Seminar "'I think I made the best choice': Lao women’s selection of a Belgian partner"

Le 28/04/2021

with Mimy Keomanichanh, ARC Consolidation doctoral researcher, LAMC, EASt

Like in many countries, marriage is important in Laos to socially and legally legitimize a couple’s life. At the same time, divorce is stigmatized especially for women. Phua diaw mia diaw (literally “one husband, one wife”) is a popular Lao expression, which implies monogamy and single marriage. This is a successful conjugal concept that Lao women dream of. There is also the discourse in the Lao society about couple’s life as a box, which means that, once inside, going out is difficult. Selecting a partner is therefore a critical process. In the contemporary Lao society where people have the freedom to choose their partner, the natal family remains involved in this process. In order to understand partner’s selection in Laos, this presentation examines the case of Lao women in couple with Belgian man. It uncovers the modality of their marital choice and identifies their standard of a “right” person. It argues that Lao women choose a Western partner because they view them as able to fulfill their emotional needs.

Wednesday 28th April 2021, 12:30pm - 14:00pm

Online via Teams

Compulsory registration: Virginie Arantes