Do Vietnamese get offended when Tet is called Chinese New Year?

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Do Vietnamese get offended when Tet is called Chinese New Year?

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I am Chinese, living in Australia.

Just a few days ago, the local news channel posted news about the new year on its Facebook page, the news was about the new year celebration both in Australia and in China. There were several Vietnamese were quite offended by the term “Chinese New Year”, they insisted that the new year is not Chinese New Year, it should be called Lunar New Year, and they were also saying “you cannot call it Chinese New Year, it’s our Lunar New Year”, a bit aggressive though. They also argued with others that the Lunar Calendar and the new year celebration were not originally from China, while arguing with others, they used some unpleasant words to show their anger. Some of them even said Chinese New Year starts from the 15th of 1st month of the Lunar Calendar, which is totally incorrect.

I think these Vietnamese young fella who got offended are probably anti-PRC because of the disputed islands in South China Sea or any other political issues, they just don’t want their country to have any relation to the word “Chinese”.

My Australian-Vietnamese friends are totally fine with both terms, they used hashtag ‘Chinese New Year’s for their Instagram posts.

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As a Vietnamese, I’m disappointed with overseas Vietnamese who tend to politicise everything. You never see Chinese or Koreans flying to celebrate Lunar New Year, but look at Vietnamese

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“Chinese New Year” is only an English phrase, which denotes the first day of the first month in Chinese lunar calendar. However, nobody from East Asia or South East Asia calls it like this in their native languages.

People from China call it 春节 ( chūn jié , Spring Festival) or 农历新年 ( nóng lì xīn nián , New Year in lunar calendar), and people from Vietnam call it 節元旦 ( Tết Nguyên Đán , “First Day” festival). Hundreds of years ago, people from China also used to call it 元旦 ( yuán dàn , “First Day”), which now usually denotes the New Year’s Day in Gregorian calendar.

Therefore there is no such phrase as “Chinese New Year” here in East Asia or South East Asia. Only western people call it like this. So it is never a problem for us.

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Yes. Because Vietnamese New Year is similar to Chinese New Year , but not Chinese New Year.

The Origin of Vietnamese New Year ( also called Tet):

We often mistakenly claim that The Tet originated from China, through the Han Chinese domination of North Vietnam, we have adopted this custom of HuaXia ethnics.

However, we forgot that during the reign of Văn Lang , the habits and the customs of Vietnamese people has formed, including Tet.

We celebrated Tet in the early days of the new year. Tet is an old word meaning “weather”. Our ancestors depended on cultural, they invented the Rural calender to use in weather forecasting. they had known how to cook the cakes of New year before the Chinese domination of North Vietnam. “According to the book Lĩnh Nam chích quái (Extraordinary stories of Lĩnh Nam) published in 1695, the creation of Bánh chưng was credited to Lang Liêu, King Chiêu Vương of the Hùng dynasty (1712 - 1632 BC). Bánh chưng and Bánh giây became traditional foods during the Tet.”

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Picture : Bánh chưng is the symbol of earth .

“I did not know what Tet ( ) was, the name of a big festival of the barbarians, they danced like crazy in those days.”

Confucius, Book of Rites ( 礼记 ).

Believe it or not, the Vietnamese new year will always hold an important position in the Vietnamese people’s heart.

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Not sure if I'm qualified to answer this, since I'm Chinese Vietnamese. Therefore I celebrate Lunar New Year with traditions from both cultures.

Tết is a Sino-Vietnamese word and came from China, and the Lunar Calendar Vietnam uses is derived from China, and everyone in Vietnam are aware of this. So I doubt Vietnamese would care how its called.

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Business as usual. When will I stop seeing this this kind of question plus “Will Vietnam abolish Tet?” popping up whenever the most sacred holiday of the year is nearing? Anyway, a serious answer from me.

My perspective is from a Vietnamese living in Vietnam.

It’s utterly silly to be embroiled in this Western-centric naming mess. After all Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year are only Western names for the festival. The sooner we don’t give a damn to this stuff, which is sparked off by the Westerners’ word choice, the better.

However, at the end of the day we still have to deal with reality. So if you are in Vietnam then call it Lunar New Year or Tet period. Given how nationalistic Vietnamese can become that’s common sense to save you from us having to correct you on how to use the appropriate word. Plus you are in our country so at least respect our name for this new year, which belongs to us Vietnamese as much as Chinese New Year to Chinese people. It’s frankly a very weird feeling for me to hear “Chinese New Year” in Vietnam, not to mention some Western businesses and tourists are wholly ignorant of this whole thing and blurt out “CNY” when serving Vietnamese customers or chatting with Vietnamese in Vietnam.

However, if I’m in a foreign country then fine, call it whatever you want. It’s silly to get involved in a verbal battlefield just to prove a point here. That reeks of insecurity and snowflake mentality.

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