Carps and plastic bags

19Jan09



Kitchen God day: Yesterday was Ong Tao day. He’s the Kitchen God who knows what you were up to last summer in that Do Son karaoke bar. Oh yes. He KNOWS. On Kitchen God day people like to release a carp — alive — into a river, lake or the nearest body of water. People also burn votive socks, a hat and a carp for Ong tao’s trip. The socks and hat are to keep Ong Tao warm — up to 75% of body heat is retained in the head and feet don’t you know. The carp will be his celestial chariot as he ascends to the heavens with a detailed critique of you and your kin and as the new Lunar New Year approaches it’s important he speaks highly of you and as George Constanza would eloquently put it yadda yadda yadda. Anyway, it’s a lovely ritual, but sure you don’t come to the Comical Hat for the culture (but if you insist this article gives you a quick intro). We just wanted to point out this photo essay of the dolts who also throw the plastic bag into the river, lake or sea right after releasing the carp.This video captures some dunderheads also throwing in the ashes of the burnt votive bits and pieces into a lake. These photos at VNexpress show kids swimming into the river trying to catch the live fish that have been hurled in by someone else.

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The LA Times on Hanoi: And while we have you… visions of Catherine Deneuve, quiche Lorraine and Ecuadorean chocolate fondant in this piece on Hanoi‘s Phapification and Phappy remnants.

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