Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chinese/Vietnamese New Year

Chúc mừng năm mới!
(Happy New Year!)

When my flatmate Nga asked me if I'd like to go with her to the Vietnamese Society's Chinese New Year event, I was thrilled.  (Alright, I have to admit - the American in me who wants to make everything P.C. wants to call it the "Asian New Year" or "Vietnamese New Year", but it is still called the "Chinese New Year" - so that's how I'll refer to it here.)  I've never really celebrated the Chinese New Year before, despite living in SF - I never quite made it out to the parade they have every year.  When she first told me about it, she said they would have traditional food, and would have musical performances as well as a play, and that the play would probably be in English.  When I went I did feel a bit out of place as I was one of the few guests who didn't speak Vietnamese!  Still, everyone made me feel very welcomed and despite my language barrier, I had a really good time!  The food was very traditional - and very very good!  Thinking about it makes me want some more right now :)  And while the play and music were not in English, I could still tell what was going on with a few translations from my friend, and from how the performers expressed their emotions (kind of reminded me of watching Telenovelas back home...never being quite positive as to what was going on, but understanding the basic plot from the actions and emotions).  After the event we went to one of the clubs in town, and were able to get in free with the society, and had a great time dancing and celebrating.  All in all, I had a great night and a fun time celebrating the new year!

Our MC's...the girl is wearing a traditional Vietnamese dress.  Very pretty!

Cheers to the New Year!  Chúc mừng năm mới!

Lucky New Years Money!

Time to eat!  (Good thing I know how to use chopsticks!)  

We had Chung Cake, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Pork Sausage, Sticky Rice, and (I think it was called) Pork Belly.
A kind of chicken noodle soup with mushrooms and corn.  It looks a little "slimy" compared to most Western soups I've had...but once you get over the texture, it tastes really good!

Part of the play.  The guy in the red played a Fortune Teller who read the future with an was a comedy.

Our performers taking their bow.

There were various musical performances throughout the night, including this duet.  All of which was sung in Vietnamese :)

They played an interesting game where you place a balloon on a boy's lap...

...and the girls have to pop the balloons with their heels!

Very clever!  Requires some brave guys to participate though...

Afterwords we went to a club and got to sit in the VIP lounge.
Me, my flatmate, and one of her really good friends :)

Looks like everyone had a good time!

Especially my flatmate & me! :D

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