home> Nationalities in southwest China> Lahu Nationality

"Without tea, there will be headaches."

Tea GardenThe Lahu inhabitation is famous for its abundant tea. The Lahus are adept in planting tea and are good tea drinkers, too. Tea is one of the necessities of their life. Every day when they are back from work, they would enjoy tea, which has been prepared before they were out. For the Lahus, it is easier to go through a day without meal than without tea. They usually say, "Without tea, there will be headaches."

Their way of making tea is special. It is made by roasting the tea, which is put in a teapot, on a fire until it turns brown or burnt with fragrance, and then pouring in boiling water. The tea leaves turn up and down in the pot, and then the tea water is served. This is called "roast tea" or "boiled tea." When there are guests, the host must serve them several cups of "roast tea" in order to show respect and hospitality. And according to their custom, the host should drink the first course of tea to show his sincerity and that the tea is empoisoned. The second course (after the water first poured in is drunk, more water will be added into the pot), which is most aromatic and sweet, will be served to the guest.

Wine is also favored by the Lahus. In festivals or events like weddings or funerals, wine is always indispensable. Almost every one of the Lahus, old or young, can drinkú╗ and every family can make wine. When they drink, singing and dancing are even more important than dishes. "Wherever there is wine, there is dancing and singing." This is a vivid description of their banquets.

"Put Wine on the Table; Put Words Aboveboard." <<
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