Home
Vietnam Studies Group
 
 
 
Research & Study
Guides to Archives
Teaching & Reference
News & Announcements
Vietnam Scholars Directory
Discussion & Networking
About the Organization
 

Weddings in Viet Nam
------------------------

From: Rylan (CET) <rylan@email.arizona.edu>
Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 5:48 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Dear list,

I am considering writing a short journalistic opinion piece on the changes in
wedding practices among middle-class people in Viet Nam. I have many causal
observations of changes, some of which appear to be the result of Western
influence. Does anyone know when and in what context these changes were
initiated? I am thinking, for example, about the banquet dinners that now take
place at restaurants and not the grooms home, changes in the bride's and
groom's attire, and even the introduction of the honeymoon. Any thoughts,
observations or resource suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Rylan

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rylan Higgins

Vietnam Programs Director
CET Academic Programs

Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology
University of Arizona

----------
From: Bill Hayton <bill.hayton@bbc.co.uk>
Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 5:56 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Perhaps not just Western influence - what about Korean? I remember
seeing a piece in Timeout (the VIR magazine) in 2007 about brides
sneaking out without telling their parents to have wedding photos taken
in Korean dress - and then having a 'proper' photo session with their
families wearing the obligatory ao dai.

Bill

----------
From: Hong Nhung Nguyen <glomitas@gmail.com>
Date: 2008/8/27
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

In Hanoi may be in early 90s, things have changed when the first "bridal shop" appeared (I dont remember but it was owned by an artist couple at Pho Hue street). Under the bao-cap time (subsidy economy), the bride often wear white ao-dai and the couple would go by bicycle with the friends and family on the wedding days. But it has change since the image of bride and grooms was provided by the bridal shop [tiem ao cuoi] mostly come from Thailand and Hongkong. Then gradually, more and more shops appear and they compete with each other by service. More services were introduced to Hanoi's young couples, from decoration (use car, flowers on car, hair style, gowns, etc) to change the entire wedding ceremony (DJ, firecrackers, alcohol, lunch or dinner at restaurant).

What remain is the engagement ceremony [an hoi] as the groom still have to ask to marry the bride by burning incense to her ancestral altar and follows by gift-giving section to the bride. And another thing is that still couples want to take pictures at nice place of the city: Hanoi Opera House, West lake, etc… Now the couple even will take a full weekend or so to go outside Hanoi to find a romantic spot to take professional pictures for their wedding album which will be shown at the wedding reception. I dont know if this is what people do in Thailand and Hongkong? but it seems not western influence either.

Nhung

----------
From: David Marr <dgm405@coombs.anu.edu.au>
Date: 2008/8/27
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

The first major wedding upgrade I saw was in Saigon in the late 1980s, drawing on pre-1975 ceremonies, western in style, and the money coming from Viet Kieu relatives. But the real explosion in size came later, and was not limited to Saigon. Money is the main variable.
David Marr

----------
From: Joyce FAN <Joyce_FAN@nhb.gov.sg>
Date: 2008/8/27
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Re the phototaking session, this is also practise in Singapore - not exactly sure how and when the practice was extended beyond the studio. It is quite common these days that wedding photos are taken in scenic spots. I have seen mostly the Chinese couples doing it but my Malay and Indian friends confirmed that this is also a common practice in their communities. In a similar way mentioned in the email below, these shots are incorporated into a slide show presented during the wedding dinner/reception.

The requirement for a wedding portrait is a Western idea and the phototaking session evolved from that practice, I think.

----------
From: jkirk <jkirk@spro.net>
Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 8:02 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

 

I'm wondering what are the main motivations for this kind of
status competition and conspicuous consumption if they have the
money?
Or is it status competition (as it is in the 'west').

Joanna Kirkpatrick

----------
From: Michele Thompson <thompson.michele@sbcglobal.net>
Date: 2008/8/28
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Dear Everyone,
The phototaking sessions in scenic spots, parks, beaches, monuments etc was standard in Taiwan by 1985. It was also fairly common for couples to have two or more sets of attire, both western and traditional, and to have photos taken in both.
cheers
Michele

Michele Thompson
Associate Professor
Dept. of History
Southern Connecticut State University

----------
From: Tobias RETTIG <tobiasrettig@smu.edu.sg>
Date: 2008/8/28
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Dear Everyone,

Besides Taiwan, Korea was also mentioned.

Based on gut feeling rather than evidence, I would not be surprised if we should look to Japan for a model as well.
Best,

Tobias


School of Social Sciences,
Singapore Management University

----------
From: Oscar Salemink <OJHM.Salemink@fsw.vu.nl>
Date: 2008/8/28
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

A Dutch PhD student in my department in Amsterdam recently married with a South African woman. Much of what has been described in this conversation as typically Vietnamese or Asian took place at their wedding as well, including the slide show of pictures at scenic spots. I did not ask whether Japan was the model for them, but I doubt it.

Oscar Salemink

----------
From: Hue-Tam Ho Tai <hhtai@fas.harvard.edu>
Date: 2008/8/28
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

I don't think the issue is whether it is Vietnamese or not, but when this practice became widespread in Vietnam. When my brother got married in the early 60s, there was no stopping at a scenic spot for pictures, though a video was done of the ceremony in both houses, and lots of photographs were also taken.

In my class, I show a video produced by Narquis Barak of a Hanoi wedding and a rural wedding. In the Hanoi wedding, the bride and groom travel from her house to his in a rented car, drive past the HCM mausoleum, stop in a little park for picture-taking before driving on to his house. In the rural wedding, there does not seem to be much picture taking, both families being very poor. The bride is wearing an ao dai that actually belongs to Narquis. After the ceremony at her home, she rides on the back of his bicycle to his home, clutching a bouquet of plastic flowers. There is no stopping for picture taking at a picturesque spot!

Hue-Tam

----------
From: Frank <frank.proschan@yahoo.com>
Date: 2008/8/28
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

When the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology did its wonderful exhibition on a century of Vietnamese weddings (http://www.vme.org.vn/exhibitions_traveling_view.asp) , they put out a nationwide appeal for wedding photos. I recall that there were far fewer submitted than one might expect, and mostly from the last decade or so, with some regional trends apparent (e.g, the elaborate wedding albums with days spent roaming the city with photographer and costumes in tow to get photos in all the right places became common in HCMC before Hanoi).

I was in Minsk a few weeks ago, and Fridays and Saturdays are wedding days. There too there were evidently certain itineraries the wedding party followed around town, to have photos taken in the right places--although, unlike what I have seen in Vietnam, this was not the bride and groom being photographed weeks before marriage, but the wedding party itself, before or after the visit to the church.

Best,

Frank Proschan
37 place Jeanne d'Arc
75013 Paris
FRANCE

----------
From: John Kleinen <kleinen@uva.nl>
Date: Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 10:51 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Following Bourdieu's Photography as a Middlebrow Art, private pictures, personal pictures, family pictures as weddings**, graduations, family groups are increasingly becoming part of the expression of a social class and a life style. It has nothing to do with a Western life style-itself, unless we assume that it played a role in the 19th century. It is also not a matter of money: In 1992, all the villagers passed the (Catholic) photographer before during or after their wedding ceremony.
At the moment the use of the mobile phone is taken over the same role. A Western invention? It depends.
Photo-sessions and studios: One should re-read ‘Le paysan et la photographie’,by Pierre and Marie-Claire Bourdieu to understand the mechanisms of the way photographing became part of a life-style.
John Kleinen

**

--
John Kleinen Ph.D

Associate Professor of Anthropology
University of Amsterdam
Department of Sociology and Anthropology

----------
From: Hong Nhung Nguyen <glomitas@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 11:10 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Dear List,

I am curious about international wedding in Vietnam in the early of
the century under the french time and also during war time. There
were stories of French, American, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and
Australian soldiers who felt in love with Vietnamese women while they
were fighting in Vietnam. How's about their marriage? It was not easy
for the woman as they were called "me Tay", "prostitute" and such at
that time. Even now the stereotype is somewhat still there. Young
woman who hang out with their westerner friends/boyfriends will be
stared at.

Do you know any story or memmoirs/publication on this topic?

Thank you,
Nhung

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
Peace and Conflicts Studies, MA 2007
Vietnam War Memories and Reconciliation between Vietnam and the US

----------
From: harry aveling <haveling@hotmail.com>
Date: 2008/8/28
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

The novels of Kim Lefevre are good on this if you read French, including her latest
Les Eaux mortes du Mekong.

Best wishes

Harry

----------
From: Hue-Tam Ho Tai <hhtai@fas.harvard.edu>
Date: Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 1:59 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Thanks for the reference, John.

What is striking is not the wedding-related consumption itself but the self-conscious recording of rituals.

About 10 years ago, Harvard undergraduate wrote a senior thesis about a family he lived with in Bali. The father was a priest and very much in demand. On one occasion, the undergrad accompanied the priest at a commemorative ceremony he was going to be holding. The family had requested that a video be made of the ceremony-- apparently, a fairly common request, which had led the priest to invest in a video camera, wielded by his older son. During the ceremony, the family went through all the appropriate motions, expressed all the appropriate emotions, including crying for the departed. As soon as the ceremony was over, they all sat down to watch the video which the priest's son had made and they laughingly critiqued their own performance. This self-consciousness is, I believe, a crucial dimension of the modern self. Photography is an aspect of it.

I have a photo of my mother and my aunt, taken ca. 1925. they are posed on either side of a bentwood chair. Last February, in Hue, I saw a photograph of a member of the imperial clan, taken in 1903. She has her hand on the back of a similar bentwood chair. These would be studio photographs (both have painted cloth backgrounds). Nowadays, people don't go to studios to have their picture taken. Real landscapes have replaced painted ones.

Hue-Tam Ho Tai

----------
From: Dr Alexander D Soucy <Alec.Soucy@smu.ca>
Date: Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 6:49 AM

To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

When I was married in Hanoi in 1997 I was dismayed by the photographer
stopping the main ritual (in which I paid respects at my wife's
ancestor altar) and had us repeat it so that he could get a better
shot. I was the only one who resented the interuption. Clearly the
recording of the event was more important than the ritual itself.

Alec Soucy

----------
From: Hue-Tam Ho Tai <hhtai@fas.harvard.edu>

Date: 2008/8/29
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

One thing Vietnamese don't have is wedding ceremony rehearsals. I remember my brother practicing kowtowing--all by himself, behind a closed door, because he was very self-conscious about it. In the video of the ceremony, he and his bride both kowtow, but they are not in sync, which everybody thought was hilarious.

Hue-Tam Ho Tai
------------------------

From: Shawn McHale <mchale@gwu.edu>Date: Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 9:48 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Dear list,

Hue Tam Ho Tai wrote (re: weddings) that " Nowadays, people don't go to studios to have their picture taken. Real landscapes have
replaced painted ones."

"Real" landscapes? Not quite! I remember being so frustrated this past year when I took my 8 year old daughter to the Làng Du Lịch Bình Qưới in Saigon -- it seemed, from the Vietnamese guide book, to be a great place for kids, with boats, swings, fake ruins, etc. I had not, unfortunately, thought about the hordes of brides and grooms who went there to stand in front of the fake ruined castles, on the swings, and on boats. My poor daughter really wanted to go on the swings, but the brides to be made sure that rarely happened. . .

Shawn McHale

-
From: Hue-Tam Ho Tai <hhtai@fas.harvard.edu>
Date: 2008/8/29
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Okay. There aren't "real " landscapes (Simon Schama and others would argue). Nature has been improved on extensively in most places. I did not mean "untouched." Among "real landscapes" I included theme parks as well as martyrs' cemeteries, in contradistinction to the painted backdrops I still remember from studio photographs of my childhood. I'd even include the inside of the Municipal Museum in HCM as a "real landscape" in this definition.

Hue-Tam Ho Tai

----------
From: Bill Hayton <bill.hayton@bbc.co.uk>
Date: 2008/8/30
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>
Ditto the ethnology museum in Hanoi. Have you ever tried getting into the stilt house when there's a queue of brides in big white dresses teetering up the log steps in high heels? Actually, pace Shawn, my kids were more interested in the brides than the stilt house. I guess that makes them urban rather than rural anthropologists.

From: vsg-bounces@mailman2.u.washington.edu [mailto:vsg-bounces@mailman2.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Hue-Tam Ho Tai
Sent: 29 August 2008 21:23
To: Vietnam Studies Group
Subject: Re: [Vsg] Weddings/ real landscapes

http://www.bbc.co.uk
This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated.
If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in reliance on it and notify the sender immediately.
Please note that the BBC monitors e-mails sent or received.
Further communication will signify your consent to this.

 

----------
From: Peter Hansen <phansen@ourladys.org.au>
Date: Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 12:14 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Dear Hue-Tam,

May I respectfully demur from your suggestion that 'nowadays, people don't
go to studios to have their photos taken.' I get presented with - or see on
walls, in albums, etc. - many contemporary products of the studio
photographer's work in Vietnam. Young people with a little money are often
particularly attracted to it. The ubiquitous Photoshop programme only
serves to refine the art. Whilst it's true that from webacams to mobiles
provide young Vietnamese with new modes of do-it-yourself image production
(for weddings and otherwise), the allure of posed, artificially illuminated,
and decorated studio photo remains strong.

Peter Hansen

P.S. Where I lived in Ha Noi, near the corner of Pho Hue and Tran Xuan
Soan, there were a couple of up-market, one-stop bridal and wedding shops.
The photo-setting seemed to play a prominent role in the shop, and I would
often see couples having a photo-shoot there of an evening.

----------
From: Hue-Tam Ho Tai <hhtai@fas.harvard.edu>
Date: 2008/8/29
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Peter:

Fair enough. I was thinking more in terms of individuals, like my mother and sister (aged about 12 and 15 when their photograph was taken) or the many family photos of the time, rather than wedding photographs. In the US, after all, people still prefer to hire professional photographers than depend on the many many members of the family who come, camera in hand.

Hue-Tam

----------
From: Binh Ngo <bn37@cornell.edu>
Date: Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 10:37 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Dear List Members,
From my experience as a Vietnamese, woman, and anthropologist ... Speaking
of Vietnamese wedding practices, there are roughly two parts in a wedding
which are both visible and not easily visible to "superficial"
observation.
In HCM City, the reception, banquet and photographic capture of the event
can look very "modern" and "Western" in form: gloss restaurants, fancy
menus, "Western" wedding attires, guests arriving in their own cars and
taxis rather than on their motorbikes or Honda om (since the Helmet law
was passed, helmets are not thought as flattering to the ladies' hairdos
for the occasions).
The zodiacs of the bride and groom were carefully checked with a trusted
fortuneteller or sometimes a monk to decide the date of the wedding but
somehow most weddings are preferred to occur during weekends if a high
turn-out of guests and thus profits are thought of. Since the change in
banquet locations (at restaurants rather than at the bride’s and groom’s
homes) in the early 1990s people have become more willing to consider
flexibility in thinking of the auspicious wedding dates in terms of weeks
or months or seasons (first of second week of January, or Christmas or Tet
season to marry for example) rather than the exact date as it was observed
in the 1907s and 1980s.
As for the ordering of the banquet, the young couples can shop at
different restaurants for the best deals and menus that fit their tastes
and budget. Many restaurants, to be market competitive, offer bonuses of a
live music band or the printing of wedding invitation cards or both
depending on how many tables (ten guests/table) the couple wants to order.
With the availability of this type of catering service, a few visits to
several possible restaurants the young couples can decide where to have
their banquet as well as the expenses. They can even quickly make a
calculation whether their wedding is going to be a monetary loss or a
profit by counting the numbers of invitees against the cost of the banquet
plus the cost of drink.
As for wedding photographs, there are several package choices to consider:
hire or buy the wedding attire + photo sessions (indoor or outdoor but
preferably both) + video on the actual wedding day + make up. The couple
can consider having everything at one studio if the cost of deal offered
sound reasonable or they can have each component from different
shops/studios where there are better deals. The groom and bride can return
their wedding gowns and suits to the same studio for a big deduction from
the original prices. Basically this idea of purchase all amounts to rental
but the bride and groom can have the joy and luxury of wearing the sets
the first time before they are back to the studio and in changing hands to
other couples after them). Most young couples like the shopping for their
banquet or studio packages since they have more say and more autonomy from
their elder kin in choosing what they like, of course they later consult
with their parents as a form of showing respect rather than a form of
parental permission.
The photos that brides and grooms would like to remember their happy day
by are mostly the ones taken before the actual wedding day. After the
wedding the newly-wed couples will take that particular album to show with
pride to their relatives and friends rather than the photos taken at the
ceremonies or the banquet. Since the pre-event photos are taken ahead of
the intense actual wedding day both bride and groom can take their time
have some photos taken at the chosen studio. The bride is most dotted on
with group of beauty professionals and helpers to look her best for the
photo session. After the studio they will hop on a van or taxi to Binh
Duong, Binh Quoi, Thanh Da… for an outdoor session. There they can demand
their favorite scenes and poses, and change into several wedding gowns and
suits. One best photo of the groom and bride will be then selected for
display at the entrance at the restaurant on their wedding day.
Compared to the wedding ceremonies at the bride’s and groom’s homes
respectively, the banquet interactions are less solemn and more jovial,
less hierarchical, less kinship-centered, less strict in terms of gender
ordering and propriety. A reception is where old family tension and feuds
can be temporarily put aside for the “happiness” of the young couple
(Happiness is put in quotation marks since many brides and grooms
expressed to me that they did not see their (coming) wedding days as a
happy event) It is because the demand to act in culturally appropriate
ways to their parents and elder relatives on both sides of the groom and
bride sometimes can be too much for the young couple when diplomacy and
mediation are required to tone down existing family tension.
The objective of wedding ceremonies in Vietnam is to announce officially
and culturally to relatives the marriage of the two individuals and the
new creation of kinship linkage by the two families. Yet if we look
closely at the meanings behind who are invited and who are cast out, where
people are seated according to their marital status and kin hierarchy, who
talks what and where, whether women or men talk more or less at such
solemn ceremonies, the impact of existing tension or harmony on the manner
the ceremonies are executed, the flexibility or insistence on keeping or
forgoing certain rituals to make things easier or harder for the other
side, or the content of gifts… and many more. These factors and actions
can be observed at the ceremonies but to understand the meanings behind
what can be observed on that actual day we need to trace back to the
complexities of gender relations, kinship, social status, family
histories… in order to understand what wedding ceremonies rather than the
banquet can tell us about the Vietnamese perceptions of family, marriage,
kinship, gender subjectivity, class, power, status...
Here are just a few thoughts to share since these are on my mind for some
time when I thought about family, kinship and gender relations in Vietnam.
Just a brief note about my research interest I am writing my dissertation
on masculinity in HCMC looking at how male identities are constructed,
reconstructed, problematized through different sites such as gender
attraction, family, social connections, sexuality, work, infidelity and
divorce…in which one chapter will look at how masculinity is “rewarded”
and “punished” by Vietnamese wedding practices.

Ngo Thi Ngan Binh
PhD candidate
Anthropology, Cornell University

----------
From: Hue-Tam Ho Tai <hhtai@fas.harvard.edu>
Date: Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 1:30 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Except for the photography and people arriving in their own cars, this sounds a lot like Saigon in the 60s. The big Chinese restaurants in Cho Lon used to do a very good business in wedding banquets. Consulting a horoscope and settling on an appropriate date was one of the six rituals that needed to be observed as part of a wedding.

Hue-Tam Ho Tai

----------
From: Quinn Dang <ndang@fas.harvard.edu>
Date: 2008/8/28

To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Rylan,
Please find the following two chapters by Bonnie Adrian attached. She writes about the Taiwanese bridal industry--you might find it elucidating to draw parallels between the two countries. The chapter details the growth of the modern bridal industry in Taiwan, particularl with the growing demand of brides wishing to use "bridal packages" as a status symbol. Likewise, as people have observed, bridal shops have proliferated in Viet Nam, with some offering "glamour shot" packages that eclipse that of the west and most likely emerged from EA countries like Taiwan, Korea...

Quinn

--
Quinn Dang
Fulbright Economics Teaching Program Researcher, Intern
Harvard College Class of 2009
ndang@fas.harvard.edu

----------
From: Rylan (CET) <rylan@email.arizona.edu>
Date: Mon, Sep 1, 2008 at 1:28 AM
To: vsg@u.washington.edu

Dear list,

Thanks to everyone for their contributions. The short piece I wrote, which comes
down pretty hard on the wedding banquet industry, will run in Tuoi Tre sometime
this week. It was an opinion piece, which was a first for me, so I let them
have it, so to speak. In short, I believe the buying/selling of the wedding
meal as a commodity in Viet Nam (and elsewhere) represents a loss, and that's
the main focus.

Thanks,

Rylan

----------
From: Hue-Tam Ho Tai <hhtai@fas.harvard.edu>
Date: Mon, Sep 1, 2008 at 5:43 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Out of curiosity, Rylan, a loss of what? All important functions in Vietnam have been accompanied by a banquet. A few years ago, I went to a family "gio" in Binh Duong. The family was comfortable, though not rich; some people came from HCMC to attend, but most were local. There were plenty of young women who could have been drafted to cook it, but the lunch was catered. Village level communal activities also involve a banquet, and through the ages, making appropriate contributions to the village banquet has been a source of competitive energy. So I don't know what "loss" is being involved here. Can you elaborate?

Hue-Tam Ho Tai

----------
From: David Marr <dgm405@coombs.anu.edu.au>
Date: 2008/9/1
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>
I've been to three weddings in Vietnam in recent years, and each time noticed how the recording team (video and still cameramen) have practically taken over the direction from the chu hon. And in a recent video of a funeral I notice it is happening there too. Several older participants at the weddings expressed unease or irritation, but assumed this is what the bride and groom wanted, which is an interesting change of attitude from the past itself. All these were urban middle class affairs, so it would be interesting to compare with rural weddings and funerals.
David Marr

----------
From: DiGregorio, Michael <M.DiGregorio@fordfound.org>
Date: 2008/9/1
To: Vietnam Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Dear Rylan,

In the village where I lived in Bac Ninh a decade ago, it was common to hold wedding banquets over three days. From early am to around midnight, tables were set up with boiled chicken, rice, soup, a vegetable, cigarettes beer and alcohol. Guests would come and go all times of the day, often more than once since the banquet was also a chance to socialize. There was a practical reason for this. This is a craft village, and a very rich and dynamic one, which means that residents are frequently away on business. For this reason, it is hard to make sure all relatives and friends have a chance to enjoy the banquet (and offer their contribution to the newly married couple) on any given date. Holding the banquet over three days offered some flexibility. This was not a new tradition, by the way, and from what the old people told me, it was common in the craft villages within the area.

Mike

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Michael DiGregorio, Program Officer for Media, Arts, Culture and Education

The Ford Foundation, 83B Ly Thuong Kiet, Hanoi, Vietnam, +84 4 946 1428
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

----------
From: Judith Henchy <judithh@u.washington.edu>
Date: Tue, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:00 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Ryan,

You might take a look at Linh Dinh's short story "Our newlyweds," in his Blood and Soap collection.

Best

judith

----------
From: Oscar Salemink <OJHM.Salemink@fsw.vu.nl>
Date: 2008/9/9
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Perhaps this comes a bit late into the discussion, but Louisa Schein had a wonderful article entitled 'Performing modernity' in Cultural Anthropology 14(3), 1999. About half of the article was devoted to the description and analysis of a wedding ceremony among the Miao (Hmong) minority in China.

Oscar Salemink

Return to top of page