I attend a Vietnamese wedding and it was one of the loudest experiences on my life

in life •  2 months ago 

I was expecting the volume on any amplified device to be excessive at this event. I had prepared myself mentally for it, but even though the crazy levels of amplification cannot be truly displayed in pictures, you'll just have to imagine a sound system that is cranked so loud that it regularly feeds back and that you are now incapable of speaking to anyone at your reserved table.

In the future if I go to one of these things I am going to bring earplug because when we finally did leave, my voice was hoarse (is that how you spell that?), my face hurt from the ear tension, and I had drank too much because it was nearly impossible to speak to anyone while it was going on.


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I'm still glad I went because I've known the girl that was getting married since around the first week that I moved here years ago. She has always been very kind to me and all of my friends when we went to her restaurant that caters to a mostly Australian audience. I had never met her then boyfriend before the wedding and I think that was the same for all of the people that were parked at our reserved table, which of course was all the way in the back.

I wasn't expecting a prominent location in the dining hall for us, but in the end I was really happy that we were placed in the back seeing as how that was as far away from the speakers as one could get. The emcee refused to allow a single moment of silence in the room and it was cranked up so high that the microphones would frequently feed back with that wonderful high-pitched scream that only feedback can possibly produce.


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That picture there of my friends speaking to the bride is a good example of what you would have to do in order for anyone to hear anything that you are saying. If you don't lean in and shout, you can forget about anyone hearing anything that you say.

Vietnamese people seem to live a life of constant volume. This is something that I frequently complain about in this otherwise wonderful country. The noise, unless it is the middle of the night, is relentless and coming from all directions. I have on multiple occasions heard some massive amount of noise coming from down the street and went to go investigate what I thought was a massive street party, only to discover that it was just 2 or 3 people singing karaoke in their living room with a massive sound system that if Metallica were to turn up for an impromptu gig, they would be like "yeah, this will do."


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It was great that the expat community, which I am a recent addition to, was included in this event and we were all gracious to have been invited at all. I had a good time once I simply accepted the fact that I wasn't going to be able to talk to anyone.

I also enjoyed the fact that as I had been told, once the dessert has been served, almost everyone heads out and that was exactly what we did. I heard rumors that this signifies the official ending of the ceremony and from that point forward they do not make everyone leave, but that is when the patrons take over the sound system for some ultra-loud karaoke. I had ZERO desire to be around for when that happens.

This is a very different experience from any weddings I have been to in the west where we have a more sedate feel to the entire thing. I enjoyed the way that it was a giant party but I just don't understand why anyone would think that the level of volume that this room achieved would be at all necessary. I can imagine that lifetime of being exposed to things like this could lead to permanent hearing loss. There were tons of children there so perhaps the sound system was so loud so that the kids' screaming could be drowned out.

I can only guess how this got started but to me I suppose this will remain a cultural difference. Had this happened back in my home country the oldies would have complained about the speakers messing with their hearing aids.

It was great to go to it, but my voice and my hearing took more than a day to return to normal. I will keep this in mind should I ever be invited to one of these things in the future.

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