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Travel GuideFriday, 08/11/2006, 02:44

Bringing the bride home by rowing boat 

Whilst on the subject of weddings, one can eas-ily imagine the bride and groom standing inside a church, and the beautiful couple saying
Bringing the bride home by rowin

Bringing the bride home by rowing boat 

Tourists watching a traditional wedding dance performance as part of Binh Quoi Resort II's new evening entertainment program

Whilst on the subject of weddings, one can eas-ily imagine the bride and groom standing inside a church, and the beautiful couple saying �Yes, I do� to each other before the family and friends. Then there is the usual party to share in the couple�s joy.


However, traditional wedding ceremonies in Vietnam, and especially in the southern provinces, have their own unique regional features and characteristics. So as to introduce some of these to local and international tourists, Binh Quoi Resort II is running a new program, which will feature a stage performance every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.


The show typically begins at 7 p.m. and recreates short traditional scenes from various local wedding ceremonies. To add to the romance of the occasion, the stage show is performed in an open pavilion by the pond. When show time comes along, the lights are turned off leaving only a searchlight to illuminate the stage and nearby water, where small boats decorated in flowers introduce the first item, which is called le ruoc dau or meet the bride.


The groom and his relatives embark to join and meet the bridegroom�s companion for life, not forgetting to bring introductory offerings with them, as per Vietnamese custom.


Then is the best moment for visitors to have a closer look from the riverbank as a parade of boats slowly rows by and passes under the cau khi foot bridge, which has been built in a traditional Mekong Delta style, towards the lovely bride waiting on the other side.


The flotilla of boats then returns, accompanied by young girls waving colorful flags. As is Vietnamese custom, the groom�s mother is the first person to welcome the bride before taking her hand to show her around her new home, and invite her to light some incense and say a pray for the ancestors. This is the most important part of the wedding ceremony. After the ancestors have been introduced and the other ceremonial formalities completed, the singing and dancing can begin!


The bride and groom then leave the stage to offer visitors and tourists a cup of rice wine so that they also can share in their joy. Traditional artistes then perform some classic dance routines.


Musicians also play some fascinating instruments for guests that produce a variety of wonderfully strange sweet sounds, including typical southern folk melodies from bamboo flutes, a harmonious solo performance from a 16-chord zither, or a traditional monochord or two-chord violin.


As the wedding ceremony draws to a close, it is time to say goodbye to the bride�s relatives before the candles are turned off in the nuptial chamber!

 

The traditional wedding show has been tailored for mostly foreign tourists, who can pick up the Bonsai Garden boat at 5:30 p.m. from Bach Dang Wharf in the center of town. The boat then floats off up the Saigon River towards Binh Quoi Resort II on Thanh Da Peninsula. Although it is not far, tourists are served a cup of ginger jam tea to refresh and revitalize them. The tour wraps up at 9:30 p.m. after dinner in one of the restaurants at the resort, before the return journey back down stream, by bus.


For pricing and further information, contact Binh Quoi Resort II at 1147 Binh Quoi Street, W.28, Binh Thanh District, HCMC, or call 556 5470, email: binhquoi@hcm.fpt.vn


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