Modern hit on Tet traditions rued

Update: January, 22/2014 - 08:51

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HCM CITY (VNS) — Almost three-quarters of respondents in a survey released on Monday by research firm Epinion indicated that Tet would be spent at home with family and friends.

But over 90 per cent of respondents said gathering and cooking collectively was a tradition that they were starting to miss, according to the first ever survey on people's opinions about Lunar New Year or Tet.

While the survey found an overwhelming love for the nation's traditions, interestingly it also found that many respondents saw the increasing commercialisation of the annual holiday eroding some of the traditions that it held most sacred.

Almost half mentioned that the tradition of visiting teachers was starting to fall by the wayside.

"There are many traditions practised during Tet holidays in Viet Nam, but today's modern lifestyle sees some of these activities beginning to fade from the Tet agenda," research director Tran Lien Phuong said.

"However it is reassuring to see that so many people recognise this, and cite it as something that really deserves to be preserved.

"It proves that these traditions are an integral part of the colorful and festive atmosphere of Tet."

When asked what it was that people would like to see change during Tet, interestingly the number one response was the legalisation of private fireworks.

"Predictably enough, the second most popular suggested change was ‘more days off'. Everyone loves public holidays," Phuong said.

Around 27 per cent indicated that they would be taking the time to travel.

Four out of five of these said they would be vacationing at home, with Nha Trang (46 per cent) and Da Lat (44 per cent) being the two top destinations among the surveyed.

The remaining 20 per cent of respondents indicated they would be heading abroad, including 7 per cent who said they would be travelling both internationally and domestically.

The top international destinations were Singapore (59 per cent), Thailand (38 per cent), and Hong Kong (31 per cent).

"This will be a fascinating matrix to watch over the coming years," Phuong said.

"Intuitively, I would suspect that it is a number that will continue to grow, and suspect that preferred destinations will continue to get further and further from home.

"However, it raises a counter-question about the preservation of the familial Tet values that respondents also indicated that they would like to preserve if an increasing number of people here choose to eschew the traditional trip to their hometowns and head away to visit new lands."

Tet is widely recognised as the nation's busiest shopping time, and Epinion's findings mirrored this, with electrical and electronic products sitting atop the most-wanted lists of consumers.

When it came to the purchase of food, the recent publicity surrounding food safety seemed to have spooked consumers, with almost half of the surveyed indicating that it was their top concern as they sought to fill the familial belly.

Other findings from the survey showed that up to 90 per cent of respondents said that rice cakes, slow cooked pork, Vietnamese sausages, and other traditional dishes are must-have items for Tet feasts.

The online survey of over 1,000 individuals spanned all socio-economic classes across the country. — VNS