Celebrating the Lunar New Year

Posted By: Harry Tran Diversity & Inclusion,

Chúc mừng năm mới! On February 10th, millions of Asian communities worldwide come together to celebrate the first new moon of the lunar calendar. Known by various names, the lunar new year is called Tết in Vietnamese. As a Vietnamese American, it serves as a profound connection to my family, culture, and rich heritage.

Each lunar new year corresponds to a specific animal in the Asian zodiac. This year marks the Year of the Dragon! The festivities commence with community events and cherished family gatherings. A customary tradition involves the exchange of red envelopes (Lì xì), particularly among children, containing money to usher in luck and prosperity for the year ahead. While receiving Lì xì was always a highlight of my childhood, it now falls upon me to pass on this tradition by giving lucky money to the younger generation.

Particularly as a first-generation American, I always felt growing up that I needed to blend in and avoid being different. Whether it be the Vietnamese holidays I celebrate or the Vietnamese food I eat. After many years, I've finally reached a place of comfort and confidence in my identity as a Vietnamese American. I take pride in who I am and the journey that has brought me to where I am today.

Diversity and Inclusion During Holidays

As our industry becomes more diverse, it's crucial to recognize that not everyone celebrates the same holidays we might consider 'traditional.' Holidays hold deeply personal significance for many individuals. For people like me, they provide a means to connect with family, friends, and cherished cultural traditions. Consider, for instance, the vast reach of various holidays: two billion people observe the lunar new year, one billion celebrate Diwali, 1.8 billion mark the Hijri New Year, and hundreds of millions commemorate Hanukkah.

A simple way to raise your awareness is incorporating holidays your coworkers celebrate to your calendar. With just a few clicks you can add holidays to your calendar in Outlook.

For more tips on practicing diversity and inclusion during the holidays, one helpful resource is How to Foster Diversity and Inclusion During the Holidays.

About the Guest Blogger

Harry Tran, PE, is a Project Engineer at EMCS’s Madison office. He is a graduate of ACEC Wisconsin’s Leadership Institute and a member of the Emerging Professionals and Diversity & Inclusion Committees. He’s a proud Minnesota Gophers fan and an avid camper. 

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