VAYA announces “Children of Dragons, Descendants of Gods” theme for 7th annual Tết festival

Media Contact: Alexander Nguyen
(858) 754-9228
alexander.nguyen@sdtet.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VAYA announces “Children of Dragons, Descendants of Gods” theme for 7th annual Tết festival

SAN DIEGO — The Vietnamese-American Youth Alliance announces the theme for its annual Tết Festival, which will be held on Jan. 20-22 in Balboa Park, will be Con Rồng Cháu Tiên, roughly translated to “Children of Dragons, Descendants of Gods,” to welcome the Year of the Dragon.

The theme is rooted in a Vietnamese origin myth. Lạc Long Quân (The Dragon Lord of Lạc, an ancient Viet tribe), is considered to be the Father of the Vietnamese people. His wife, Âu Cơ, a mountain goddess, is considered to be the Mother of the Vietnamese people. After a few years of marriage, Âu Cơ, the granddaughter of Shen Nong (Thần Nông in Vietnamese), the God of Agriculture, gave birth 100 sons.

Lạc Long Quân, son of Thần Long Nữ (Lady Dragon Spirit), yearning for the seas, took 50 sons with him towards the sea, while Âu Cơ, longing for her mountain realms, took 50 sons with her to the mountains. The eldest son, who followed his father, later established himself as the first monarch, Hùng Vương, of a nation that is now known as Vietnam. This is why Vietnamese today refer to themselves as the children of dragons and descendants of gods.

The festival, which attracts 20,000 people each year, promises fun for whole the family with such activities as carnival rides and games, authentic Vietnamese food, lion dancing and firecrackers. And entertainment programs, such as the Miss Vietnam of San Diego, Mr. Vietnam of San Diego pageants, Kids Spotlights and San Diego Tết’s Got Talent. There’s also a Cultural Village to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture.

Festival Dates and Hours are: Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday Jan. 22, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for children. Children 5 and under are free. For more information, visit www.SDTet.com

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Vietnamese-American Youth Alliance (V.A.Y.A), a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan, community-based organization, was founded in 2004 as a means for Vietnamese-American youth to organize socially and culturally within the local communities.

At VAYA, we work to promote youth leadership, cultural awareness, social awareness, and community development. This is our mission. Everything we do reflects this mission and the values that make it possible.

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VAYA’s response to UT’s insensitive pun on Pho

December 8, 2011

Tom Mallory
Web Editor
San Diego Union-Tribune
350 Camino de la Reina
San Diego, CA 92108

RE: Offensive pun on phở in your headline.

Dear Mr. Malllory:

Words cannot express how disappointed we are in the San Diego Union-Tribune’s blog post titled “Pho-King Amazing: Harbor Town Pub” by Michelle Guerin dated Dec. 7 on DiscoverSD.com and SignOnSanDiego.com.

Laying aside the problematic fact that a restaurant owner would choose to name a sandwich “Pho-King,” it is disappointing to see that an award-winning newspaper in the second largest metropolitan area in California with a large Vietnamese population would choose to do same in its headline.

The headline pokes fun at our language, a language that is spoken by more than one million people in the United States, making it the seventh most spoken language and the fifth in California. Using it in your headline is just plain crude and insensitive.

Furthermore, as a media sponsor to VAYA’s annual Tết Festival in Balboa Park, we expect the Union-Tribune to be more sensitive to the needs and concerns of our community. With more than 40,000 Vietnamese residents living in San Diego County and hundreds of phở restaurants in city, we expect more of the Union-Tribune than this.

Thank you for your attention to the issue.

Alexander Nguyen
Treasurer

Update: U-T Editor responded with an apology.

Dear Mr. Nguyen –

You’re right. That was an inappropriate headline for our site, and I apologize for any upset and offense it caused.
The editor involved also offers her apologies, and I know she feels terrible she gave offense.

In this case, it is the name of a sandwich at the restaurant. But that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for our publication.

My editor changed that headline as soon as we noticed it but, because it was on an inside page, it wasn’t pulled down as quickly as I would like

In reviewing it again today, I thought it better to take the name of the sandwich out of the story.

Again, please accept our apologies for any offense. We strive to cover all cultures and communities with respect and that headline fell short of our standards.

Also, thanks for your message, which gave me this chance to respond.

Tom

Tom Mallory

Homepage editor

The San Diego Union-Tribune

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