Sunday, 3 February 2013
Women of the South. Memories of Saigon. Vietnam 1965 1975
The South Vietnamese girls were happy, smiling and friendly. It was in the South, called by the French 'Cochin Chine' that the French influence was most marked. Paris and Saigon had many things in common. The life in the South was relatively easy compared to the harsh conditions in the centre. The North I will deal with tomorrow. There were problems of course but many of the people, particularly the well off took readily to things French.
The women gave their friendship very easily, were absolutely loyal and would stay faithful. The only three people I am still in contact with from that period are still married. With me that makes four out of four. I cannot say the same for the modern generation.
They were however very quick to anger. An anger, which also disappeared the moment they won their point. They would not bear grudges. I will give one example of when I was there. This wife, confronted with the infidelity of her husband got him drunk. When he was asleep on the bed she tied his hands and feet to the bed posts. She then woke him up. She then set about beating him with a cane; interspersed with questions about his relations with the other woman.
They did not however ask for equality. As they were in command they didn't really need it; in public though they would never embarrass their husbands. In the house they were in charge of the cooking, cleaning and children. As they had maids this made life easier. The children had innumerable women and girls only too happy to spoil them. It was a world where men did not interfere. They laughed outright at the odd American male carrying a baby in the street.