No wonder why Bhutan boasts of being one of the happiest nations on Earth!
Bomena or ‘Night Hunting’ is principally a tradition which has been practiced in the eastern and rural Bhutan, since ages now.
Shielding under ‘Bomena’, young men are allowed to prowl young girls at night, sneaking into their rooms, and convincing them form sexual relation.
If until next morning the man stays, then the couple is married after both their families’ agreeing on their liaison.
But, in case the guy sneaks out in the middle of dark, then the girl nor her family can blame or complaint against the man or his family.
This tradition comes as a shock, revealing the uglier side of Bhutan, which presents itself as the one of the safest option for women travelers around the world.
In past, several cases of unwed pregnancies and single motherhood surfaced; but they were cowed due to societal norms.
And, given the fact that many families had relatives and elders living together, it seemed no issue for the woman to raise their child, bore out of Bomena ritual.
However, with changing times, joint families in Bhutan that are turning into nuclear ones, often stigmatize single motherhood.
And, with several legal documents like birth certificate, passport, legalizing the child’s citizenship, etc, requiring the father to own up the child, also pose as an issue.
In his book “Love, Courtship and Marriage in Rural Bhutan”, author Dorji Penjore, defends ‘Night Hunting’, saying, “Bomena, a custom whereby a boy stealthily enters a girl’s house at night for courtship or coitus with or without prior consultation, is commonly misunderstood in Bhutan.”
Meanwhile, watch these bizarre traditions still going strong around the world.
Source : speakingtree.in