a little bit of silliness....click on the picture to create a fly for it to eat....

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Vietnamese wedding...

The beautiful bride and Amanda; wife of Saigon KOTO's CEO
Today I was priviledged to be invited to go along to a traditional wedding lunch, it was actually the pre-wedding lunch.  The bride was a successful graduate of the KOTO program and is now working front of house at Bobby Chin's restaurant.  This determined young woman studied at KOTO but because her mother wanted her to stay at home during the orientatiion stage of the program, she would leave home at 4am on her pushbike each morning to get to school, then ride 4 hours home each night...talk about iron will!
Ms Hanh, Zung and Janet

Zung (spelt Dung but pronounced Zhung)is a beautiful and gracious young woman who invited us (many of whom she had never met) into her family home and made us feel extraordinarily welcome.  It's customary to have a rolling series of lunches for friends and family the day before the wedding.  Timing is everything with a Vietnamese marriage...tomorrow the groom has to leave home at some ungodly hour (he lives some distance away) in order to arrive at Zung's house at precisely 8am, then they have to get to his parents house by 1pm (forgive me if I err on the exact times, the rice wine packed a punch!).  Couples who are thinking about getting hitched toddle off to a fortune teller who has a bit of a session with them and tells them yes or no according to the portents.  Then they get told the timings they need to observe on the wedding day...pretty cool.
Amanda, David (Saigon KOTO's CEO and Jonny in the glamorous wedding tent

The festive repast
Jonny, yours truly and David
Zung  was wearing a gorgeous outfit - an ao dai - in white with vivid red embroidery and beading.  After lunch we were treated to a viewing of the digitalised wedding album...before the actual wedding!  Here the bride and groom have their photos done up to a month before the wedding, a great idea that reduces the stress of the big day.  For her photo session Zung wore a series of 5 gowns; two white wedding dresses, a funky pink frou frou gown, and two traditional costumes; one with longs sleves and one with short.  The brides take their appearance very seriously, as you drive around Hanoi you can see them with their attendant hair and makeup experts ready to  pose near the lakes and gardens.  The girls all look stunning of course...and the guys actually look as if they are enjoying themselves too.

After lunch ung showed us round her Mum's garden, there were fruit trees; sapodilla, passionfruit, jackfruit, starfruit, and bananas, herbs, vegetables and some healthy looking chooks too.  The family needed only to buy rice - everything  else was growing in their little patch of country heaven.  
Janet, Zung and Amanda


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