Note to Metro: It's Lunar New Year, not 'Chinese New Year'

Friday, February 11, 2011; 7:04 PM

Regarding the Feb. 7 Metro photos depicting the arrival of the "Chinese New Year":

By using this term, you are poorly representing the celebration of millions of non-Chinese Asians such as Vietnamese and Vietnamese Americans.

The occasion is best called the Lunar New Year. This is a more inclusive and scientifically appropriate way of referring to the event on the lunar calendar.

Note also that the Vietnamese call this Lunar New Year the "Year of the Cat," not the "Year of the Rabbit."

Animal symbolism is extremely important to Asians, and readers should understand that the translation of the specific symbols involved varies within the Asian communities.

Kim O. Cook, Falls Church

The writer is executive director of the Vietnamese Resettlement Association.

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