Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas from Hanoi

Once again it's the time of year when our landlord hangs a Christmas wreath from our front door. This year we'd beat him to it with some decorations of our own, but he was undeterred:
Such is the Vietnamese dedication to Christmas decorations. And they certainly wouldn't let a little thing like not even celebrating Christmas stand in the way of their polystyrene snowmen and saxophonist Santas. 

I've written about the Vietnamese take on Christmas for Crikey, and since 'tis the season for slacking off, I'm going to grant myself a blogging holiday and just point you in the direction of that post: Christmas without the tradition and religion? Welcome to Vietnam

Thanks to everyone who read the blog this year, and especially to those who left comments, which are like little blogging presents under the Christmas tree. Merry Christmas to you all!


  1. Concurrently, there have been many articles in the Vina press in recent years bemoaning the spiritual and traditional significances of Tet being leached gradually by the CPV's Socialist oriented market economy, aka "wild capitalism".
    Vina Christmas in the memory of my youth was never a garrish, soulless version of it's hyper commercialized Western self: the Baptists' Star of Bethlehem paper laterns were candle lit, the Catholics' nativity scences weren't yet supersized montrosities, and hip jazz Santas wasn't around.
    Had I known not of many a Tay's whinges about the horribly congested traffics and snarky blog entries about irresponsible Viet folks letting their prescious young 'uns riding around with them helmetless, I'd have asked: would you've recounted things differently and not reached for the "Ms Tabitha goes all passive and aggressive" gun too quickly if you'd seen the twinkles in people's eyes when they flocked to downtown Saigon's annual Noel displays, or how parents would motorcycle round and round on Christmas' eve with their children all dolled up in cutesy Santa clothes? But as they say, water under the bridge. ; )
    Speaking of skew-whiffed(new words combo for me) stuffs, there's a VNExpress article about a supermodel spreading the holiday's cheers in the form of a Christmas tree to a Buddhists run orphanage; not as bad a faux pas as yelling Merry Christmas to a random group of passerby Orthodox Jews, but it's kinda inline with what you've been saying in that Crikey blog post.

    Chúc các bạn một Giáng Sinh an lành và hạnh phúc.

  2. I would just like to thank you dear Tabitha for providing plenty of superior entertainment and a great insight into your and Nathan's lives throughout the time you've been away. Having visited you and having those Australian eyes myself I 'get it' in ways your Vina colleagues may not, but isn't it great that we all get a chance to interact together in a way that wasn't possible until recently. All hail the blog and all hail 'Ms Tabitha'. Thanks for a great year!

  3. Robert: those Vietnamese kids probably enjoy Christmas more than any Westerner because they get all the good bits without any of the bad! I'm jealous. I should get me a Santa suit.

    Buster: thanks for your loyal readership! Happy New Year to you and Kerrie.

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