Archive for the Vang Category

The “Vangs” cannot eat sour fruits…

Posted in FOOD TABOOS IN THE HMONG CULTURE!, Vang on March 14, 2010 by Meals of Asia

Not all, but some particular Vangs of the Hmong cannot consume any type of sour fruits while on-the-go or with their meals. What does this mean? Back in the days, when the Hmong used to live in Laos and would have to walk miles to the garden, the men cannot simply consume any type of sour fruits while their walking to the garden and back. Therefore, anywhere the Vangs go, the men cannot consume sour fruits along the way or with their meals. The women of the Vangs, on the other hand, whether a daugther or daughter-in-law, do not have to restrict themselves; they can eat however much sour fruits on-the-go and with their meals and it’s fine. The men, though, because they are to carry on the tradition and clan, are strictly forbidden to consume sour fruits while on-the-go and with their meals. 

Therefore, when one prepares a meal for a Vang guest, it’s always proper to ask if his Vang clan restricts consuming sour fruits with their meals. This will allow one to serve his/her Vang guest properly without offending the guest. If the Vang guest happens to restrict sour fruits while eating his meals, it’s polite to remove any fruit baskets off one’s dining table. This is a way of showing respect to the guest and acknowledging that you understand his tradition. Many Hmong families like to pack food and drinks to a guest when he leaves their house. If the guest is a Vang that restricts sour fruits, make sure that one does not pack sour fruits along with the meal. 

Why are the men of the Vangs restricted from consuming sour fruits?

This is a tradition of theirs’ that has been practiced for hundreds of years. Legend has it that if the men should consume sour fruits on-the-go and with their meals, they will encounter snakes. Because consuming sour fruits while heading somewhere and eating are considered taboos to some Vangs, men of this particular Vang take this restriction seriously and may even turn down one’s meal should s/he offer sour fruits with the meal to this guest.