...
... In the People's Republic of China, Chinese tabloids have exploded in popularity since the mid-1990s and have tested the limits of press censorship by taking editorial positions critical of the government and by ...
... (Wiley Putnam, 1848) The first direct European contacts with China occurred during the reign of Zhengde ... explorers Jorge Álvares and Rafael Perestrello landed in southern China and traded with the Chinese merchants of Tuen Mun and Guangzhou ... allowed Portugal to establish Macau as their trading base in China ...
... Earth") is an affluent car-free shopping, eating and entertainment district of Shanghai, China ... It is considered one of the first lifestyle centers in China ... congress of and the Communist Party of China, now preserved at the Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party ...
Famous quotes containing the word china:
“Anyone who tries to keep track of what is happening in China is going to end up by wearing all the skin of his left ear from twirling around on it.”
—Robert Benchley (18891945)
“The roof of England fell
Great Paris tolled her bell
And China staunched her milk and wept for bread”
—Karl Shapiro (b. 1913)
“Whether the nymph shall break Dianas law,
Or some frail china jarreceive a flaw,
Or stain her honour, or her new brocade,”
—Alexander Pope (16881744)