The Married Life of a Vietnamese Bride and her Japanese Husband
11 years without having to struggle with the in-laws
Up to now, Nhieu Kim Trang (33 years old, Hokkaido, Japan) has lived in Japan for 11 years. Through that time, Trang had the opportunity to experience many interesting things in the land of the rising sun.
It didn't take long for her to get used to the Japanese lifestyle and cuisine because when she was in Vietnam, she lived next to a neighborhood with many Japanese residents.
Nhieu Trang met her current husband when he came to Vietnam on a business trip with her company.
Although at that time, the Japanese man was living and working in Thailand, from the day he met the cute Vietnamese girl, he often arranged holidays or took advantage of business trips to fly to Vietnam to visit her.
Occasionally, Trang also flew to Thailand to visit her lover. "After knowing each other for a few months, he immediately asked me to marry him," Trang said.
After we got married, we both moved to Hokkaido. It's the coldest place in Japan. In the summer, Hokkaido is as hot as Vietnam, but in the winter, the road is covered with white snow.
Before Trang followed her husband to Japan, she was somewhat worried about her married life and about being a bride in a foreign country. However, for the past 11 years, Trang is lucky enough not to have to live with her husband's parents. She does not live with her husband's family, and only occasionally visits her mother-in-law.
“When my mother-in-law was healthy when I came to visit, I didn't have to worry about cooking. Back then, everything was prepared by my mother-in-law. When the mother-in-law died, on her death anniversary, the aunts and uncles also prepared and ordered the dishes, rather than letting the daughter-in-law and granddaughter-in-law cook," said Trang.
Trang's husband doesn't show his emotions on the surface, but he is very emotional and understanding. Occasionally, he also prepares secret gifts for his wife on anniversaries or birthdays.
Trang and her husband both have to work full time, so the housework is divided equally or they do the housework together.
It is very common for couples to disagree with each other. Trang and her husband have differences in lifestyle and culture between the two countries. However, they often choose to sit down to mediate and come up with a way to solve their problems.
Currently, Trang is on maternity leave. This is her second birth in Japan. She worked until the end of 32 weeks before she started taking leave. She even went out with her husband or friends to enjoy the rest of her free days. Despite being pregnant, she can still drive more than 600km. A week before giving birth, the couple went to the beach to swim.
During her first birth, she did not work, just stayed at home as a housewife. At that time, her mother also flew from Vietnam to Japan to support her and her husband.
“I find the second birth very different from the first. The first time, I didn't go to work, just did housework. At that time, my mother also flew from Vietnam to support me. This time, I prepared everything carefully, became independent and everything went more smoothly. The meals are prepared by me, and then frozen before I give birth, "said Trang.
There is no mother beside her and her husband comes home late from work, but thanks to her perfectionism, Trang always actively arranges everything.
When she was about to give birth, Trang made a menu of the dishes she wanted to eat. After that, she went to the supermarket to buy food for preliminary processing. Her husband would buy more fresh vegetables later if needed.
Trang gave birth to her child in the summer. During this time of year, vegetables and fruits are plentiful and the dishes are varied. Braised dishes such as chicken and meat are cleaned and pre-marinated and sealed.
Her husband did housework for his wife, took care of and sent her eldest daughter to school. He couldn't eat Vietnamese food, so he had to cook his own rice.
Thanks to preparing everything in advance, Trang has a stress-free month. In her spare time, she watched comedy shows and various other TV shows.
“I didn't abstain from food after giving birth, I ate everything I liked. For each meal, I did not calculate much, only prepared the dishes I liked and ate well. The meal did not include much rice but plenty of food and hot soup for me to have milk for my baby. In foreign countries in general and in Japan in particular, the preparation before and after giving birth is very comfortable, there is no taboo concept regarding food selection. There are many types of cuisine according to each season, not abstaining from fish or cold food. Therefore, I was very comfortable, not constrained by customs," said Ms. Trang.
In addition to the meal, this Vietnamese bride did not have to prepare meals for her family. At that time, when she was tired, she didn't need to go to the kitchen, her husband would go buy instant food or the whole family would go out to eat.
Page loves to cook. So, whenever she has time, she always prepares different dishes. At gatherings of Vietnamese friends or parties, she often volunteers to cook.
In addition, she also taught Japanese cooking classes and introduced in newspapers and television how to make Vietnamese pancakes to Japanese readers.
"For me, cooking plays an important role in family happiness. After tiring working sessions, my whole family often gathers to eat together, so we are very happy. However, when I'm tired, it's fun for the whole family to go out to eat."
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