Double Happiness • Chien-Chi Chang • Magnum Photos

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Social Issues

Double Happiness

Chien-Chi Chang explores the business of marriage brokers who recruit young Vietnamese women to marry Taiwanese men

Chien-Chi Chang

Chien-Chi Chang Decorating a honeymoon suite for a newlywed couple. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2003. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang A throng of hopeful Vietnamese brides. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2003. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang Recruited by marriage brokers, young Vietnamese women are viewed by Taiwanese men who-for a price-can pick and wed them within a few days. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2003. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang Recruited by marriage brokers, young Vietnamese women are viewed by Taiwanese men who-for a price-can pick and wed them within a few days. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2003. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang Recruited by marriage brokers, young Vietnamese women are viewed by Taiwanese men who-for a price-can pick and wed them within a few days. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2003. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang A couple presents proof of identity and marriage so that the bride can get a visa to Taiwan. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2003. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang A husband-and wife-to-be begin the process of documentation for visas at the Taiwanese consulate. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2003. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang Couples present proof of identity and marriage so that the women can get visas to Taiwan. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2003. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang Couples present proof of identity and marriage so that the women can get visas to Taiwan. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2003. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang A first post-nuptial kiss at their wedding banquet. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2004. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang A first post-nuptial kiss at their wedding banquet. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2004. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang A first post-nuptial kiss at their wedding banquet. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2004. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang A first post-nuptial kiss at their wedding banquet. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2004. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang Decorating a honeymoon suite for a newlywed couple. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2003. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos

The disjunction between the needs of men and women in Asia have led to an odd phenomenon: when women from more developed countries are unwilling to enter into old-fashioned marriages based on subservience to parents-in-law and procreation of children, men from that country may search out women from another, more traditional one, to marry. Many such marriages are made in Vietnam. There, marriage brokers recruit young Vietnamese women to come to Ho Chi Minh City to be viewed by groups of men, often from Korea or Taiwan. Each man pays a fee of as much as $8000 to pick a suitable bride. After the men have viewed perhaps a hundred women, they make their selections. Within just a few days of meeting, the couples are legally married, filling out all the attendant paperwork to procure visas. These unions, of course, often lead to a collision of cultures when a couple returns to the man’s home country.