First all Vietnamese krewe sets off


Gabrielle Korein

Krewe member Ami Truong glues together throws on Feb. 13 for Krewe of Mung Beans to give away on Lundi Gras. Krewe of Mung Beans has used hand-crafted throws to celebrate Vietnamese culture.

Gabrielle Korein, Photo Editor

Krewe of Mung Beans sets out to highlight and celebrate Vietnamese culture in New Orleans by tying in Vietnamese folklore and ghost stories with the spooky theme presented by Krewe of Dead Beans.
The idea behind the Krewe of Mung Beans was formulated by founder and captain Thuc Nguyen after she joined a local organization known as the Viet Krewe, a social group for Vietnamese people living and working in New Orleans.
“I didn’t even really think about putting one together,” Nguyen said about starting a krewe. “I wrote this article for New Orleans Magazine about Lunar New Year, and in the opening of that story, I commented how I have never noticed a Vietnamese-American krewe in Mardi Gras. Devin DeWulf from Krewe of Red Beans saw the article, and he reached out and welcomed us on board.”

Nguyen said although she has never seen an all-Asian krewe represented at Carnival before this year, she has been inspired by the work of other cultural krewes, such as the Krewe da Bhan Gras that rolled at Krewe with Boheme on Feb. 3.
Much like Nguyen, Krewe da Bhan Gras co-founder Monica Dhand said she started her krewe as a way to celebrate Asian culture and to provide a place for South Asian New Orleanians to honor their heritage authentically.

Similarly, Nguyen said part of the mission of Krewe of Mung Beans is to provide a place for Asian people to get involved in Carnival season who have not previously seen a place for themselves to genuinely celebrate their ethnic identity.
“There are sub-krewes for everything under the sun but no real ethnic representation by people that are born into it,” Nguyen said.

For krewe member Ami Truong, being part of Krewe of Mung Beans provides the opportunity to advocate for the often unrecognized contributions of Vietnamese people to the city. She said she also sees it as a way to dismantle harmful stereotypes about the Asian community that are prevalent during Carnival season.
Truong discussed the prevalence of cultural appropriation of Asian traditions in Carnival season, such as the Krewe de Fu, a kung-fu inspired krewe consisting of mostly white men dressed up as ninjas that rolled in Chewbacchus this year.
“Things like that are what we are striving to correct,” Truong said.
Truong said another goal as a member of Krewe of Mung Beans is to use throws as an opportunity to educate people about Vietnamese culture and dismantle harmful stereotypes.

“I think with Mardi Gras being such a big part of the culture that is New Orleans and attracting so many tourists and different communities, having a chance to be on a platform like marching in a krewe is really groundbreaking for different groups of people,” Truong said.

Catch the Krewe of Mung Beans Monday, Feb. 20, during the Red Beans parade, at 2 p.m. For more information about the krewe, check out