The custom of renaming the middle name of the Mong people

Although they live mainly in high mountains, life is still difficult, but they very well preserve their unique and diverse traditional culture. One of the unique features in that cultural treasure is the custom of changing middle names for men. According to the Hmong tradition in Sapa Vietnam, men are born with the common middle name A (Giang A Tu, Giang A Pao). like accompaniment of the Van letters of some other ethnic groups. However, from reaching adulthood until middle age, they have to change their middle name to affirm that they are men with stable family life, superiority, and respect. in the community. The procedure for renaming is also quite complicated. After getting married and giving birth, a man who feels he needs to be given a middle name should prepare two squares of red cloth with embroidered patterns and give it to his wife’s parents. These two squares of cloth so that when the wife’s parents die, they will be covered or covered on the face, and at the same time understood by the parents-in-law, this is both a show of respect for the daughter and son-in-law, but also an opportunity for the son-in-law to show expressed his wish that his wife’s parents change his middle name. After receiving two squares of red cloth, the wife’s parents must give their son-in-law a leg of a pig.

The renaming of the son-in-law does not depend on the fast or slow time because after receiving two squares of fabric, some people are ordered immediately, but some people have to wait a few years or even a dozen years, until they see their parents-in-law bring them. A few small pieces of red cloth are also embroidered with patterns for the son-in-law and daughter to sew into their children’s clothes with the meaning of praying for them to always be healthy, that’s when the parents-in-law are ready to change their middle names. for son-in-law. The reason for the long wait is that the wife’s parents still have to see if their husband has worked hard to do business, take good care of his family life or, in other words, have become a mature person. The ritual of renaming the middle name is quite simple and is often incorporated on New Year’s Day in Sapa Vietnam. The son-in-law’s family slaughtered pigs to worship the house’s ghost (ancestor) and reported a new middle name. Parents-in-law will announce in advance what the change of middle name for son-in-law and middle name means. For example, when the middle name has not been changed, if the son-in-law has the name Giang A Hanh, this name does not have much meaning. When the wife’s parents gave her the middle name Giang No Hanh, the two words “No Hanh” mean “development” or “success”.

After being named in Sapa Vietnam, relatives and villagers happily toast the newly given middle name and from now on will call them with a fuller name with respect. Middle names also make it easier for people in a village or commune to communicate with each other. For example, in a village, there are many people with the same surname, different surnames but with the same middle name, A Lu, but when they change their middle names, they will have different names such as: Nha Lu, Cho Lu, Bua Lu, Xong Lu. ..People who are far away, when they ask about a certain Mr. Lu’s house, just need to say that Mr. Lu has a daughter married in Hong Ca or Mr. Lu has a child working in the district team, the people in the village will only go to the house Mr. Lu has been given his middle name. Otherwise, people will say: “There are many people named A Lu here! I don’t know which Lu!”. And if you don’t know the specific Mr. Lu you need to see, you may find it all day long because in the H’mong village, sometimes it takes an hour to walk from house to house.

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