Wednesday, February 06, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year)

For the past four years, a few days before Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year), I'd buy some fruits for my aunts and uncles for their altar offerings. Since superstitions abound during this time of year, I recalled when I had to buy fruit for the altar offering when my brother first bought a house. Silly me, when my mom asked which fruits I intended to buy, I said: apples (No! Apple, bom in Vietnamese sounds almost like bomb = unlucky!); pears (No! Pear, le in Vietnamese sounds almost like li which means disobedient = unlucky!); bananas (No! Banana, chuoi in Vietnamese sounds almost like luoi which means lazy = unlucky!). Umm, so which fruits can I get? Pineapples, thom in Vietnamese also means fragrant = lucky! Papayas, du du in Vietnamese also means plenty = lucky! Oranges, cam in Vietnamese doesn't sound like anything I can think of but from the Chinese side I knew that oranges were like gold = lucky! Phew! At least I got some things right. :P When I dropped off the fruit, my youngest aunt asked if I was making banana bread like I did last year. Oh no, no sweets, but I've got something even better that I brought over that night instead. ***** 1 year ago today, I got sick and made a very plain pot of chao (Vietnamese rice porridge).


  1. haha, that's too funny. I love how your mom decides on which fruits are lucky. If your mom knew any more languages, I'd be worried that you might not have any fruits left to pick from, haha.

  2. Christine,
    My mom would insist that she didn't make it up, that it's a common VNese thing!


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