young hmong americans turning to old traditions to find love

This is an interesting Los Angeles Times story on the ancient Hmong courtship ritual of pov pob, in which participants look for true love by tossing balls with potential mates at Hmong New Year. And in the age of Facebook, pov pob is apparently making a comeback: In the Facebook era, Hmong stick to traditional courting.

Social networking's cool and all, and sure, you're bound to meet a cutie or two on Facebook... but many young Hmong Americans are apparently eschewing internet dating for something a little more old world and face-to-face... and leaving it to fate:
But over the last few years the number of ball tossers at Fresno's International Hmong New Year festival has been growing and many young Hmong say it's a reaction to casual Internet interaction.

"I'm not a player," said Neng Her, 25, at which his four friends laugh. "I do meet a lot of cute girls on Facebook. Maybe it's a way to find someone compatible, you know, have fun.

"But meeting someone at the New Year is different. It's about fate and destiny and stuff."

Brenda Lee, 30, a financial advisor who met her boyfriend last year playing pov pob, said modern forms of matchmaking make Hmong singles all the more eager for face-to-face relating.

"Facebook isn't real. It makes you hungry for the old traditions. This is a chance to see the person, see if he laughs when he drops the ball. All year, people wait for the new year. They come here from the world over to play pov pob and hope for love."
Young Hmong Americans, you throw that ball, play the courtship game, and let destiny take hold. Hey, you might make that true love connection... with a tennis ball. Hey, you might as well. It sure beats match.com, where potential dates have been known to be less than truthful about many things.

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