Tet Festival welcomes the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, spring
Story and photos by Kim Buckley, NewsNetNebraska
Last week’s snow didn’t keep the Lincoln community at the Sheldon Museum of Art from welcoming the spring last Sunday.
Madoka Wayoro, the executive director of the Asian Community and Cultural Center, said the Tet Festival, celebrating the start of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, is important to the Vietnamese and Chinese population in Lincoln.
“It’s a celebration of the spring,” she said. “It’s been so cold, we had to postpone it, but it’s here and we want to celebrate it.”
The festival was originally supposed to take place on Friday evening, but was postponed because of the snow. This year is the year of the snake, which was highlighted at some of the activity stations.
Families and children could participate in activities in the Grand Hall at the Sheldon. They made arts and crafts or played a game of chance. Others ate ginger jam, pork and sticky rice with mung beans.
The event let members of the Lincoln community learn about another culture.
“I just wanted them to have an opportunity to enjoy and experience a different culture,” Wayoro said.
Families could also watch cultural performances in the Sheldon auditorium, highlighting Asian music and dance.
Miranda Ducey, Paul Hardman and their son Jasper Ducey-Hardman were one of the many families attending the festival.
“Everyone’s entertained,” she said, adding, “It’s a really great thing to get out of the house for.”
This was Hardman’s first time attending the Tet Festival. He said there was good food, lots of color and lots of smiles.
“The food, that’s our main activity,” Hardman joked.
Ducey previously worked at the Asian Community and Cultural Center.
“Lincoln has a huge Vietnamese population, which some people don’t know about,” she said. “So it’s nice to get a little more awareness for the community.”
This was the second year hosting it at the Sheldon. Previous festivals were held at the Asian Center. Wayoro said having it at the Sheldon took the event to another level because it offered a larger space.
“It’s a great venue,” she said. “There’s lots of space. You can hear everything.”
Wayoro said she hoped the Chinese and Vietnamese population in the city felt the community support at the festival.
“I want them to feel respected and we want to empower those populations,” she said.