Yeshi has another wife over in Tibet. Then again, I have another husband living upstairs from the restaurant.
In Tibet, a woman often marries sets of brothers. She keeps one of these with her to help around the home, while the others spend most of their time with their livestock out on the high pastures.
When Yeshi was about fifteen and still in Tibet, two of his older brothers married a girl from a nearby village. He remembers the occasion well. Nobody slept – the party went on all through the night – and inebriated family members teased him once too often about how soon Yeshi too would be entering this marriage. He’s never forgotten the feeling of embarrassment and dread.
It is normal practice that the bride and grooms do not meet before their big day. The union is organised by their parents, who spend years searching out a prospective candidate from among the county’s “best” families. Their criteria has little to do with money but is guided rather by the family’s reputation: are these honest, honourable people with proven integrity?
Upon marriage, Tibetan wives join their husband’s family home and must be willing to live the village life and to serve their new family. Yeshi’s family are still semi-nomadic. This is not a glamorous life, and for the many young Tibetans drawn by new China’s bright lights and big cities it’s not an attractive prospect. Finding a “good” wife in this new landscape is all the harder.
If Yeshi had stayed in Tibet he would have joined his brothers’ marriage when he came of age, and later he would have had a hand in selecting a suitable bride for his nephews, two of whom got married yesterday in the village. In theory, Yeshi’s other wife is still waiting for him back home. Every so often he’ll make a joke about it, but when he does I like to stake my claim to his brother Nyima, who recently started working with us at the restaurant.
In reality, Yeshi and I are happy just the two of us: after all, there is no extended family to look after over here, no livestock that need herding, no reason to double up at all.
We’re hoping to go to Tibet soon. Meantime leaving here this picture of Yeshi and his two dads from a previous visit (above) and this short clip of our nephews’ wedding ceremony yesterday in Tibet.
⭐️ Exciting news for the week ahead! ⭐️ We’re launching a Sunday service this week for the first time, so please come and support us! Our opening hours will be as follows:
Wednesday – Friday: 5-9.30pm (dinner only)
Saturday and Sunday: 12-3 (lunch) / 5-9.30pm (dinner)
Our menu is out now – check it! Come by for hot food and food for the freezer. We also have good stocks of chilli oil and pickled mooli radish. And don’t forget our chocolate tsampa truffles – as seen on TV!
Looking forward to seeing you all,
Julie and Yeshi
Opening hours this week:
Weds – Fri: 5-9.30pm
Sat / Sun: 12-3pm 🥢 5-9.30pm
☏ 01865 499318