Cambodian Student Discovers the Enchantment of Tet Celebration

Vietnamese Tet holds a special place in the heart of Chav Channy, a Cambodian student studying at the National Economics University. It is a time of warmth and joy, particularly for international students like her.

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The Vietnam Times had the opportunity to meet with Chav Channy one day prior to the Lunar New Year holiday. She and her Cambodian friends were eagerly preparing for the New Year’s Eve meal at the house of her godmother, Mrs. Yos Bopha, President of the Vietnam – Cambodia Friendship Association. Chav Channy is quite skilled and familiar with preparing traditional Vietnamese dishes.

Chav Channy celebrated her first Tet in Vietnam in 2023. She attended a party to celebrate the New Year with her teachers and friends at Friendship School 80, received lucky money in red envelopes, and good New Year wishes from her teachers. On this special occasion, she and her friends felt the warm atmosphere and care from the teachers and the school for international students.

Furthermore, during her first Vietnamese Tet, Chav Channy was invited by her homeroom teacher, Tran To Loan, to her house in the ancient village of Duong Lam (Son Tay Town, Hanoi). She joined her teacher’s family in preparing traditional Vietnamese dishes such as fried spring rolls, boiled chicken, pork sausage, sour sausage, and braised pork…

Chav Channy fried spring rolls to prepare for the New Year’s Eve dinner at her godmother’s house. (Photo: Dinh Hoa)

“I’m not skilled at cooking, so I was initially very confused when I stepped into the kitchen. My teacher dedicatedly taught me how to prepare and beautifully decorate dishes in accordance with the Tet atmosphere. I still feel very happy when I think about that day. It was my first time experiencing cooking traditional Vietnamese food. Even though I didn’t do it very well, everyone always encouraged and helped me gain confidence.

I truly enjoy the atmosphere of Vietnamese Tet in the kitchens. This is a time when the whole family gathers; everyone is busy preparing delicious dishes for their loved ones. In that moment, hardships and fatigue dissipate, replaced only by joy and the hope that our loved ones will have many delicious and beautiful dishes to enjoy,” said Chav Channy.

Chav Channy expressed her great passion for Vietnamese fried spring rolls. These bite-sized spring rolls are filled with fresh ingredients, vibrant colors, and offer a delightful crunchy texture. “I really hope to learn the secret to cooking this dish,” said Chav Channy.

Channy continues to celebrate the Year of the Dragon in 2024 in Vietnam. Her homesickness will be alleviated as she has been invited by her godmother, Mrs. Yos Bopha, to celebrate Tet with her family.

“I hope to continue experiencing many Vietnamese customs and traditions during Tet at my godmother’s house. I also hope to visit the Tet market and immerse myself in the bustling atmosphere, selecting a beautiful small branch of peach blossoms to bring home,” Chav Channy added.

In the new year, Chav Channy expresses her desire to explore many of Vietnam’s renowned landmarks, learn valuable experiences from school and society, and expand her knowledge.

Tracy Dao