Why we built Avo Vietnam
By: Chris Hems 17/06/2021
Empower Vietnamese Women
Avo Vietnam started with one simple idea: Empower Vietnamese Women. Looking around Vietnam, we saw so much pain in suffering in relationships (“like a bird in a cage”). Vietnamese women work hard to take care of their homes and keep their husbands happy: đàn ông xây nhà đàn bà xây tổ ấm.
For 100s of years, men spend their youths learning trades to support themselves and their future families. Women stayed in homes to learn homemaking skills like cooking, cleaning, and childcare. Women were (and are) the backbone of Vietnamese culture. The traditions are passed down in the home from grandmother to granddaughter. Vietnamese women and girls learn how to cook traditional family recipes , dye clothes, and sew beautiful Ao Dai.
Even today, if you ever visit the small towns of Vietnam and dine with their families, you can see asymmetric relationships. During the day, the women shop for food, cook, and clean. They feed, dress, and send the children off to school. During lunch, the men and children return home to a hot meal and then return to work and school.
During meals, the husband relaxes at the table with his male friends, drinking Tiger beer and rice wine. The women and children prepare and serve dinner. After the men are served food, the women and children eat separately from the men. Then the women clean the dishes and serve more drinks (often alcohol) to the men.
When Vietnamese women in rural areas reached the age of 18, their parents negotiate their marriage. I use the word “negotiate” because, in Vietnam, their tradition calls for a reverse dowry. To demonstrate the husband can provide for his new wife, he gifts gold to her parents (usually $2k-$4k USD of gold 2018). Vietnamese men are buying their wives like they buy a motorbike. If your motorbike does not work, you get angry and kick the motorbike. At AvoVietnam, we know that women are not property that you buy and sell. But how can we break this toxic cycle?
But why a dating app?
If you visit any home in western culture, you will observe a husband and wife sitting side by side, eating at the same time, and drinking the same drinks. When extended families or friends dine together, the adults of all genders eat together. After dinner, the “I clean, you cook” rule is applied. Men and women have an equal partnership and share equal responsibility when managing the home.
Historically in western culture, the woman’s family pays the husband (called a dowry). At the time, women were unable to support themselves and considered an economic burden. In today’s time, dowries are unheard of. Women are no longer considered a financial liability, but an asset.
Wives of westerners attend college and learn skills. These women have hobbies like yoga, gardening, and book clubs.
Avo Vietnam was founded to empower Vietnamese women with safe choices.
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