In SOUTHERN PART of the COUNTRY: a HOST of PARALLEL CONCERNS

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HUNG NGUYEN MANH 1

   With respect to midland regions of northern Vietnam, the practices, customs and atmosphere of the Lunar New Year Festival have been regarded as typical for Vietnam’s Tết. However, apart from the shared traditions, the people living in Southern Vietnam provinces and in the Central Highlands or the people who had emigrated to Vietnam representing a wide variety of ethnic groups also had many noteworthy traits of their own. Here, we should go farther to the south and study them through extant archives.

    With regard to the Lunar New Year Festival in the Southern part of Vietnam, some people have chosen the period from 1869 (when Saigon was seized by the French) to 1920 for their observation. Within almost half a century the French failed to alter the practices and customs of Southern Vietnamese. A questions is raised: Why do those scientists take that span of time for study and research?

    Is it correct to say that in 1920 the first cargo truck which opened two runs a day from Saigon to other southern localities helped to alter the image of the society? Prior to 1920, although kerosene had been sold to many rural hamlets and villages and big Hoa Kỳ (American) kerosene lamps had been seen in many places, many of southern families still used ground-nut oil and cotton wick to light the lamp. Although several villagers could speak French they still refused to wear Western-styled dress (even when they drank French alcohol together with Westerners in the village)2

   Southern women were busy to the full as from the beginning of the twelfth month. They had to husk paddy and pound rice in preparation of food for the whole of the first month during which it was taboo to breaking the ground. Only the rich and lazy families bought already-husked rice from shops at Chợ Lớn (Grand market). Apart from these things, they had to prepare glutinous rice, green bean, sugar… for making steamed cakes and purchase other necessary goods.

NOTE:
1 Associate Professor HUNG NGUYEN MANH, Doctor of Phylosophy in History.
2 According to BÌNH NGUYÊN LỘC – (The losses and gains of Culture or the Tranquil Tets in the South) – Saigon, Oriental Review, special issues 19 and 20, January and February, 1973.

BAN TU THU
01 /2020

NOTE:
◊  Source: Vietnamese Lunar New Year – Major Festival – Asso. Prof. HUNG NGUYEN MANH, Doctor of Phylosophy in History.
◊  Bold text and sepia images has been set by Ban Tu Thu – thanhdiavietnamhoc.com

SEE ALSO:
◊  From Sketches in early 20th century to traditional rituals and festival.
◊  Signification of the term “Tết”
◊  Lunar New Year Festival
◊  Concerns of PROVIDENT PEOPLE – Concerns for KITCHEN and CAKES
◊  Concerns of PROVIDENT PEOPLE – Concerns for MARKETING – Section 1
◊  Concerns of PROVIDENT PEOPLE – Concerns for MARKETING – Section 2
◊  Concerns of PROVIDENT PEOPLE – Concerns for Dept payment
◊  Vietnam Lunar New Year – vi-VersiGoo
◊  etc.

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