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Lunar New Year: Preserving Culture with Photography

It was an honor to photograph my Vietnamese community celebrating Tet, our lunar new year, especially one hosted by our very own Minnesota Vietnamese Language School!

Tet was my favorite holiday as a child in Vietnam. I remember anticipating and rejoicing for weeks leading up to it, cleaning our house and sending our kitchen God to heaven, plugging my ears to the sound of firecrackers lit on the eve and first day of Tet, dressing up in new clothes, singing along with happy Tet music, collecting li xi (lucky money), eating my heart out, visiting extended family and friends, and celebrating for an entire month. I truly missed Tet festivities when my family resettled in America.

Chuc mung nam moi no1

As younger generations of the Vietnamese diaspora grow up outside of Vietnam, Tet is a big opportunity to learn and practice Vietnamese culture and language. I was more than happy to serve as the event and family photographer for my local Vietnamese Language School in Minnesota. My heart melted when I was greeted by little kids in their traditional ao dai exclaiming, “Chuc mung nam moi!”

Chuc mung nam moi no2

Photography and stories are tools to help us pass on our family history across generations. That is why I do what I do. Many years from now, I hope the grandchildren of the Vietnamese diaspora and their children will look at these pictures taken at Tet 2018 and connect to their ancestors, culture, history, and stories. I firmly believe in the importance of preserving our tradition and language and passing them on to the next generation.

Chuc mung nam moi no3

I’m sharing a sneak peek of cute faces and bright smiles here. To view or download your family’s photos in high resolution, please visit my online gallery.

May 2018 bring you and your family many more smiles, good times, and good news. Happy new year!

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2018.2.10 Lunar new year

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