As you study Vietnamese you will learn that Vietnam has in total 54 ethnic minorities. The Ba Na (or Bahnar) ethnic group lives primarily in the Central Highland of Vietnam. Alike other groups, Bahnar has its own unique customs and rituals. The most outstanding one is the way they celebrate the baby’s birth.
The birth rite includes two activities: ““watching por”(feeding) and “hlôm đon”(blowing into ears). In “watching por” rite, after parents name their baby, a midwife will put some rice mixed with wine on the child’s lips and wish him/her good health and growth. She then is given a chicken’s head and she must take out its jaw bones. The baby future is good or bad depends on the middle one is straight or not.
One month later, “Hlôm đon” is celebrated. It is compulsory that the child’s parents carefully prepare a pig, 4 chickens and 4 vessels of wine. Each villager will receive a small food package as an invitation to come. When everyone is in full strength, the midwife will blow into the baby’s ears and wish him/her the best. The rest is alike in “watching por”.
The ritual is complicated but at the same time so interesting to find out.
Vietnamese Language Studies hopes this fact is as exciting to you as it is to us!