Young Black Hmong (Tao) women at the market of Sapa (Vietnam).
Sapa is the famous destination in the northwest Vietnam, opening the world of ethnic minorities' culture. One of distinctive cultural features here is the love market which takes place every Saturday night. Since the market, the place of goods trade and culture exchange, are held only once a week on Sunday, people living in the far mountain villages have to go in advance on Saturday to be able to join it. It is on Saturday night that young villagers get a chance to get to know each other by joining such activities as playing leaf-horns, playing traditional games, singing and dancing, etc. The performances filled with romantic melodies express fervent wishes for eternal love. Not until the early hours does the market finish, leaving happy memories in the minds of many mountain people. After that night, some are lucky to find out the match and make an appointment on the next market. Many of them have later become partners sharing the same life for good and for bad.
The love market has long been the not-to-be-missed event reflecting special culture of people of mountainous areas in general and of Sapa in particular.
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Uploaded: Dec 8, 2014