Make your own free website on Tripod.com

 38
Monday, Jan. 12, 2004
Stock/Fund Quotes
Enter Symbol

INDEX
Home
Local
Sports
Husker football
Nebraska
Nation/World
Business
Opinion
Features
Arts & Entertainment
926 Prairie Lane
Native news
Obituaries
Ground Zero
Focus
LJS Photo store
Browse past issues

Classifieds:
Jobs
Cars & Trucks
Renting
Real Estate
Garage sales
Other classifieds
Place a classified
Personals

The Record:
Calendar
Movie Listings
TV Listings
Police blotter
Public record
Legal notices
Realty transfers

Advertising features:
Local advertisers
Books
Mortgage rates

Featured web sites:
Fremont Tribune
Columbus Telegram
Beatrice Daily Sun
Midwest Messenger
LOCAL: Crime maps | Obituaries | Police blotter | Public record | Legal notices | Realty transfers
Home | Email this story | Printer-friendly version

Vietnamese begin new year

An annual celebration of the Vietnamese New Year included more than the usual festivities Saturday night.

Before they dug into the egg rolls, shrimp chips and traditionally prepared vegetables, about 300 people watched Mayor Coleen Seng sign a proclamation that recognized an official flag representing Lincoln's Vietnamese American community.

The design, three red stripes across a gold background, is the flag of the former Republic of Vietnam, also known as South Vietnam.

The proclamation is part of a national push to promote that flag over the United Nations-accepted flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. That communist regime took over the entire country in 1975 after U.S.-supported forces in the South surrendered, ending the Vietnam War.

Supporters of the movement say the Socialist Republic's flag, a gold star on a red background, is a communist symbol that was imposed on the Vietnamese people.

"(It's) the flag of the tyrants who betrayed and rejected that glorious culture and history," said Dau Nguyen, president of the Vietnamese Community of Lincoln.

He said that, in contrast, the freedom, or heritage, flag he supports symbolizes resilience, freedom and democracy.

In about two years, 38 cities have passed similar resolutions, Nguyen said.

Terri Tran of Lincoln said she hopes government institutions will start flying the heritage flag. "What we wish now is all the public schools would take down the other flag and recognize this one," she said.

"Just to see the flag blowing in the wind, it's saying that we're here for a reason," said Ha Daug, 17, of Lincoln.

The freedom flag is supposed to help get the message across to the Vietnamese government that Vietnamese Americans don't accept their authority.

"One day, we will come back and take over," Nguyen said.

In the meantime, finding and strengthening Vietnamese communities in America is important, he said.

Nguyen estimated Lincoln's Vietnamese population at 4,000 to 5,000.

The mayor said she signed the proclamation because the issue pertained to a significant portion of Lincoln. "This is part of the city of Lincoln and part of our population," Seng said. "These folks have brought so much culture to our community."

Vince Nguyen, a 33-year-old machinist who moved to the United States in 1994, said he recently moved from Seward to Lincoln because there's more of a Vietnamese presence here. "I was so glad to see more Vietnamese people," he said.

Nguyen, no relation to Dau Nguyen, attended the New Year's event with his wife and son. The lunar New Year doesn't happen for 13 more days. Until then, many Vietnamese families will celebrate by burning incense and giving money to their children.

Nguyen said it's good to celebrate the culture, because some people wouldn't be exposed to it otherwise.

"A lot of people born here don't have a chance to see our culture," Vince Nguyen said.

Reach Crystal K. Wiebe at 473-7395 or cwiebe@journalstar.com.


Also in LOCAL:
Natives wielding more influence on political scene
Steam locomotive makes tracks for Super Bowl
Timed precision keeps movie theater going
Lincoln budget shows $2 million gap
Attorney argues against Henk items being used as evidence
Hay shed fire causes estimated $635,000 to farm near Bennet
City to hold first ethnic celebration
  

Copyright 2003, Lincoln Journal Star. All rights reserved.
This content may not be archived or used for commercial purposes without written permission from the Lincoln Journal Star.
926 P Street Lincoln NE 68508
402 475-4200 • 
feedback@journalstar.com