Pullman’s Vietnamese community embraces its heritage

{{tncms-asset app=”editorial” id=”c03ccfe6-12b0-11e7-a88e-e31406844911″}}

People of all ages in the community came together for an afternoon full of Vietnamese cuisine, dances, music and celebration Saturday.

The theme of the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) cultural event show, Footprints of Vietnam, was Que Huong, meaning “hometown,” in hopes to bring a sense of home to the Vietnamese community.

During the show, MC Diana Le said the event was meant to highlight some aspects of Vietnamese culture such as traditional wear, customs of Vietnam and entertainment of the past and present.

“I like being able to feel the different cultures and being able to expose other people to it, because I am from the Vietnamese culture,” VSA secretary Casey Dao said. “So, it’s nice to be able to share it with everyone else who don’t really know it.”

The show began with a lion dance that is traditionally performed at events like weddings, grand openings or New Year’s (called “tet”).

MC Elvis Tran said during the show that the mua lan, or lion dance, is about an ancient being that symbolizes strength and wealth.

VSA President Huy Nguyen said the show included modern and traditional performances like mashup songs, custom dances and classic love songs.

“That’s the big focus here – culture,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen said VSA tries to do something new every year. Incorporating the popular Vietnamese game show “Hidden Talents” was considered a good change of pace, something the audience can participate in instead of just sitting and watching performances, she said.

“It’s based off a Vietnamese show that they have going on right now. It’s a hidden talents thing,” Dao said. “So we’re going to ask people from the audience to come out.”

Four members of VSA were called to stage, one of them having a hidden talent. Then three guest audience members came to the front to guess which member of VSA had the hidden talent, Tran and Le said.

{{tncms-asset app=”editorial” id=”e1c3c700-12b0-11e7-8f9a-0f4dcc0e552a”}}

During intermission, attendees could choose to eat catered Vietnamese cuisine from a local restaurant. There were spring rolls, traditional braised pork and eggs, braised chicken and ginger, and fish and shrimp with jalapenos.

“We’re having them cater, but with the food that we request to keep it Vietnamese but not too exotic for everyone,” Nguyen said.

As a reminder of the Vietnam homeland, two VSA officers performed a Vietnamese song called “Di De Tro Ve.” The song describes how beautiful Vietnam is and how life is back on the homeland, Le said.

“This is our one big event of the year,” Dao said. “We’ve been working all year for it. This is our one big show-case.”