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Monday, 3 September 2007

The kiss. Memories of Vietnam

I came across this article today.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6975794.stm

It of course has nothing to do with Vietnam but it brought to mind certain memories. I don’t know what young Vietnamese women think today and I’m certainly too old to try to find out. I’d agree that western men and perhaps women take kissing rather casually.

In Vietnam in the sixties it was very different. First you had to find the right girl. Not impossible in a country with so many men killed evey day but difficult because of cultural differences. Kissing in the mind of a western man has nothing to do with marriage. It might be love. Young well brought up Vietnamese girls took it very seriously and did not play around. They dreamt too much and attached a sometimes fatal importance to it. Relationships were not casual. They usually suffered in consequence.

It was very difficult to learn what one could or could not do without getting terribly entangled some way or another. If one was in the country long enough the war usually took second place to one’s personal relationships. As these became more and more complicated one found oneself becoming like a fly enmeshed in the webs of multiple spiders.

All because of a simple innocent kiss.

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BBCVietnamese.com | Trang chủ | Tin thế giới

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