Love Huts for Adolescent Girls of Cambodia

Some fathers gift their adolescent daughters the clothes of their choice and some fathers build huts for their daughters to have sex in. The former can be found anywhere in the world, the latter are restricted to the Kreung tribe in Cambodia. Read on to know more about the practice of building maiden huts.

 

"Maiden huts allow young girls to experience love, relationship and sex on their own terms without any judgement."

 

Who are the Kreung?

The Kreungs are an ethnic community of Ratanakiri province in Cambodia that has long been celebrating their daughters’ puberty in a unique way. When a girl comes of age, her father builds a separate hut to give her privacy and space to interact with boys and find a suitable partner for herself. These huts are called maiden huts, also known as the love huts of Cambodia.

 

What are maiden huts?

Once a girl shifts to her maiden hut, she starts living independently. Boys visit these huts, play flute and sing love songs for her. It is the girl’s discretion to invite a boy inside for a conversation and further decide if she wants to sleep with him or not. The girl has the right to refuse too. Maiden hut is her safe sanctuary where she can fall in love and or have sex.

 

What’s the idea?

Pre-marital sex is not prohibited in the Kreung community. Parents trust their daughters to choose a husband for themselves. It is only after she decides that she wants to marry a boy, do the parents get involved and conduct background checks on him. Maiden huts allow young girls to experience love, relationship and sex on their own terms without any judgement.

 

Maiden huts today

The practice of building maiden huts is gradually vanishing from Kreung villages due to an increasing awareness about unprotected sex, STDs and teen pregnancy. Interestingly, the Kreungs are now building bigger, permanent houses for their daughters, thanks to better living standards. Or, they now build separate rooms for their adolescent daughters in their own homes. A separate room allows independence to these girls, but also gives the parents a chance to keep a check. Pre-marital sex is still allowed albeit with some parental control. While a few maiden huts can still be spotted in Kreung villages, they have mostly ceased to exist or have shifted to the girls’ parental homes.

 

 

Featured image credit: rubeliba.blogspot.com

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