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Day 80: Lugu Lake

Michael Palin - HimalayaThe key fits what they call the Flower Room or Flower Chamber, which was Namu's first room of her own. From that time onwards she was entitled to choose who she wanted to share her room with.

Mosuo boys, on the other hand, have to wait until 18 for their freedom, which is marked by a ritual burning of their bed.

She describes the process of courtship.

'When a man come to your house, normally he leave three things, one belt, one knife, one piece of clothing. If the woman doesn't want him back any more she lays them outside the door as a sign.'

'What if she decides she's made a mistake and wants to see him again after all?' I ask.

Here it becomes wonderfully Victorian.

'She will ask her grandmother to go to tea with the boy's grandmother. They will bring like a bamboo box, some chicken meat, some Tibetan momo, some Tibetan wine, and when the lady receive all this she will tell the boy, why don't you go one more night there.'

The freedom of choice offered to the girls did not fool Namu. She recognized that it was another way of keeping her tied down, and all her instincts were to break out of the confines of the village and see the world.

'I want to go to Beijing, wear high-heeled shoes and pink lipstick, you know.'
Choose another day from Himalaya


  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 80: Lugu Lake
  • Country/sea: China
  • Place: Lugu Lake
  • Book page no: 186

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  • Around the World in 80 Days