A Brief History of the Vietnamese Community in Edmonton
In 1975, after South Vietnam fell to the hands of the Vietnamese Communists, some Vietnamese students stayed back in Canada for asylum. A few more people were accepted as immigrants after escaping from Vietnam by April 30t 1975, but the big wave of Vietnamese Refugees came in from 1978 to 1986 when Canada opened their arms to accept almost 60,000 Indochinese refugees.
In 1978, the first Vietnamese organization was formed in Edmonton under the name of the Edmonton Viets Association to help the newcomers adapt to their new lives in Canada. They bought their own Vietnamese Centre in 1991 to preserve their culture, and contribute to the multicultural mosaic of Canada. There were more than 10,000 Vietnamese people living in Edmonton.
The Edmonton Viets Association represented the Vietnamese community in joining the Edmonton Heritage Festival in 1984, and has participated in this event every year until now.
1. The main entertainments at the Festival are traditional dances like the cone hat dance, the fan dance, the drum dance, and sometimes the lion dance or Vietnamese martial arts.
2. The arts and handicrafts include lacquerware, bamboo, clothes, toys...
3. The food is well known including Chả Giò (Vietnamese Spring Roll), Thịt Bò Lụi (BBQ Beef), Gỏi Cuốn (Salad Roll), Cà Phê (Vietnamese Coffee), Chè Ba Màu (Three Colors Sweet Drink)...



Traditional costumes

Sơn mài (Lacquerware) 

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Sơn mài is a painting technique in Vietnam. It was developed from the painters of the Hanoi in the 1930s and
today is counted as a national painting style with many famous painters.
Creating images with crushed eggshell, painting pigment over gold and tin foil and adding sand to lacquer were all
techniques developed by those first students. The metallic colour lacquerware for which Vietnamese craftsmen are
rightly famous, was first developed by artists experimenting with many innovative techniques.

The alphabets

Chữ Nôm: The Vietnamese word chữ (character) is derived from the Old Chinese word 字, meaning '[Chinese] character'. The word Nôm in chữ Nôm means 'Southern', and is derived from the Middle Chinese word 南, meaning 'south'. 

During the seven years of the Hồ Dynasty (1400–07), Classical Chinese was discouraged in favour of vernacular Vietnamese written in chữ Nôm, which became the official script. 

Chữ quốc ngữ: French Indochina and the Latin alphabets 

From the latter half of the 19th century onwards, the French colonial authorities discouraged or simply banned the use of classical Chinese, and promoted the use of the Vietnamese alphabet, which they viewed as a stepping stone toward learning French. Language reform movements in other Asian nations stimulated Vietnamese interest in the subject. 

a, ă, â, e, ê, i, o, ô, ơ, u, ư. 

á, à, ả, ã, ạ

Learn to make:

For more information please contact:
Edmonton Viets Association
Phone: (780) 424-8934
Facebook: Edmonton Viets Association