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“No Drunk, No Go Home”

These days we have to go to school to learn about the hospitality, but to the minority groups, it is in their DNA. We have been visiting homes of many hill tribal groups in Vietnam and so far they never disappoint us. A very common saying you will hear there is: “no drunk, no go home”

They believe that it’s embarrassing to them if you don’t get drunk when visiting their home, then they have not treated you well.

This time, we visit a White Thai family and once again, they surprise us. For dinner, they treat us with a traditional meal. In the traditional custom of most of minority groups in the Northern Vietnam, only the men would have a meal with guests, but with the White Thai in Nghia Lo (Yen Bai province), the women will come to serve rice wine to the guests 1, 2 or 3 times round.

This is where it gets interesting as she does not directly encourage  drinking,  but she has an intro like this: “if inviting to drink rice wine without singing, it will cause the results like these: rice plants will not give rice; chicken will not give eggs; lovers will not have happy ending (marriage)….” then she starts singing a traditional song. At that moment, we (men) are seduced by her voice, smile and eyes. The dinner lasts till midnight.

This is what they treated us: fried sanks (sound weird, doesn’t it?), smoked pork, catfish soup, colorful sticky rice, bamboo shoot, boiling free range chicken, deep fried tiny frogs and rice wine 

Road to the village