Vietnam is one of the five remaining countries in the world where the government still tries to convince its population that people will work as much as they can and earn as much as they need, staying super happy about that (communism in a nutshell). They still keep the corpse of the “Great Leader”, Uncle Ho on a display in Hanoi, and after the decline of communism in Russia they even were able to attract Russian qualified out of-job-experts to take care of it.
You still can find people in Vietnam who think Ho Chi Minh was a blessing for their country just the same as some Russians (including current president) claim that Stalin was a great leader.
But mostly Vietnamese just live their lives and try to make it better –like the rest of us. The thing is that for them making life better is a bit harder with all the absurd restrictions one stumbles upon on every turn. But they do what they can.
Every Vietnamese family has a war story to tell and almost everyone had relatives somewhere abroad, in Europe or in North America. These relatives, having better education and better financial means were starting to come back to Vietnam in 90-ies, some opening small businesses, some reuniting with the families or even taking up high positions in the government.
But there were those who were coming to the country in search of wives, preferably young and beautiful, to take them away to their new motherlands. And it was not hard to find them. Fon an average Vietnamese family marrying a Viet Kieu (Vietnamese sojourner) wealth and abundance. Young brides-to-be were an investment that would bring life time financial support and occasional visits to the forbidden western world.
Hotel that I was working in was offering a wedding package, a typical one – wedding reception and a honeymoon suite. I have observed many of those weddings. The parents of the brides were brimming with pride, showing off in front of hundreds of invited guests, exuding superiority over the compatriots who were not so lucky to acquire a new, “rich” relative. The grooms, usually over or around 50 years old, were acting with dignity, patronizing the excited crowd. And the brides, usually about 30 years than their new husbands, were just quiet. In all the weddings I have seen in my life the brides in my hotel were the saddest. They never smiled. But God! They were so beautiful in their traditional wedding dresses. Every time I was checking them into their luxurious suite I was praying for them to find some happiness in a far away country.