Tet fes­ti­val cel­e­bra­tions

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Wanneroo Times - - Front Page - Lau­ren Pi­lat

THE Wanneroo Show­ground will be abuzz with live mu­sic, lion dancers and fire­works this week­end as more than 12,000 peo­ple cel­e­brate Viet­namese (Tet) New Year.

The free an­nual Tet fes­ti­val, hosted by the Viet­namese Com­mu­nity in Aus­tralia WA Chap­ter, will start on Fri­day and run through to mid­night on Sat­ur­day, with fire­works light­ing up the sky from 8.30pm each night.

WA Chap­ter pres­i­dent Anh Nguyen, who fled South Viet­nam in 1981 with his fam­ily, said Tet was the most im­por­tant cul­tural event for Viet­namese peo­ple, dat­ing back thou­sands of years.

“It marks the be­gin­ning of a new lu­nar new year, the best time for fam­ily mem­bers to have a re­union, con­sol­i­dat­ing fam­ily love, wish­ing best of luck and suc­cess to ev­ery­one, and help­ing oth­ers,” he said.

“Be­ing ex­pa­tri­ates, Tet New Year cel­e­bra­tions re­mind us of unity, col­lec­tive strength and har­mony with other cul­tur­ally and lin­guis­ti­cally di­verse com­mu­ni­ties to help main­tain the Aus­tralian mul­ti­cul­tural land­scape.”

The Viet­namese ex-pat re­mem­bered the time when there was no cause for cel­e­bra­tion as one of the many “boat peo­ple” who fled their war-torn coun­try for the chance of a bet­ter life with­out know­ing what the jour­ney held.

“The sea jour­ney was quite lucky for me, with­out pi­rates or a storm, but five of my in-law fam­ily mem­bers dis­ap­peared on the sea one week af­ter our es­cape,” the doc­tor of 27 years said.

With count­less sto­ries sim­i­lar to that of Dr Nguyen’s fam­ily, he en­cour­aged peo­ple of all eth­nic­i­ties

and cul­tural back­grounds to come to­gether at the two-day event to cel­e­brate the Viet­namese pres­ence and con­tri­bu­tion to WA.

“Grad­u­ally this Tet fes­ti­val is be­com­ing part of the lo­cal and statewide main­stream pub­lic gath­er­ings,” he said.

Dr Nguyen said he ex­pected more than 12,000 peo­ple to at­tend the cel­e­bra­tions, which would in­clude about 50 food, mer­chan­dise, cul­tural and ser­vice stalls; live mu­sic, chil­dren’s show rides and games; lion dances; fire­crack­ers and 15-minute fire­works dis­plays.

There will also be prizes for vis­i­tors in Viet­namese tra­di­tional dress, ao dai.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

Nguyen Tran, Khanh Nguyen, Thuy Glos­sop, Jas­mine Nguyen, Thyna Bui, Huong Dinh, Quinne Le and Trang Le dressed for Tet New Year. d479513

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