Little Saigon Tet Parade Brings South Vietnam Back To Life

Tet 2012 RSM OCW 88.jpg
R. Scott Moxley
Year of the Dragon: Chuc mung nam moi
Under a bright blue sky and appreciating warm temperatures despite occasional gusty winds, Orange County's Little Saigon community celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year today with a Tet parade that, if based solely on the number of South Vietnam flags waved, resurrected the long dead Asian nation if only for a day.

More than 1,000 spectators watched the 2.5-hour parade down Bolsa Avenue, the main thoroughfare in Little Saigon.

The parade featured bands from area high schools, community groups, former South Vietnamese soldiers, retired U.S. Marines, local business owners as well as Democrat and Republican politicians.

Westminster Unified School Board member Sergio Contreras gave Tet envelopes with cash to cheering kids along the parade route. 

Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen received cheers as she walked the parade route, shook hands and posed for photographs with her constituents.

OC's Little Saigon is home to the world's largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam.

Here are photographs from today's parade:

Tet 2012 RSM OCW 15.jpg
R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
 
Tet 2012 RSM OCW 28.jpg
R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

Tet 2012 RSM OCW 39.jpg
R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

Tet 2012 RSM OCW 1.jpg
R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
Tet 2012 RSM OCW 35.jpg
R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
Tet 2012 RSM OCW 42.jpg
R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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G. Nguyen
G. Nguyen

fyi, we celebrate Vietnamese New Year, Tet, not Chinese New Year. Both Chinese and Vietnamese celebrate lunar new year.  What you're saying is equivalent to say that Americans celebrate British New Year.

James Truong
James Truong

To clear up the confusion that Vietnamese New Year is the same as the Chinese New Year, I will explain everything as follow:

In Asian, most countries like China, Vietnam, Korea, and etc are using Lunisolar calender. We are all celebrating New Year on January 1 of the Lunisolar calender. Each culture has it own name for their New Year. Chinese call it the "Chinese New Year". Vietnamese call it "TET", and Korean call it " Seol-nal". The correct universal term should be Lunar New Year (not the Chinese New Year). 

R. Scott Moxley
R. Scott Moxley

Hmmm. That's an oddly defensive comment. There is no difference between the US and British new year celebrations. Regardless of what it's called, they both mean the same thing and happen on the same day, Jan. 1. Did the Vietnamese or Chinese create the notion of The Year of the Dragon?

James Truong
James Truong

The reason British and US has the same day of New Year, because both are using Gregorian calendar. British and US are celebrating in different way.

Edward J. Borey
Edward J. Borey

Yes, but you would never read in a paper "Americans in Boston celebrate Italian New Year."  Your reply that the Chinese created the notion of the Year of the Dragon also holds no water.  Pope Gregory created the current calendar, but you would never write, "Americans celebrate Catholic New Year."  Tet and Chinese New Year are often, although not always, on the same day, but that does not mean they are identical.  And in terms of practice and customs, Vietnamese New Year has many customs that are totally different than the Chinese New Year.  If Mr. Nguyen seemed irked, it's probably because there is a long history in this country of people thinking that all Asians are interchangeable.  There is also a tendency for uneducated people to use the term "Chinese" for anything East Asian. Slightly less obvious but almost as ignorantly, others have a misconception that Vietnam is some kind of cultural suburb of China - a misconception, incidentally, which led to many strategic errors during the Vietnam War.  As a citizen of the US, whose history is tragically interconnected with Vietnam, and also as a journalist, you could strive for basic accuracy.  

R. Scott Moxley
R. Scott Moxley

Try as you do to prove otherwise, there is nothing offensive in this post to the Vietnamese. Your point seems to be that Vietnam is a separate country from China and has it's own traditions. Okay, well, again, nothing in this post suggests the opposite. I clearly noted that the Tet celebration is a Vietnamese celebration. It is also factually accurate that this particular celebration is at its core based on a date selected in history by the Chinese. That observation isn't anti-Vietnamese, except perhaps to those who are in search of a dispute and can't find anything else. Finally, lecturing me on my manners regarding Tet and the Vietnamese is quite pompous given that if I really wanted to be disrespectful I wouldn't have spent three hours on a Saturday taking pictures without a penny in compensation.

Jeremy
Jeremy

lol only 1000 spectators.  probably more parade participants than parade goers.

Art Pedroza
Art Pedroza

No Loretta Sanchez this year?

R. Scott Moxley
R. Scott Moxley

Right, I didn't see Sanchez or Rohrabacher or Rackauckas or Moorlach bother to attend. (I think Dana was probably nursing a wicked post Bill Maher/HBO hangover.) I did see Janet Nguyen, Matthew Harper, Jose Solorio, Claudia Alvarez, Vincent Sarmiento, Marge Simpson--eer--Rice, and Sergio Contreras.

Vern
Vern

Where's the pic of your 13 year-old viet-boy toy?

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