Omsom Creates a “Third-Culture Lunar New Year,” Blending Old Traditions and New Ideas

"What does it look like to continue building upon generations of tradition?"

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February 11, 2021

Omsom, the viral Asian starter kit brand that sells bold, flavorful sauces, is celebrating Lunar New Year on its own terms.

In an Instagram post shared on Tuesday, Omsom founders (and sisters) Vanessa and Kim Pham explained that they were looking to celebrate the holiday with a blend of old traditions and new ideas. To that end, the siblings created a new "holiday" called the "third-culture Lunar New Year."

"Growing up as first-gen Viet-Americans, Lunar New Year was a time for family + tradition 🙏🏽," the sisters wrote on Instagram. "And while we're damn proud of our roots, we're even more excited to celebrate our future — one that doesn't always have to be rooted solely in nostalgia + tradition."

To mark their blended holiday, the sisters curated a full week of Year of the Ox celebrations, including new Omsom merchandise available via their website, a dedicated Year of the Ox Instagram filter, a special Lunar New Year recipe and more. The festivities kicked off on February 10 and will conclude on February 18.

"For much of our community, Lunar New Year (not Chinese New Year, ahem!) is a time for family and tradition. Growing up as first-gen Vietnamese-Americans, that often meant spending a ton of time with our family in southern California, eating lots of traditional celebratory dishes and going to temple in our ao dai," Kim Pham tells Food Network. "And while Vanessa and I are damn proud of our roots and will always honor what has been passed down to us, we're even more excited to celebrate our future — one that doesn't have to always be rooted solely in nostalgia."

The Omsom co-founder notes that she and her sister created “Third-Culture Lunar New Year,” in part, to answer the question: “What does it look like to continue building upon generations of tradition?”

Typically, Lunar New Year, which marks the first new moon of the lunisolar calendars traditional to many Asian countries, includes traditions like big family feasts, the gifting of red envelopes, going to temple and more, but Vanessa and Kim are looking to modernize things a bit.

Photo by: Deanie Chen

Deanie Chen

According to Kim, this hybrid holiday is meant to be informative, fun and inclusive. “We're celebrating the Year of the Ox in our own third-culture way — with a mix of old, new, and never-before-seen,” she explains. “There is no ‘one’ right way to celebrate Lunar New Year, so our programming and content reflect the multitudes that exist within this Asian American experience – from an over-the-top, LNY-inspired makeup look by Vietnamese artist Brian Vu to a spicy twist on a Korean new year classic by Easypeasyjordan, jeon.”

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