i know what you mean!

“tradition”

Posted on: February 12, 2013

I’m busy as hell with mundane tasks and am drowning in a mountain of arts and crafts that May produces daily.  I trash them every 2-3 days and yet they still multiply over night.  However, one thing I need to note down:  as you may have known,  the Vietnamese LGBT group has been excluded from the Vietnamese Tet Parade in Westminster this year.  Nguoi Viet forum has put up a poll asking Vietnamese Americans whether they are for or against LGBT group’s participation.   One of the things being said, as their excuse for not wanting the LGBT group’s presence, is that homosexuality isn’t part of Vietnamese tradition.  Said, as if tradition is a dead and static thing.  The obvious, glaring error in such argument is that “parade” in itself isn’t a Vietnamese tradition.  Tradition, along with culture, must undergo changes and growth to accommodate the living beings that nourish them.  One shouldn’t say homosexuality isn’t part of vietnamese tradition with a sense of pride.  Rather, one should hang one’s head in shame that we have not caught up to progress, if that is the case.  In a culture where interracial marriages are still problematic, people are still throwing racist, sexist, and homophobic comments left and right, stage comedy skits harnessing cheap laughs with “gay acts” or “fat people acts” and such, one should not say that any of these things are part of being Vietnamese with pride. At all.

As an example, 300 years ago, Christians and Catholics were not part of Vietnamese culture and tradition.  Now they are among the most prominent groups that often sponsor and uphold Vietnamese culture and tradition abroad.  With time, persistence, and commitment, these religious groups have managed to stay and become part of the Vietnamese cultural fabric.  It’s a good thing, and a normal thing.  It’s a sign of evolution needed in any healthy culture.  Tradition evolve.  Anyone who opens their mouth to claim any understanding of tradition must know this fact.  It is my fervent hope that in the future, I can one day proudly say that my Vietnamese tradition upholds unity, tolerance, and love for mankind across all divisions.

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Later!

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