My brother’s lady friend was one of the original Vietnamese boat people. She and her family left just after we lost the war in her country in 1975. As we prepare for a new wave of refugees I can only say that, based on what is right in front of me, refugees make our country better in every way.
Peggi and I were invited to a Tea Ceremony, a traditional Vietnamese event based on a marriage custom where the groom goes to the bride’s family’s home and officially ask for their daughter’s hand. In this case, where the bride’s name is O’Conner, the ceremony was held at my brother’s partner’s home. Her son can be seen in red in the center of this photo.
The groom’s friends, the big guys in white, made a grand entrance in five GMC Sierra Denali pickup trucks. My brother’s was one of them. He is a mason, the best in the county, I have no idea what the other guys do but their trucks were all in spotless condition. Incense offerings where made to the ancestors before a Buddhist altar and the groom presented the bride with some studded earrings. When she opened the little box she found the price tag was still on them. I offered to cut it off with my pocket knife and I put the tag in my pocket. We examined it at home and discovered the earrings were $2,000 dollars at Macy’s.
The bride and groom presented us with small red plastic glasses of tea and the ceremony was followed by a brunch with homemade Vietnamese food. We sat across from my brother and saw that he was eating tofu and eggplant. Last I knew the only vegetable he would eat was corn. I said something about it and he said, “I don’t ask what it is. I just eat it.”