But on the ground in Saigon, this could not have seemed less true.
Some even stopped to ask if they had been impolite in speaking so frankly.
If you go to a public park and speak English, you’ll quickly acquire a crowd of Vietnamese children, students, and adults all eager to talk to you and pepper you with questions about America. They might also say you look like Taylor Swift – even if you do not look like her and even if you have brown hair. ” He might go up to her and ask, “What do you study in school?
But actually now, we have brought a lot of culture from Western and now it’s much more open. Like, in that time my parents get along together, if you have sex with your lover before you get married that was a very, very bad thing. “But of course, they have sex with other women.” Trang agreed, “Yes, normally the men always have another girl.” “Especially in the South, the men treat their women not well… There is a gap between the theory and the practical implementation at all levels.” The study offered as explanation that domestic violence is considered “a private family matter in which society should not interfere” and that “violence is considered normal behavior.” I hopefully asked my interviewees if they thought this aspect of their culture was changing, but I didn’t get much of a straight answer. The general consensus: yes, no, not really, we don’t know.
Once upon a time if a man wanted to date a girl he had to ask permission from her family. I noticed that the younger students, especially Nguyen and Trang, spoke more willingly than the older people present.
They will definitely want to take pictures with you and friend you on Facebook. ” He might say “hello and [giggling] after that he will say to her, ‘You can give me your number?
They will also ask you if you know any rich people to sponsor a visa. ’ And then they text message together and start dating.” Nguyen and Trang said kids have sex before marriage, usually starting around age 16.
Your presence here is really tremendous.” He kept saying “tremendous.” I winced.
Not much time has passed since the Viet Nam War, so I found this Vietnamese celebration of American culture especially puzzling if not troubling.
I asked about dating and the courtship process and what they described fit the near universal paradigm. Ly disagreed, saying Viet Nam is still “more traditional than U. A.…a relationship of girlfriend and boyfriend not so common that before they marry they have sex together.
According to Nguyen and Trang, two first-year university students, and Ly, a 27-year-old mother, boys and girls start dating around 14 or 15. I think in America much more common and also they have sex very early! Here now it’s a little different, maybe they can have sex before they get married but maybe 19 or 20, not 15 or 16.” Nguyen and Trang heard Ly telling me this and gave me some silent headshakes.
America is cool, but the hope of upward mobility is nothing like the streets-paved-with-gold that many foreigners still imagine.