The Pa Co Commune People’s Committee in Mai Chau District in the northern province of Hoa Binh issued an official document last month informing its H’Mong ethnic minority residents that they should relinquish their traditional New Year holiday and instead celebrate the one observed by the majority Kinh people, Tet Nguyen Dan. The decision has been met by surprise among higher authorities and experts. “They did discuss it with us but we didn’t know about the official statement until recently,” Ha Thi Hoa, Head of Mai Chau District’s Information and Culture Department in Hoa Binh Province, told VnExpress International. The local authorities said that their decision was derived from conclusions drawn at a conference of four communes in Son La and Hoa Binh provinces held December 7. They also said that the decision would be communicated to all relevant authorities who have to inform the H’Mong community and ensure its implementation. ‘No longer appropriate’ Sung A Mang, Chairman of Pa Co commune, said that in the past, the H’Mong people had their New Year celebration during the 11th lunar month to keep up with the slash-and-burn cultivation season, grow rice, harvest poppy and practice their “wife-kidnapping” tradition after the celebration…. Read full this story
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