Parents Are Making QR Code Hairclips & Accessories For Kids To Collect Ang Pow In Vietnam
As Lunar New Year approaches, parents in Vietnam are embracing a modern twist on a traditional practice of giving 'lucky money' to children
In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is known as Tet, and just as how we distribute ang pow in Malaysia, the Vietnamese also give out red envelopes filled with money, called 'lucky money'.
This year, it has become a trend to order custom hair clips, keychains, phone cases, and other knick-knacks with a QR code to the parents' bank accounts.
Anh Hang, a 27-year-old office worker from Hanoi, was intrigued by the idea after hearing about it while preparing for Tet celebrations. She contacted a gift shop to create personalised QR code hairpins for her daughter and a brooch for her son.
"It only took three days and VND80,000 (RM15.60), including shipping fees, for me to receive the goods. The product is printed clearly, and it is easy for me to 'swipe' the code to send money," Hang shared, as quoted by VN Express.
The trend has gone viral on Vietnamese social media, with parents like Minh Nhat, 31, from Ho Chi Minh City, opting for QR code phone cases for himself and his wife. "It's been a sad year for the economy. This Tet, I'll have to rely on my kids," Nhat joked.
Trang Nhung, a seller of QR code accessories, revealed that the trend originated from China and gained traction in Vietnam in 2023
However, it has peaked in popularity this year, with orders pouring in months in advance. The convenience of QR code transfers resonates with many, especially those unable to celebrate Tet with family due to various reasons such as distance or work commitments.
In these cases, individuals upload festive images of Lunar New Year that incorporate their unique QR codes on social media, so that others can send them 'lucky money' online.
While the QR code trend offers convenience, cultural experts like Associate Professor Bui Xuan Dinh emphasise the importance of maintaining traditional customs
"In my opinion, it should only be considered a new form of the tradition we know, thanks to the development of information technology. We still need to try to maintain the practice of visiting each other on Tet and directly giving lucky money to children," Dinh stated.
Psychologist La Linh Nga cautioned that while QR code transfers are convenient, they risk diminishing the sentiment behind the tradition. "Scanning QR codes will take away the beauty of giving lucky money, no red envelopes filled with wishes and blessings," Nga remarked.
Many online commenters also lamented at the rise of QR codes replacing red money packets.
"The joy of receiving an envelope, and then looking inside to see how much it is. Oh dear, those days have gone," a commenter remarked.
"This is ridiculous, the parents will take advantage of this to make money," warned another.
"Yeah, great idea, and wait a week for your money as banks [are] shut," said an online commenter.