Many of them, both Vietnamese women and foreign men, have said they had felt cheated or mistreated. Sometimes, dating to the men is just a fling. Meanwhile, foreign men complain about money. While in the past, most married someone from their own community, nowadays, our choices are limitless. While in the past, a relationship was strongly dictated by shared cultural norms, nowadays it's not necessarily the case.
If you speak English and know how to use the internet, falling in love with or marrying a total stranger is no longer a mission impossible. And since each person comes from a different side of the Pacific, they are bound to have different if not conflicting cultures and mindsets. While many Vietnamese women continue to be romantically involved with foreign men, there are signs that the rate of disappointment is rising. Both sides at some point experience self denial when thinking that cross-cultural relationships are more simple than traditional ones.
The truth is, relationships have never been simple. Whether he or she is foreign or Vietnamese, happiness only comes when both take time to genuinely get to know each other. The views expressed here are his own.
The most read Vietnamese newspaper. Follow us on. Edition: International Vietnamese. Economy Industries Companies DataSpeaks. Places Food. Trend Culture Style. Contact Us. All rights reserved. It's complicated: When a Vietnamese woman meets a foreign man. So I introduced him to Trang to see if it will work out. Vietnamese women dating foreign men is no longer rare. We welcome opinion pieces. Send us an email. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. The woman in the relationship is also expected to remain a virgin until she is married and ward off physical advances during the dating process, despite the fact that it is perfectly acceptable for a Vietnamese man to lose his virginity beforehand.
On dates, the woman is expected to embody the various traits expected of a proper Vietnamese woman, such as quietness, femininity, shyness and overall conservatism. After getting to know each other through the dating process, the man and the woman often make the decision to get engaged, as marriage is the primary purpose of dating in the Vietnamese culture. If permission is granted, the parents of both the man and the woman meet to discuss the details of the wedding and marriage.
With all interactions, gifts are expected to be exchanged as gestures of goodwill. Danielle Crandall has been a professional writer and editor for more than five years. Her work has appeared in various online publications and marketing materials for nonprofit organizations, covering topics ranging from beauty and fashion to home decor to education and society.
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It is important for women to be virgins on their wedding night. By contrast many men have had sex with prostitutes before marriage. One blogger wrote on xuvn. In Vietnam, dating is considered an adolescent issue. Traditionally, Vietnamese males and females are not allowed to date. Women of Vietnam are ordinarily non-assertive and are raised to be quiet and dainty. They simply grew up in their family until age 18 to Youths who have affections for one another may carry their relationship in secrecy, but eventually, and dutifully, yield to their parents' wills.
Dating is believed to undermine traditions, encouraging sons and daughters to defy their parents' wishes and thus bringing shame to their family. Public displays of affection by couples, including holding hands, touching, kissing, are still considered impolite and must be done privately. His date does not. By accepting his gifts and flowers, she is officially accepting his love. But however deep her love, she is expected to remain a virgin until they are married.
Females in Vietnam are more withdrawn and shy and usually do not make the first move in starting a relationship. If a young man finds someone he likes, he must formally introduce himself to her family and seek their approval before he can date her. This usually requires him to meet with her parents and family members in their house several times. After several regular visits, when he has gotten to know her family, he may finally ask her parents for permission to date her.
As of , many of these traditions of dating etiquette are still practiced but expectations vary from family to family due to changes in the country. Expressing proper etiquette when trying to date in Vietnam is necessary to avoid offending the family of the person you are courting. Let your intentions be known by asking her for the chance to meet her parents. Gaining their permission to date their daughter is a traditional and respectful way of getting a Vietnamese girl to date you.
Take your time, and bring gifts of wine or flowers to the girl's family to further gain their acceptance, as it is customary for a man to participate in activities with the parents multiple times before asking the woman out on an official date. Dating a Vietnamese man requires patience, virtue and class.
Initiating a date as a woman is often frowned upon in Vietnamese culture, and therefore the proper etiquette would be to wait for the man to approach you. Coming on to a man is a sign of an "easy" woman in this Asian tradition and speaking loudly is also looked down upon.
The blogger on xuvn. Taking a Vietnamese woman to a movie on a first date is traditionally unacceptable and is a cultural sign of an immoral woman. A traditional first date of a walk in a park or cup of coffee is a low-key and respectful way of initiating a relationship in Vietnam. Keep the first date at a platonic level, because the first date in Vietnamese culture is often a date accompanied by mutual friends.
Avoid initiating physical contact whether you are a man or a woman, because Vietnamese culture looks down on premarital affection and public displays of affection. Playing hard-to-get is a tradition of Vietnamese women, and it is expected they do not show immediate interest in the man they are dating, to assure that his feelings are moral.
Asking permission in addition to presenting a gift to her parents is necessary to continue the relationship in Asian culture. Avoiding the girl's parents is considered a great act of disrespect and can result in losing a relationship. Arranged marriage is rarely practiced in modern Vietnam as of , but it is still a tradition in some families. Waiting too long to express your intentions, as a man, can result in missing out in this type of situation.
Vietnamese women are expected to remain silent when it comes to arranging a marriage between her suitor and herself, whether it is a prearranged marriage or a result of a mutual courtship. Vietnamese relationships pass in several stages, usually lasting for a long period of time. An engagement, for example, often lasts for several years and as far as marriage is concerned, it is viewed as a lifetime commitment. Often the starting point of a relationship is a friendly date. The couple will go out together in public places as friends only and will be accompanied by other friends.
During this stage of courting there will be no public displays of affection, the man has to be discreet and friendly or he will be accused of being too arrogant. It is too early for kissing or holding hands at this point. That is the second stage of Vietnamese courtship and now couples may go out together without the company of their friends. Again, the keyword here is "discreetly". A Vietnamese girl never shows her admirer that she is also in love with him immediately. Playing hard to get is one way by which the Asian can measure the sincerity of the man interested in her.
It also lets her show the man that he has to work hard to win her love. At this time they will inform their family and friends about their relationship. Every man who wants to be taken seriously by a Asian is obliged to visit her family and introduce himself formally to her parents. There is a tacit rule here that says: "When courting the Asian you are not courting just her, you are courting the entire family".
Following this rule will help you earn her respect by entrusting her family with high regard. If you have any questions regarding which traditions you should observe, you may discuss them with the older siblings. More about this tradition and those following it you can find in our article "Vietnamese Wedding Customs".
When courting a Vietnamese woman you will find that she is shy and reserved even when holding great feelings for you. This is a part of her culture and even for a Western man there is no way around that. You should treat your Asian with respect, lead the courtship with your heart and you may find a lifetime partner that will enrich your life as you have never imagined.
Asian women live in a culture focused on the community, with the family as the core social unit. Here faithfulness to the family is a tradition. If a man wants to be taken seriously by a woman, he has to visit the latter's family and introduce himself formally to the parents of the girl. It is rather inappropriate to court a woman and formalize the relationship without informing the parents of the girl.
Their desire is to make their parents' life easier. If you are capable and refuse to help support her family who may need help, she may not say anything, but she will neither respect you nor understand.
Sometimes the family is more important than you. There is an Asia saying, that is accepted in Vietnam, "You can get another wife or husband but not another mother or father". This family loyalty is also apparent in the fact that Vietnamese families keep elderly such as grandparents instead of sending them to any institution.
They are so by choice and because of their cultural needs. When you marry one you marry the family at least the mother and the father, the siblings too usually. That is trite, indeed, but true. If you can't deal with that let it be known from the start of your relationship with your Asian. If she is a "true Asian", the relationship may not develop. If it does she may not be happy in it, but you will never know. Young women who lose their virginity before marriage, whether through rape or in a relationship, diminish their chances for a "good" marriage, while young men can "sow wild oats" with abandon and be even admired for being so "manly".
The culture and the family lets the girl know it is her responsibility to keep her virginity as soon as they are old enough to understand what virginity is. Vietnamese men are reluctant to marry a non-virgin even if they are the one who took the virginity! Vietnamese woman may not even be forgiven if she is raped. Yes, this is extremely unfair but that is the way it is and the Asian girls know it. As far as courting is concerned, Asians are expected to be pakipot playing hard to get because it is seen as an appropriate behavior in a courtship dance.
It is also one way by which the Asian will be able to measure the sincerity of her admirer. Unlike women, young men, on the other hand, are allowed to express their sexuality freely, and are sometimes initiated by fathers who take their sons to brothels for sexual intercourse with women. Traditionally, in Asian families the husband is expected to be the main breadwinner, chiefly responsible for the financial sustenance of the family, and the wife is "queen of the home".
Vietnamese ladies equate domestic responsibility with being a good wife. They put their family first and they are more willing to sacrifice their career than their family. According to Encyclopedia of Sexuality: The information one can gather about the beliefs and practices of young people regarding premarital relations and the role of sexuality are quite contradictory and are evidence that sex research is still underdeveloped in Vietnam.
For example, the Departments of Psychology and Sociology of Hanoi University conducted research in on the sexual relations of university and high school students in Hanoi Hoang Ba Thinh About Yet, after graduating, only 8. Among those female students who had boyfriends, it was quite common for them to live together in the dormitories.
In a recent survey, only 34 percent of students in Ho Chi Minh City responded that they found premarital sex "acceptable. A socially more acceptable figure was that only Young couples in Hanoi, even married couples, face great difficulty in finding a place for private encounters. Everyday, the man goes to work early, while his partner spends most of her time on housework. The couple from northern Thai Binh province is trying to save money to buy a small flat.
I can take care of him better, while he can spend more time on work. Moreover, we will get married sooner or later," said Linh who has fine features and brown complexion of a traditional eastern woman. We were afraid of being teased by neighbors and friends. But, now I think there is nothing wrong with it," she said. They often rent cramped houses or deteriorated flats near universities and factories in Hanoi for life. Up to and through the French Colonial period, Vietnamese women were not regarded as nubile until about their 16th or 17th year.
However, according to the Ly-Ky "The Book of Rites" , girls might marry after 14 years and men at Any marriages prior to those ages were not accepted. According to Proschan , if men feared that marriage might complicate their lives, they tried to find a girl who did not see in them as the focus of her desires and demands. In fact, many Vietnamese men believed that women were perfectly satisfied with something like a companionate marriage, which involved sufficient ardor to produce offspring, but was not complicated by passionate desire.
A hundred years earlier, Jacobus X. On her side, the woman has not generally a very great affection for her husband, but concentrates all her love on her children. Proschan writes that before colonial and revolutionary legal reforms made monogamy the only acceptable form of marriage, polygamy specifically, polygyny had been equally legitimate.
When polygyny lost its legal sanction, it nevertheless continued outside the law, and women in polygynous relationships lost the protections and rights that the older legal codes had afforded their predecessors - i. Indications are that extramarital heterosexual relations were frequent enough among married men that most people - male or female - assumed that they were the norm.
There were numerous available partners - female or male - for men whose wives "fail[ed] to provide proper attention and stimulation" Khuat Thu Hong , as one researcher characterized the common rationale. In , Sapa-DPA reported: "A young couple who met online a year ago have committed suicide in southern Vietnam after the man's family objected to the relationship, an official said on Wednesday. Minh came to Vietnam with his family for the Tet lunar new year holiday and spent a number of days visiting Lua, said the police officer, who declined to be named.
His family stayed in their province of origin, 50 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh city, but went to the city in the last week of January to tell their son to end the relationship. The man disobeyed his parents, and the two lovers drank a fatal dose of herbicide on Saturday afternoon and died two hours later in hospital.
Current wedding ceremony procedures are simpler, consisting primary of the marriage registration, pre-ceremony events, the wedding and the wedding party. Even though most Vietnamese are Buddhist to varying degrees they often don Western-style wedding clothes for their marriage ceremony, which itself is not religious.
Local Communist officials often wish the couple congratulations after the ceremony is over. The wedding is usually held on a day deemed auspicious for the couple by a fortuneteller. The wedding ceremony can take place in either the home of the bride or the groom or of relatives. It consists mainly of pledges by the couple. Often the go-between acts as the officiating personality.
Sometimes, scripture reading by a monk is included. During the ceremony elder married relatives may pour holy water over the hands of the couple, signifying that part of the virtue of Buddha is granted them. For Vietnamese there are two main ceremonies: 1 the Le an hoi betrothal ceremony and 2 the Le cuoi wedding ceremony.
The Le an hoi is held some time before the wedding: the groom and his family visit the bride and her family with round lacquered boxes known as betrothal presents composed of gifts of areca nuts and betel leaves, tea, cake, fruits, wines and other delicacies covered with red cloth and carried by unmarried girls or boys.
Both families agree to pick a good day for wedding. The wedding day often begins with the mother of the groom delivering a piece of chalk, representing a bright future, to the bride at her house. The couples kneels before the altar while candles are lit. They also kneel before parents and grandparents who give them red envelopes filled with cash.
The wedding feast often takes place several hours after the ceremony, or even the next day. It is proper to give gifts to the young couple, but they should not be given in odd numbers, To do so would be, according to popular belief, to bring "bad luck" on the marriage. It is thus better to present two less expensive gifts rather than one expensive gift. Gifts for brides and grooms are usually given in pairs, including blankets. A single item indicates the marriage is not expected to last long.
Two less expensive items are more desired than one nicer one. Weddings are sometimes lavish affairs lasting several days with lunches and dinners hosted for work colleagues, friends and relatives. October through December are popular months for weddings, and expensive convention halls such as the glitzy Hanoi Tower in the capital city are often fully booked. Guests share their joy at a party later. As the bride enter the home she steps over a small stove with burning coals to purify herself and get rid of evil spirits.
After some tea, the bride is introduced the ancestors of the groom and the groom says some prayers while a Buddhist monk or some other person invokes heaven and calls on the two god of marriage to bless the couple. The couple are bound together with a thread of cotton that extends from the altar to the shoulders of the kneeling bride and groom.
Afterwards tea, rice wine and sweet cakes are placed in traditional red lacquer boxes and shared by the families of the groom and bride. Then rice and a chicken are taken to the room where the bride and groom will enjoy their first meal together as husband and wife. This can be a problem with poorer families who live in government housing which every Vietnamese is guaranteed. The housing consists of a room for a family of four that is 11 by 15 feet. Those that can afford it have a lavish wedding party at a restaurant.
During the feast the friends of the groom try to get the groom so drunk that he will not have sex with wife that night. In December , Reuters reported: "Vietnam is cracking down on traditionally lavish wedding parties thrown by government employees, ordering that no state money be used to fund them.
Vietnamese style of dining is similar to other Asian countries. Different dishes are placed in the center of the table and each person must help himself or herself to a serving. This is why it is important to be careful with the use of chopsticks as mentioned earlier. During the meal, make sure to pass dishes to another person using both hands.
When getting a serving of food, place the portion in a bowl or on a plate. If eating from a bowl, lift the bowl close to your face and not let it sit on top of the dining table as this will be considered an act of laziness. There will be times when the host of the dinner will serve you food either on your bowl or on your plate. Make sure to finish everything to make your host feel that you are satisfied with the meal.
If had enough, you politely decline more food by covering your bowl. If you like a particular dish then you can ask for a second serving. This would simply mean that you like the food so much. Never waste food and make sure to finish everything in your bowl or on your plate. You will be able to convey that you are full and one eating by placing both chopsticks on top of your rice bowl. And after the meal, show your gratefulness by helping the host on cleaning up.
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