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T ết was approaching. We were not expecting it. My grandmother had died that year. There were only my aunt and me in the family. The house had been left unfinished since my grandmother had fallen sick. The money my aunt had borrowed for the funeral had not yet been repaid. [ more... ]
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When I was at primary school, the school and village organized a tree-planting day at the beginning of the year. It was a really festive day. Every student planted a tree, and tended it from then on. Nowadays the campaign does not exist. Instead people dig up and cut plants in the forests to bring home, especially at New Year. [ more... ]
An old Vietnamese saying goes ‘Đầu năm mua muối, cuối năm mua vôi’, at the beginning of the year buy salt, at the end quicklime powder. During the first days of the new year, salt is hawked in small bags sometimes colourfully decorated. [ more... ]
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Legend has it that hundreds of years before Christ the Vietnamese made two kinds of cakes, bánh chưng and bánh _dầy, for Tết. Bánh chưng is a square cake that would fit on a dinner plate. [ more... ]
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The Vietnamese Lunar New Year holiday, which starts at midnight on 22 January this year and lasts for several days, is usually called Tết but actually there are about a dozen Tếts a year. [ more... ]
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Over time, the perfection of a prospective bride’s firewood pile appears to have become not just a romantic question but an environmental one [ more... ]
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The Cham people of today are matriarchal, so women propose to men and men live in their wives’ houses. It is the other way round for Kinh Vietnamese. [ more... ]
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The Cơ Tu ethnic minority has at least 23 clans. Marriages between members of a clan are banned. [ more... ]
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Some pointers from One-Hundred Things to Know about Vietnamese Traditions and Customs, by Tan Viet, National Culture Publishing House, Hanoi, 2001 [ more... ]
Although marriage is essentially about two people, it can set up a relationship between two families and two clans. _What needs to be done first is not to choose an individual, but check the line of descent and the family. [ more... ]
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Pasteboard masks have been Hanoi kids’ toys, especially in the occasion of Mid-Autumn celebrations, for ages. But today, just a handful of people ...
In Phan Thiet, bánh hỏi with pig bowels (lòng heo) is synonymous with Phu Long Town, which is the name of the native place of this dish, where it is ...
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