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Chinese region ends 400-year ban on marriages with outsiders
Wednesday December 10, 2014 10:47 PM, EFE

A region in southeastern China in which, for the past four centuries, residents were forbidden from marrying outsiders, has finally put an end to this practice, the state-owned China Daily reported.

Representatives from eight villages in the Anhai region of Fujian province where this tradition was strictly followed, recently came together to consider an end to the prohibition, which was officially abolished Nov 4, the newspaper reported Wednesday.

On account of the ban on exogamy, a number of couples had to keep their relationship a secret when one of the partners was from a village outside the region.

Other couples, however, ended their relationships for fear of punishment.

In China's remote rural regions, traditional practices still exist that have been abolished or fallen into disuse in the rest of the country

These range from matriarchal societies where women and men do not marry and are allowed to have several partners, to places with peculiar rituals like ghost marriages.

Ghost marriages, known as "minghun", include a wedding ceremony for people who have died before getting married, in accordance with the belief that the marriage will be consummated in the afterlife.

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