Though Confucian tradition permits the husband to take lesser wives (theoretically to be chosen for him by the first wife), economic realities (and relatively innocuous modern laws) would force him to be content with one at a time.
O’Harrow (1995) reports also that to give a woman a piece of fine jewelry in Vietnamese tradition is to help confirm her independence as a human being, and for a mother to hand over a piece of her jewelry to her daughter is a universally understood gesture, for which the subtext is "may this protect you from misery." Nowadays, divorce is increasingly easy to obtain.
Because the individual is less important than the family, it is expected that the family will have a major voice in the selection of wives and husbands of their children.
This is often done through a "go-between" (male or female) to save "face" in case it is deemed best to break off bargaining.
[Source: Encyclopedia of Sexuality, 2.hu-berlin.de/sexology \*/ ] Factors to be seriously considered when choosing a marital partner in Vietnam are the social status of the families and the astrological-mystical affinities of the marriage partners.
Out-of-wedlock children are not generally approved; their birth is severely censored: in a family-centered society as Vietnam is, the place of such children is quite difficult.
So, within a family you will see different last names.
But the children will carry the father's last name.
Polygamy is illegal but some men have a second, unofficial wife.
In the past polygynous marriages were common and aristocratic men kept concubines but monogamy is now the norm.
Couples have traditionally been expected to live with the husband’s parents until they could afford a place of their own.