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Thứ Tư, 03/21/2012, 9:56 AM (GMT+7)

(Thanh Nien Weekly) Seven minutes to find the one

(Xem bản dịch tiếng Việt)

Speed dating is sweeping young professionals off their feet in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

 

Speed dating koto | hentocdo.vn

 

Doan Ngoc Lan, a 25-year-old food engineer in Hanoi, first read about speed dating online not long ago.

 

But she wasn't interested.

 

It wasn't until her brother encouraged her to try speed dating events organized by a group called TASA in Hanoi that she attended her first dating party earlier this month.

 

"I was kind of curious," Lan said. "Work takes up most of my time during the day so I thought that would be a good chance to meet new friends."

 

Though speed dating has been popular in other countries for years, it's still fairly new in Vietnam. As the trend has just begun to catch here, Vietnamese speed daters often use it as a way to meet both friends and romantic partners.

 

Do Kim Phuong, 23, began organizing speed dating events after a trainer from the US introduced similar activities to her team at FPT Corporation in 2007.

 

She said the majority of male employees found speed dating games helpful as they were single and had little time to meet women.

 

Now Phuong, along with her group TASA Speed Dating, has taken up the model in April, throwing parties, or as she says "warm get-togethers," for young Hanoi professionals the first Saturday night of every month.

 

"Our initial goal was just to make it happen somehow. Some conservative Hanoians would argue it's totally weird and we know it takes time to let the idea sink in that we might be able to find out if someone else is romantically compatible or not at the very first meeting."

 

In Ho Chi Minh City, VinaCyber JSC has been throwing speed dating parties since 2007. Across the country, various clubs and organizations are beginning to hold similar events.

 

According to Quynh Nhu, project manager at VinaCyber JSC, the company has organized about 50 speed dating events in the southern hub and is focusing on expanding the market to other provinces, along with developing a new speed dating program that allows participants to have a date with people who post their profile on henantrua.vn ("Lunch Date").

 

 

"For Vietnamese, three-to-five minutes is kind of short," she said. "We have learned from experience that it's more appropriate to make each interval seven minutes long. They need more time to break the ice."

Do Kim Phuong

- Manager -

 

 

Breaking the silence

 

The goal of speed dating is for singles to meet a large number of people in a short period of time in a single setting.

 

Participants are coupled up and they usually have about three to five minutes to impress the other. When the time is up, the daters move to the next partner. At the end of the event, participants give the organizers a list of people they would want to give their contact details.

 

But in Vietnam, the model has been slightly altered, according to Phuong.

 

"For Vietnamese, three-to-five minutes is kind of short," she said. "We have learned from experience that it's more appropriate to make each interval seven minutes long. They need more time to break the ice."

 

And ice-breaker games are crucial to fill awkward silences, Nhu told Thanh Nien Weekly in an interview.

 

"Vietnamese can be so shy that they don't know what to say the first they meet," she said.

 

23-year-old Doan Phuong Anh, another TASA member, said the group has to come up with different games for every event.

 

"The games should be fun and interactive and be a little bit crazy to get everyone involved."

 

Pham Quynh Anh, a 23-year-old designer who is also part of the TASA team, said speed dating events have become "normal" get togethers where people can express themselves and have fun.

 

According to Quynh Nhu, project manager at VinaCyber JSC, the company has organized about 50 speed dating events in the southern hub and is focusing on expanding the market to other provinces, along with developing a new speed dating program that allows participants to have a date with people who post their profile on henantrua.vn ("Lunch Date").

 

"Participants have told me that they have never had that much fun before," she said. "Maybe they'll find someone. Maybe they won't. Who knows?"

 

 

"For some, speed dating is somewhat beyond traditional Vietnamese norms, which dictate that dating should not be arranged and is certainly not something to be done quickly."

Do Kim Phuong

- Manager -

 

 

First time for everything

 

For some, speed dating is somewhat beyond traditional Vietnamese norms, which dictate that dating should not be arranged and is certainly not something to be done quickly.

 

For those who are still hesitant to give speed dating a try, Phuong said she often shows them pictures of past events.

 

"Some people feel nervous because they think they are the first to do something like this here," she said.

 

Ngoc Lan said her most memorable experience from speed dating event was when one of her partners asked her not to change her seat after seven minutes of talking.

 

"We had such a great talk," Lan said. "I used to think speed dating was something not lasting and that those who attended were people who weren't serious. But after attending the event and having the chance to talk to others, I know they are just like me: serious about meeting new friends, and if possible, friendships that could lead to relationships."

 

 

TASA team, which consisted of six young Vietnamese adults (Doan Phuong Anh, Ngo Thanh Binh, Do Kim Phuong, Pham Quynh Anh, Tran Thi Thu Huyen and Nguyen Thuan Mai), was organizing the first Vietnamized Speed Dating events in Hanoi, Vietnam from April to September 2009. It was the beginning of www.hentocdo.vn.

 

(Xem bản dịch tiếng Việt)

Huong Le

Nguồn: Thanh Nien Weekly, Sep 25 - Oct 1, 2009

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