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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.
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.
In the past Vietnamese marriages were arranged through matrimonial agents (mai-dongs) who brought the two families together and arranged the question of the wedding portion (bride price).
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.
[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.
In return, his compensation was comparatively small: a tobacco jar, for example, a box for betel nuts, or a cigarette case.