Posted by: allisonbarnes | June 2, 2011

Crash a Vietnamese Wedding? Check.

I was a little bummed when I found out that I would be missing a wedding while I was in Nam, but fortunately for me I was able to attend one anyways this summer. The volleyball court was transformed into a wedding reception from Tuesday to Wednesday this week for a wedding of a local couple who lives near the school.

We walked in Tuesday to the sound of what we thought was machinery but what turned out to be pigs being “prepared” for the reception. A sound I wish not to recall but it was soon replaced with music and singing.

I had a front row seat to the wedding, as the desk I sit out was looking out upon the reception. While sitting at my desk, I noticed several differences between a traditional Vietnamese wedding and an American wedding. One, the reception is first and then the ceremony. However, the party looked pretty similar. Friends and family gathered around, singing and dancing, and seemed to be having a great time.

Something else I noticed was that the bride doesn’t wear white. I was told that she can wear any color she wants, and this bride wore a cotton candy color pink. But one thing that was the same was that she looked absolutely beautiful. Her hair was pinned half back with curls and an elaborate yellow floral piece in her hair. She looked flawless. It had to have been at least 90 degrees at 9 am and the bride wasn’t even glistening. I on the other hand was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and was a sloppy mess.

I also noticed that there aren’t a lot of speeches or toasts. Instead they had a microphone that is passed around from one person to the next, and friends sing a song for them. THANK GOD THIS IS NOT THE CASE IN THE US.  For those of you who know me, I have a horrific voice and I’m sure I would lose a lot of friends if I had to sing at their weddings.

However, the Vietnamese people at the wedding did not know this. While I was trying to slyly watch the party, one of the attendees grabbed me and asked me to sing an American song for the new couple. I had no idea what to do. If I sang, I would give a bad impression of what American voices sounded like.  I didn’t want to insult the guests though so I sang… or at least tried.

So what song did I sing for the new couple to wish them good luck in their marriage? Twinkle Twinkle… the only song I could think of at the time. A little pathetic I know, but I thought the shorter the better.

The wedding festivities finished with a monsoon. A similarity between the two cultures is that both believe rain on your wedding day is sign of good luck for a relationship. With the amount of rain that poured, I have a feeling that this couple will have a very happy marriage.

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