On Sunday we traveled by train to the coastal town of Phan Thiet for a most interesting experience – a Vietnamese wedding. Ngu’s cousin was marrying a local young man, a physics teacher at the local university.
The wedding was a fun combination of ceremonial traditions we as Americans are familiar with…and at the same time some very cultural additions. The actual ceremony was at 8:30 am (all you brides, imagine that!), followed by a big luncheon with close family, an all afternoon photo shoot, and then a large reception/party.
By the end of the evening, the poor newlyweds looked exhausted!
Over 500 people, lots of loud music, indoor pyrotechnics, a really painful karaoke session and a six course meal that including several items I could actually recognize. We were served these lettuce wraps (kind of like the ones at P.F.Chang’s) with a slight twist – a large local fish was placed on our table as it seared over an open flame.
I find myself pondering this thought over and over..the Vietnamese have so much in common with our culture. They love to laugh, to celebrate, to love. The want life to be better for their children and grandchildren. As individuals, they value peace and harmony. There is great hope for the future. They are beautiful people.
One problem…there was one noticeable guest absent from the party. The one who makes the marriage bond complete. The one who gives us strength and joy in the ups and downs over the years. The one who promises an incredible feast for all who accept his invitation.