Expats on love, marriage and children

Marriage and children have been hot topics in Vietnam of late, thanks to the Government’s announcement that it wants people to marry before 30 and have two kids before 35, with tax breaks and other policies on offer to encourage procreation.

Vietnamese government encourages people to get married before 30 and have two children before 35. 

Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage, or so sang the thrice-divorced Frank Sinatra, so perhaps he knew a bit more about melodies than matrimony.

Marriage and children have been hot topics in Việt Nam of late, thanks to the Government’s announcement that it wants people to marry before 30 and have two kids before 35, with tax breaks and other policies on offer to encourage procreation.

Understandably, the announcement has sparked heated debate, so we spoke to some expats to get their take.

Elle Tarr, British expat, unmarried

Did you think you’d be married by the time you were 30?

To be honest, when I was in my young 20s I did think I would because of societal expectations but as I got older I just wasn’t ready and then it became less important to me.

How would your life be different if you had married at 30?

I think probably quite a lot different because I don’t know if I would have moved abroad, I was still in the UK when I was 30 so that might have stopped me from pursuing my travel dreams and becoming a teacher.

Do you think such a policy would be effective in the UK?

I think that there is societal pressure there to do those things and that 30 and 35 aren’t ridiculous ages to put forth but I don’t think it would affect people too much. I think a lot of people who want to get married and have kids would try to do it by those ages anyway.

Is there pressure to get married in the UK?

I think it’s less important than it used to be but it is still quite expected with how our population is quite an old, ageing population and our birthrate is actually on the decline I feel like people maybe do need to have more kids but I’m not sure that everyone is pressured to do so as they used to be.

Billy Gray, British expat, unmarried

Do you think you’ll be married by the time you’re 30?

I don't plan or expect to be married by 30, although I wouldn't rule it out completely - who knows who you might meet!

How effective will tax breaks and the like be to encourage procreation?

Assuming I was planning on having kids within the next few years, having policies like tax breaks and better access to social housing would come into the equation, but it wouldn't be the 'make or break' factor.

 

Would these policies work in the UK?

Many people in the UK are putting off having kids until a later age, so tax breaks and other tangible incentives would likely push a small fraction of couples to have children earlier. The effect would be limited, but it would be there all the same.

Is there pressure to get married in the UK?

I think that depends on who you're talking to. Marriage is seen by many as a staple of growing up and settling down, while many others see it as an outdated institution and instead opt to cohabit. My neighbours in the UK have lived together for decades and have three children together, but they were never married.

A nurse cares of a mother and her newborn babyin Đà NẵngObstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital.

Dustin Lloyd, American expat, married

Did you plan to get married before you turned 30?

Hằng was 29 years old (30 by Vietnamese counting standards) when we got married. I was 27, just a month short of 28. I had proposed in December 2017, then we had our ăn hỏi (engagement ceremony) in April 2018, and our wedding in February 2019 - so it had been planned for a while. I hadn't always assumed I would be married before 30 but had always planned on marrying at some point. Hằng obviously had some familial pressure about marriage and kids the older she was getting, but I don’t feel like that actually influenced our time frame for getting married.

Are you planning to have kids before you’re 35?

We want to have at least two kids by the time I am 35. Hằng is actually 16 weeks pregnant now with our first child (a boy!). I've always wanted kids, coming from a pretty large family myself.

Do you think a similar policy would be effective in your home country?

In the USA I don't think these policies would be well-received or effective in encouraging couples to have kids - and would probably inspire some backlash as most government legislation regarding family planning already does. It might be seen as big government meddling with private family life, or something that would be taken advantage of.

How important are marriage and procreation back home?

It seems like marriage is increasingly seen as a traditional and non-essential institution in the US, though I think lots of American culture and everyday life still centres more around individual family units rather than a bigger collective community, and for that reason, I think Americans still put more value and importance on having kids than some European countries for example. — VNS

Peter Cowan

“Vietnam We Thank You – Việt Nam Cố Lên”: Touching messages from expats

“Vietnam We Thank You – Việt Nam Cố Lên”: Touching messages from expats

The messages have caught public attention and been widely shared over the last few days.

Expat brings people together while keeping a distance

Expat brings people together while keeping a distance

As social distancing continues to take its toll on residents obliging by the rules, one expat English teacher has decided to use the time to good effect.

 
 

Other News

.
Vietnamese in Southeast Asia’s COVID epicentres stay calm and optimistic
Vietnamese in Southeast Asia’s COVID epicentres stay calm and optimistic
SOCIETYicon  14/06/2021 

Nguyen Trung Dong, a Vietnamese engineer working in Vientiane, Laos, received the first shot of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine two weeks ago.

COVID-19 vaccine fund receives over 211.3 million USD in cash donations so far
COVID-19 vaccine fund receives over 211.3 million USD in cash donations so far
SOCIETYicon  14/06/2021 

The national COVID-19 vaccine fund has received more than 4.85 trillion VND (211.35 million USD) worth of donations from 291,818 organisations and individuals as of 5pm on June 13, according to the fund's management board.

COVID-19: 92 new cases reported on June 14 morning
COVID-19: 92 new cases reported on June 14 morning
SOCIETYicon  14/06/2021 

The Ministry of Health confirmed 91 new locally-transmitted and one imported COVID-19 cases in the past 12 hours to 6am on June 14, including 73 detected in quarantined or locked down areas.

Bac Ninh eases social distancing, Quang Ninh reboots tourism
Bac Ninh eases social distancing, Quang Ninh reboots tourism
SOCIETYicon  13/06/2021 

The northern province of Bac Ninh eased social distancing measures in several areas, starting from 0am on June 13.

103 more COVID-19 cases recorded in Vietnam, daily caseload at 297
103 more COVID-19 cases recorded in Vietnam, daily caseload at 297
SOCIETYicon  13/06/2021 

Vietnam has confirmed an additional 103 locally transmitted coronavirus cases in five localities during the past six hours, raising its daily count to 297, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Over 93,000 students enter 10th grade entrance exam in Hanoi
Over 93,000 students enter 10th grade entrance exam in Hanoi
SOCIETYicon  13/06/2021 

More than 93,000 students throughout Hanoi took part in the 10th grade entrance exam for the upcoming school year on June 12.

Temporary blockade imposed on HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases
Temporary blockade imposed on HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases
SOCIETYicon  13/06/2021 

The municipal Department of Health decided to impose a temporary blockade on the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases in the evening of June 12 after some healthcare workers in the hospital tested positive for Covid-19.

Vietnam’s top leaders consider vaccine passport
Vietnam’s top leaders consider vaccine passport
SOCIETYicon  13/06/2021 

Vietnam vows to pursue the twin goal of containing Covid-19 and developing the economy to serve the recovery plans.

Businesses face difficulties in vaccine imports
Businesses face difficulties in vaccine imports
SOCIETYicon  13/06/2021 

The Government has created conditions for localities and businesses to stimulate the import of Covid-19 vaccines, however, no proposals have been sent to the relevant agencies.

Tropical low depression develops into storm
Tropical low depression develops into storm
SOCIETYicon  13/06/2021 

A tropical low-pressure system has developed into a storm, internationally named Koguma, becoming the second hitting the East Sea since the beginning of this year.

Most of fresh Covid-19 cases linked to industrial parks
Most of fresh Covid-19 cases linked to industrial parks
SOCIETYicon  13/06/2021 

The Ministry of Health this morning, June 13, confirmed 96 Covid-19 cases in seven localities, with 67 cases linked to previous patients in industrial parks.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JUNE 12
VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JUNE 12
SOCIETYicon  12/06/2021 

UNICEF welcomes Vietnam's approval of programme on child protection online

Methamphetamine use on the rise in Vietnam: UNODC
Methamphetamine use on the rise in Vietnam: UNODC
SOCIETYicon  12/06/2021 

The number of methamphetamine users in Vietnam increased by nine times from 2016 to 2020, a new report has found.

Ministry affirms Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line certified as safe by French consultant
Ministry affirms Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line certified as safe by French consultant
SOCIETYicon  11/06/2021 

Responding to news about the recommendations from Apave-Certifier-Tricc (ACT), a French consulting firm, over the safety of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project,

Bac Giang migrant workers to be relocated as part of Covid-19 fight
Bac Giang migrant workers to be relocated as part of Covid-19 fight
SOCIETYicon  11/06/2021 

The northern province of Bac Giang, Vietnam’s ongoing Covid-19 epicentre, plans for workers from other localities to return to their hometowns to help mitigate Covid-19 infections.

HCM City has several chains of Covid infections with unknown sources
HCM City has several chains of Covid infections with unknown sources
SOCIETYicon  12/06/2021 

In addition to the outbreak related to the Revival Ekklesia Mission, Ho Chi Minh City has recorded new infection chains at apartments, a mechanical workshop and a hotel, with unknown sources of infection.

HCM City seeks ways to help laid-off workers, poor people survive pandemic
HCM City seeks ways to help laid-off workers, poor people survive pandemic
SOCIETYicon  11/06/2021 

Financial relief packages and free supply of rice and other essential goods are among the many initiatives being taken by the Government and charity organisations to help workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students pray at Temple of Literature gate before high-school entrance exams
Students pray at Temple of Literature gate before high-school entrance exams
SOCIETYicon  11/06/2021 

Hanoi’s high-school entrance exam will take place on June 12-13. Before the exams, many parents and students prayed at the gate of Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature) for good luck.

Vietnam sets up more maritime militias
Vietnam sets up more maritime militias
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  11/06/2021 

The militia squadrons are tasked with reconnaissance and maritime exploitation

Shirts made of leaves of 200-year-old tree in Ha Tinh
Shirts made of leaves of 200-year-old tree in Ha Tinh
FEATUREicon  13/06/2021 

Unusual items made by craftspeople and cooks in Vietnam:

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN