In the Vietnamese culture, the engagement of a couple is an important event which is celebrated as much or even more than the wedding ceremony. This is the announcement to the public that a couple is about to marry and start a new life together. Gifts are given to the woman’s family from the suitor’s family on an odd number of trays, which are covered with red cloth for good luck.
The groom presents his bride’s family with a whole roast pork as a wedding gift during the engagement ceremony. This is a traditional gift. According to Kaimee, the pork is a traditional symbol of virginity in the Vietnamese culture. This symbolism makes it an important gift for the engagement.
The husband-wife cake is offered as a gift from the groom to his bride as a symbol of marriage. The cake is sticky, which is used to symbolize the marriage ties, states Vietnam Beauty. The name in Vietnamese is “Banh Phu The.”
Betel Leaves and Areca Nut
Betel leaves and areca nut, which often go together, are a part of Vietnamese culture and are often given as gifts from the groom to the bride’s family during the engagement. The Vietnamese chew on the leaves and nuts for flavor and stimulant. Vietmedia states that chewing the betel leaves and areca nuts is comparable to a habit of smoking or drinking coffee in the U.S. or Europe.
Wine and Tea
Wine and tea are given as gifts from the groom to the bride’s family. The wine and tea are gifts for celebration of the engagement. The gift does not have the special meaning that comes with roast pork or husband-wife cake, but it is an appropriate gift for the groom to present the bride’s family during a Vietnamese engagement.
- betel nut image by Krishna Das from Fotolia.com