Thanksgiving, tradition and technology


While almost everyone in the US gathers around the traditional meal, here in Vietnam, some people come up with a way to marry tradition with technology: ancestor worship online.

Its highway to eternity has 10,000 plots, already booked for burial and continued ceremonial service online (to accommodate overseas relatives and those who have resettled to urban centers).

Don’t be surprised to see an emerging generation of ICT engineers who ride the waves, from mobile payment to mobile commerce.

If their counterparts in Israel could come up with heritage.com, they sure can match it with ancestor worship online.

Or English learning to match Khan Academy for math tutoring,

English schools sprung up to meet the growing demand for talent infrastructure.

I-pad, I-phone, I-pod could be found at almost every street corner.

Banks are in a race to compete with traditional merchants of gold and hard currency.

One storefront builds out by adding another floor, its neighbors will one-up it ( even hiring away the neighbor’s security guard).

At lunch time (my version of Thanksgiving), I had to zigzag the busy streets to hunt for food.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my family in Virginia perhaps noticed that I missed the Turkey dinner.

A generation back, we wouldn’t know what a turkey tastes like. But I remember our grandmother staying with us, and not the nursing home. My  mom’s generosity spoke louder than all the lessons she had taught at school, whose  sign has always said “Tien Hoc Le, Hau Hoc Van” (First, learn respect, then literature).

With WordPress, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, I can now connect and be connected to thousands of like-minded professionals. Together we are linked for mutual benefits.

It’s an open race.

Occasionally, we pause to reflect on the past and tradition, like Thanksgiving or ancestor worship.

That too can be accommodated digitally. What can be digitized will be digitized. Except for the plot of land, where my grandmother rested in peace.

I had put down on my must-do list to visit her grave, out in the country side of Hai Duong.

But that too, might be digitally do-able.

Perhaps in the very near future, we in Virginia, can put up on the now-used-for-Karaoke screen, the burning of incense at our grandmother’s grave outside of Hai Duong. Then, it’s only a matter of the will because there already is a way.

Technology and tradition. One ushers you into the future, the other reminds you not to forget the past. Happy Thanksgiving!

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One thought on “Thanksgiving, tradition and technology

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