Foreign Diplomats’ Perspective on Tet Festival

As the year of the Dragon approaches, Tet is not just a new beginning for diplomats in Vietnam. It holds a deeper significance for them. In an exclusive interview with VietnamTimes, they reveal their personal reflections and insights on this auspicious occasion.

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Ali Akbar Nazari, Iranian Ambassador to Vietnam.

Ali Akbar Nazari, Iranian Ambassador to Vietnam

Tet brings the energy of love and positivity

The Lunar New Year brings positive energy, joy, and love. These days, the streets are busier. Everyone is busy buying new things and decorating their homes. Parents and grandparents prepare to welcome their children back home. Everyone dresses nicely and gathers with their loved ones to express love and care. They celebrate New Year together, send each other best wishes, and hope for a good year ahead.

I love the positive energy of Tet. I feel the joy spread in my heart when seeing people happy, smiling, and sharing love with others.

Tet and Nowruz, which comes in March, in Iran, have many similarities. During Nowruz, Iranian people also get together to enjoy meals and pray together. We also give gifts and souvenirs to young children and wish each other a good year.

Vietnam is a beautiful country. Each part of Vietnam has its uniqueness. My family and I enjoy all of our trips in Vietnam because I can see the country from different aspects. We would definitely take this special holiday to visit a part of Vietnam that we have not been to.

Vuyiswa Tulelo, South African Ambassador to Vietnam.

Vuyiswa Tulelo, South African Ambassador to Vietnam

An occasion to see how the Vietnamese community welcomes the new year

Tet is an interesting occasion to learn about how the Vietnamese community welcomes the new year. In South Africa, we celebrate the new year in only one day. In Vietnam, Tet is not only a festival but also an opportunity to look back on the past year politically and set directions for the new year. Tet also has a spiritual meaning, an occasion for families and relatives to gather and perform religious rituals to pray for a favorable new year.

I like that Tet is family-oriented. In today’s competitive world, we have little time for our families. Tet comes, everything stops, and you go home to have quality time with your loved ones.

Last year, I spent Tet traveling. This year, I want to enjoy a slow, peaceful, and less crowded Hanoi. I love to see families dressed beautifully and leisurely walking around the streets together during Tet. Everyone looks less stressed and more cheerful and happy.

Vahram Kazhoyan, Armenian Ambassador to Vietnam.

Vahram Kazhoyan, Armenian Ambassador to Vietnam

I made Banh Chung this Tet

This is the 5th year I celebrate Tet in Vietnam. Each Tet brings me new and interesting feelings. To me, Tet has two important meanings: the start of a new year and a family reunion. This is similar to how Armenia welcomes the New Year. In Armenia, the New Year festival is held from the evening of December 31 to January 1. People return home, family members gather around the banquet table, talk about the past year, and plans for the new year.

This year, my wife learned how to make banh chung. The traditional Vietnamese dish is similar to the Armenian Tolma (grape leaves rolls filled with rice and minced meat). My family and friends gathered around the pot of banh chung to better feel the atmosphere of Vietnamese Tet. We visited Tran Quoc Pagoda located east of West Lake in Hanoi. I feel peace and purity every time I come here and listen to the monk preach the sutra.

Kanat Tumysh, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Vietnam.

Kanat Tumysh, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Vietnam

Vietnamese Tet and Nauryz have many similarities

Lunar New Year in Vietnam and Nauryz in Kazakhstan are both the beginning of spring. Nauryz symbolizes fertility, friendship, and love. On this day, people dress politely, visit family and friends, and send good wishes. For the peoples of the East, Nauryz is the same day as the New Year, since both holidays are considered harbingers of new life.

In the new year, Kazakhstan plans to focus on cooperation with Vietnam in banking, e-commerce, textiles, and agriculture. The Central Asian country looks to offer advanced financial technologies in the banking and e-commerce sectors.

Vietnamese people love online shopping, but not everyone uses advanced banking services. This means that the potential for cooperation in this area is huge, and Kazakhstan is recognized as a country with leading experience and developed online lending tools.

We are also interested in cooperation in areas such as agriculture, textiles, and food processing, areas in which Vietnam has achieved great results. Kazakhstan has many areas to learn from Vietnam’s experience and potential for Vietnamese investors. Cooperation in the fields of culture, education, as well as tourism, is also of great importance.

Vladimir Murashkin, Director of the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Hanoi.

Vladimir Murashkin, Director of the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Hanoi

Tet is a time for family reunions

Vietnamese Lunar New Year and Russian New Year have many similarities. On these occasions, Russians and Vietnamese both come home to their families, gather around the dinner table, and talk about the past year and plans for the new year. The only difference is that New Year takes place on December 31 and January 1, while Tet falls at the end of January or early February.