Of Fish & Kitchen Gods: A Tết Ritual Needs To Be Carried Out in a Humane & Non-Polluting Manner

Dead carp floating in the To Lich River in Hanoi on Thursday. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh (February 2018) On a recent commute to my office, I noticed numerous signs on the bridge over the Red River. They asked people not to throw fish into water river below. As this 2018 article notes, "the ritual is an … Continue reading Of Fish & Kitchen Gods: A Tết Ritual Needs To Be Carried Out in a Humane & Non-Polluting Manner

Christmas in Viet Nam

St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi. Photo by MAA Having lived in Viet Nam for over 15 years, I can say with absolute certainty that I enjoy Christmas here more than in the US. Even though most Vietnamese are not Christian, it is still a special and even magical time. You see children (and adults!) posing for photos … Continue reading Christmas in Viet Nam

Chinese vs. Lunar New Year: A Mini-Lesson in Cultural Sensitivity

Image courtesy of Báo giao thông Since it's that time of year again and the Lunar Year of the Rat is right around the corner, I feel compelled to state the obvious. With all due respect to China, it does not have a monopoly on this or any other Lunar New Year. Tết Nguyên Đán … Continue reading Chinese vs. Lunar New Year: A Mini-Lesson in Cultural Sensitivity