Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tết of the Chinese Vietnamese

Vietnamese of Chinese origins live almost in district 5, Hồ Chí Minh city with population of half a million. They are very good at doing business and famous with riches.
Tết for Chinese Vietnamese is not so busy as that of Vietnamese, it’s a bit composed and secret. When year-end comes, they care to pay all debts in order to be lucky for the New-year.

The worship of the kitchen Gods of the Hoa minority (Chinese Vietnamese) is quite different from Vietnamese’s. It takes place on 24th of December. On New-year Eve, a tray of vegetarian food is prepared in front of their house. In the afternoon of the last day of the old year, the whole family, however busy they are, sit together for a big party. In the morning of the first day of New year, children, grandchildren, all kneel down and bow a cup of tea to the grand or great-grand parents who in return will give “lucky-money”. For Hoa minority, bánh tổ (a kind of cake made of sticky rice mixed in with to have on altars. It’s symbol of the globe and it will be cut into pieces and shared.

Hoa minority people don’t have meat-pie or meat-roll as Vietnamese do but they have sausage and smoked ducks (lạp xường and vịt lạp). It needs baking before their meals.

Most specifically, the Hoa people have seaweeds broth, it’s a “lucky food” for New year in their opinion (or phát thái in their own language).

Lion-tiger dragon dance is a culture of Hoa people in Hồ Chí Minh city. Rich families put prize -money high on their buildings, and performers have to climb up to get while dancing. Each group of performers has it own musical band that makes the dance more merry and exciting. Lion-dragon dance is also a game of sports to stir the spirit and atmosphere of Hoa community during Tết holidays.

Tết for Hoa people is very important but they are very economical in spending. After Tết, they start working hard to earn more money.
                                                            THU HẰNG
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