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    Cultural dating and marriage practices

    Monogamy is expected to be observed during marriage—at least among the wife anyway.The family of the groom approves the marriage and organizes the wedding for him.The reasoning went that an older woman was stronger and more able to perform farming chores.An ugly woman who could work was often considered a better catch than a beautiful one who couldn't work.

    Interestingly, the woman did not bring any marriage portion, and it was the groom who paid for the wedding presents, brought to the common lot his fortune of rice fields and cattle, and often had to pay money to the wife’s family.Another major factor in the choosing of marriage partners is consulting of horoscopes.This is often done by a Buddhist monk who practices the art.Women are generally expected to be married at a relatively young age and to have children frequently thereafter.Out-of-wedlock children are not generally approved; their birth is severely censored: in a family-centered society as Vietnam is, the place of such children is quite difficult.The typical engagement lasted six months, with little contact between the bride and groom prior to the marriage.Traditionally the marriage was at one of the couples' homes.[Source: The Religions of South Vietnam in Faith and Fact, US Navy, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Chaplains Division ,1967 ] Pamela La Borde, MD of Ethnomed wrote: "Marriage in Vietnam in the 1950s and earlier was very different than today and in the U. Previously marriage was influenced by Buddhist theology and Confucian philosophy.Vietnamese believed that fate in marriage, as well as wealth and position, were preordained, though choice could play some role in activating a positive or negative fate.Men have traditionally married between 20 and 30 years of age, and women between 18 and 25 years.When Vietnamese marry, the woman doesn’t change her family names.Couples have traditionally been expected to live with the husband’s parents until they could afford a place of their own.In the old days the bride was usually several years older than the groom.Women kept their maiden names legally but used their husband's name formally.

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