An Engagement Adventure Part I

I have never been savvy with anything marriage related. Especially when it comes to all of the steps of a Vietnamese marriage. There's the "presenting" event, then the engagement ceremony, the "farewell" ceremony for the bride's family, and then the actual wedding! Phew.

1. Presenting event: this is a name I made up for this event, of course. Back in the olden days, when marriages are arranged, this would be the day that the whole groom-to-be's family saunters over to the bride-to-be's family house to take a peek at her. Since there are very few arranged marriages these days, people no longer go through this step.

2. Engagement ceremony: this is when the groom-to-be and his family parade over to the bride-to-be's house and present everyone with gifts such as betel nut and areca leaves (very important because they symbolize marriage and stuff), roasted pork, sticky rice, wine, and some other stuff that I don't remember. Basically, it's an event to request the bride-to-be's family for her hand in marriage. I imagine back in the day, it would be pretty funny to parade over and then the female's family would go "NO CAN HAZ MAH DAUGHTER! GO AWAY!"

3. Farewell ceremony: if the marriage proposal is accepted, this would be the night before the wedding when the bride-to-be say good bye to her family. There would be crying and giving of jewelries, and educating the bride on how to have sex, etc. I'm kidding about the last one, but it could very well be true!

4. Actual wedding: too complicated with so many steps that I don't know so I'm not even going to bother explaining this one.

Anyhow, my friend, whom I knew since 6th grade, decided to marry her long time boyfriend. So, I was invited to attend her engagement ceremony to be one of the females accepting gifts from the groom-to-be's family. Yup. I had an actual job at this thing!

Started with a decorated house to let the groom-to-be's family know where to go or else they would be asking for the wrong girl to marry their son. Hah!

My friend actually handmade all of these decorations! What the hell, right?

She even put together her own flower baskets and stuff! Wut? I say this dude she's marrying got a good deal!

She even spent the time to make herself pretty so the dude's family would approve and say that she has excellent genes to contribute.

Flowers for the important people to wear, i.e. not me.

I sat there and guarded the food!

More of the preparation process.

This is my dad. He said "You will never get marry and leave me, right? You will stay here and watch Cartoon Network with me and make funny faces forever, right?"

I said "Yes, daddy!"

Okay, he didn't say that, but it would be very funny if he did.

"You stand clear of the firecrackers because I'm going to light it when the dude's family comes, okay?"

"Is that them around the corner? I hope I don't blow my hand off!"

Apparently, some people did not like how loud the firecrackers were.

"They're here with the gifts! OMG!"
My dad looked like he was about to bitch slap someone. Hah!

There went the boys with their gifts acting really serious and important.

There went my sister (in green) and Tram clearly looking like they didn't know what the hell was going on.
"The boys look so serious, maybe we should look serious and important, too!"

"Wow, look at them giant gifts!"

By this time, I also realized that I shouldn't be taking pictures and that I really should be in my position to accept the gifts and carry them inside.

"Well, hello there, which one of you has the lightest gift? I want the lightest one!"
Boys: "You're not getting anything!"

Technically, the boys were suppose to hand us the gifts but they didn't. So they just carried everything inside. We failed at a very important job. Clearly, none of us knew how to get married.

"LeTran, why didn't you do your important job?"
"I don't know! I'm innocent! No one schooled me on how to get married!"

Yes, I know you can see my bra and yes, it's pink just like my headband.

I'm assuming this was when they did the formalities of saying "We are here today to ask your family for your daughter's hand in marriage. It would be a wonderful union between the two families and our kids will spawn tigers and lions and bears, oh my! Er...spawn us grandchildren for eternity and happiness and all that jazz."

"Here, to show us how serious we are, our son will also ask your ancestors for permission."

Pretty and lovely gifts.

"Yes, I will totally marry you!"

"Sweet, here are some flowers I picked for you on the way here, I hope you like them lots!"

"Here, lemme give you ear sex under the approving eyes of these elders some earrings to make your earlobes lovely."

"Is that how it's supposed to happen?"

This photo is so funny, I just had to post.

That it is for part I, kids. Part II will be the fun stuff.


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