03 Feb '11, 7am

How the Chinese rabbit became a cat in Vietnam via @cmswire

How the Chinese rabbit became a cat in Vietnam via @cmswire

Festive lunar Year of the Cat statues are displayed for sale on a street in Hanoi. -- PHOTO: REUTERS HANOI - WHILE much of Asia celebrates the Year of the Rabbit, Vietnam is striking a note of independence from the dominance of Chinese culture and marking the beginning of the Year of the Cat. The two communist countries remain ideological allies and have endorsed a similar transition to a market-oriented economy. But their relationship evokes strong emotions and contradictions in Vietnam, where many bitterly recall 1,000 years of Chinese occupation and, more recently, a 1979 border war. While the smaller nation has held onto many Chinese words, customs and traditions, it still feels a strong need to set itself apart from its giant neighbour. The two countries share 10 of the zodiac calendar's 12 signs- the rat, tiger, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pi...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STI...

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