Find you a best friend that loves you enough to stick out like a sore thumb.
I have always loved my Vietnamese culture. From the festival to the food, but my favorite part has always been celebrating the Vietnamese New Year. The festival is beautiful, the food is mouth watering, and the pageants are exquisite. I never wanted to attend the festivals because they were always too far away but also because I never had anyone to go with; until my best friend.
My mom likes to travel to California to spend Vietnamese New Year with my aunts and uncles (because California knows how to celebrate Vietnamese New Year the right way) and I always get jealous that she gets to go but that just means more New Year money for me! My best friend decided that we should dress up in the traditional Vietnamese and drive to the festival together for the first time.
We drove all the way to what we like to call "Asian Central" which is a far drive but definitely worth it. When we got out of the car in our traditional outfits let me tell yah; my best friend was the black sheep in a herd of white sheep. But she surprisingly wasn't the only one getting stares; I was too (and I blended in very well).
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I always felt weird wearing my traditional outfit only because they are slightly uncomfortable but so beautiful. Knowing that we were both getting stares and experiencing the festival for the first time together was exciting though and we were handling the stares like pros. We got a chance to watch the pageant, the live band, smell the food, and there was even a walk through exhibit!
Going to the festival was a first for both of us but in the end, it was so worth it. We got a chance to experience the festival and wear our traditional outfits together and learn about my culture a little bit more; having my best friend by my side made everything so much better.
My best friend and I didn't get a chance to kick off New Years together but we were able to kick off Vietnamese New Year together; which was just as great. Find you a friend that will endure the awkward stares and not understanding your native tongue. Thank you for putting up with my crazy Asian driving and having a million Asian people stare at you oddly. As they say, best friends who go through awkward stares together; stay together.