Embracing Tết’s light & joy across generations – a letter from SEARAC’s Executive Director

Dear SEARAC community,
I write this letter 38 weeks pregnant as my husband and I are expecting our second baby, An Narumi, any day now. By the time you read this letter, I will be on maternity leave celebrating Tết with a newborn added to our growing family.

Welcome to the world, An Narumi!

This year, An is blessing our family with the reminder of Tết’s light, joy, and love that we have celebrated for generations. In Vietnamese, “An” means “peace” and is also the name of her great, great grandmother. In Japanese, “Narumi” means “protective oceans”, joining our son Khải, whose name also means “ocean” in Japanese. The names of our children carry on our deepest hopes that they will always be rooted in the strength of our family’s refugee and immigrant stories.

Today, SEARAC joins communities across the country in celebrating the beginning of another year with our family’s sacred traditions of joy that have been handed down to us and evolved across generations. This year I have visions of making thịt kho (caramelized braised pork) and canh mướp đắng (stuffed bitter melon soup), my go-to Vietnamese comfort foods. But I know in reality that I will be overjoyed just counting my blessings of a healthy baby whose ancestors are looking down and blessing her and us with love and protection for a beautiful new year.
Chúc mừng năm mới and Baengh Orn Siang-Hnyangx from the SEARAC family to yours.
In grateful partnership,
Quyên Đinh
Executive Director, SEARAC