It is said that for one day every year Hmong people from a remote village in Vietnam reunite with old lovers. This custom is allegedly based on an old legend similar to the story of Romeo and Juliet. Apparently two young lovers were forced apart due to family conflict and they vowed to meet every year to spend one day together. These days the event is unknown and mysterious, though. Foreign visitors are not allowed to participate in it or even ask about it. It’s known as the Love Market.
The event is described as being very colorful. A lot of ethnic minorities come together for a lot of eating, drinking, and even singing. Young couples meet and spend time talking and getting to know each other. Older people, who were in love but were not allowed to marry, reunite to catch up. Some of them even spend one passionate night together.
However, some experts believe that although the whole story sounds romantic, it’s highly unlikely that any of it is true. Poor famers are rarely in any position to be romantic. Poverty among these minority groups is still real and raw, even though the government has made huge strides to diminish it. They rarely have enough to eat or to feed their animals. It’s common for babies to live for only a few days, especially because so many of the women give birth at home. This happens most of the time when they are unable to get the money to travel to the hospital.
Still, there are supposedly people who have participated of the Love Market and met up with former lovers, while others use it as an opportunity to meet potential partners or to explore their fantasies of spending a night with wild exotic highland women.
But upon further investigation it seems like the government is behind the whole activity and its legendary origins are a hoax. Is it possible that instead of genuinely trying to promote a tradition, what they’re actually doing is to manipulate the population? What’s the point in this? And more importantly, who would benefit from this?