ST. PAUL, MN – A vote took place recently at a Hmong 18 Council (H18C) meeting that allows a man to use credit cards to pay the bride price for his wife.
“It’s a different world now,” says inside source, Her Pao Lee. “Back in Laos we used to pay bride prices with cows, silver bars, or bags of rice. Then, when cash became a more common currency, we used dollar bills. But now we live in an age of credit. Everything is borrowed, lent, or owed. So we at H18C thought, why not? Why carry a bundle of bills wrapped in a rice bag when you could just carry a credit card?”
H18C’s reason for this new bylaw is simple. The more responsible the man, the larger his credit card limit, the more likely he can afford a higher priced bride.
Says Lee, “This opens doors for every man. No longer do they have to work to save up thousands of dollars. No longer do they need to ask Mom and Dad to deplete their savings. They only need to rely on themselves and a verified credit card company. Any man who has a credit card can get married without fear of where the money will come from, as long as it’s not over his limit.”
When the results of the vote were read, a historic 129 to 0, many council members and their supporters cheered and punched their fists in the air. Some men also immediately called their credit card companies to ask if they could raise their limits.
This new bylaw also comes with several lesser known clauses that will go into effect immediately. ZQ investigators discovered the following riders that had been attached to the newly passed bylaw:
1.) A Hmong man has the right to impose a $2,000 fee on the wife’s family if the wife is found below standard. Some of the standards include but is not limited to: cooking skills, childbearing capabilities, child-rearing skills, sexual knowledge, lack of sexual knowledge, is a non-virgin.
2.) In addition, a Hmong man has the right to marry a second wife if he can prove with no evidence needed that the first wife is deficient in any of the aforementioned categories, and if he is paying with credit then it has to be on a separate credit card.
3.) If a Hmong man has been married to his wife for over 10 years and no sons have been born, he reserves the right to a full refund along with the $2,000 fee and any other marriage fees accrued over the course of the decade, including food, rent, and utilities.[/box]
“Sons are an important part of any marriage,” says Lee. “So is the fact that a wife must be worth the amount we put on our credit card. Otherwise it would be unfair.”
ZQ asked Lee if H18C had considered a policy for accepting checks for paying the bride price. “Absolutely not,” says Lee. “We decided right away, no checks accepted since it’s so easy to get a bad check these days. The only thing in this world that should bounce are boobies, not checks.”
A number of men, both Hmong and non, have been taking advantage of the bylaw in the time since it was voted through. Richard Meerson, 49, of Coon Rapids says, “When I learned that you could buy a Hmong girl for $3,500, I started saving up right away. But I only had like $200 in my bank account. With this new bylaw I can just charge it on my Visa. What a lifesaver!” ■