Lunar New Year Greetings from Foreign Ambassadors to Vietnam

Foreign ambassadors extended Lunar New Year wishes to Vietnam's people.

Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski and a Chung cake he made.
Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski and a Chung cake he made.

Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski has wished Vietnamese people peace, love and prosperity in the Year of the Cat 2023, VOV reported.

The diplomat came to a small Tet market held in Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, where he explored the traditions of making “Chung” cake (square glutinous rice cake) – the soul of Tet, and family gatherings during the biggest festival.

Lunar New Year Greetings from Foreign Ambassadors to Vietnam
Ambassador of Denmark Nicolai Prytz. Photo by the Danish Embassy in Vietnam Facebook page.

As the Lunar New Year is just around the corner, Danish Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolai Prytz recalled major events in 2022 when Vietnam and Denmark celebrated the 50th founding anniversary of their diplomatic ties, notably the visit to Vietnam by Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth from October 31 to November 3.

The couple was accompanied by Danish firms mainly operating in the energy, he said, stressing that the two sides expressed their hope to work together for a greener future.

The visit contributed to promoting bilateral cooperation in both politics and trade, the ambassador said, using this occasion to wish Vietnamese partners and people a happy New Year.

Denmark wants to continue its close cooperation with Vietnam in the years to come, particularly in the green transition where both nations share a vision and aspiration, he emphasized.

For their part, British Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew and Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Emily Hamblin wished the entire Vietnamese people peace, success, happiness and good luck.

Frew noted his belief that the relations between Vietnam and the UK will grow stronger with more links between the people, businesses and governments in 2023 which marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Meanwhile, on the 1st day of the Lunar New Year, the US Embassy released a video of Ambassador Marc Knapper congratulating the new year of Cat. In the video, he made a New Year greeting card in braille.

In the video, you can see the scene right at the American Center in Hanoi, Ambassador Knapper and his wife were instructed to make Tet greeting cards in Braille.

“Happy New Year! This year marks my 5th time celebrating Tet in Vietnam. Sending Tet cards to loved ones is a favorite tradition of mine, and I wanted to make sure everyone was included. So with the help of our friends at Vietnam And Friends and American Center, I learned how to print my Tet cards in braille. I wish everyone a happy and healthy Year of the Cat!” said the US diplomat.

In the video clip, there is also the appearance of artist Xuan Bac.

Celebrating the Year of the Cat 2023, Ambassadors of Canada, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland to Vietnam have extended their Tet wishes to Vietnamese people and show support for people with disabilities.

They visit Village Chance – a complex of schools and apartments for the disabled, poor and orphaned children, in Ho Chi Minh City ahead of the Tet festival.

Tet is always an interesting experience for foreigners in Vietnam. Enjoying the Tet atmosphere, foreign ambassadors have shared their feelings to VNA about the biggest traditional festival in the country.

Lunar New Year Greetings from Foreign Ambassadors to Vietnam
Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo grants an interview to the Vietnam News Agency. Photo: VNA

Chinese Ambassador Xiong Bo said Tet is a traditional festival of the Vietnamese and Chinese people, and the two countries’ Tet celebrations are highly similar. Whenever the Lunar New Year comes, the Tet atmosphere will spread across Hanoi, from big streets to small alleys, bringing about close and familiar feelings to him through similar customs: family reunion in year-end parties and New Year visits to pagodas.

However, there are also some differences as 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit in China but the Year of the Cat in Vietnam, he added.

The rich histories and special traditional cultures of China and Vietnam have contributed to Eastern culture and civilization. Likewise, New Year celebration customs in Japan and the Republic of Korea are also part of the Eastern culture, and it is necessary to treasure and further bring into play the role of Eastern culture in the world’s civilization, according to the diplomat.

Lunar New Year Greetings from Foreign Ambassadors to Vietnam
On January 12, 2023, the Ambassador of Thailand to Vietnam, Nikorndej Balankura, his wife, and the delegation visited and presented Tet gifts to Agent Orange victims. Source: Vietnam Centre for Social Protection for Agent Orange/Dioxin Victims

2023 is the second year Nikorndej Balankura serves as the ambassador of Thailand to Vietnam. He said Tet is a confluence of traditional culture and modern society, and that he sees it’s a very special time of the year where people are very joyful.

He noted similarities in New Year celebrations between the two countries. The Thai New Year, called Songkran, is in April, but it is also a time of the year when people in his country pay respect to their elders, go on vacation, and meet friends.

Lunar New Year Greetings from Foreign Ambassadors to Vietnam
Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Meynardo Los Banos Montealegre. Photo: VNA

Echoing the view, Philippine Ambassador Meynardo Los Banos Montealegre said of all the Vietnamese occasions, Tet has been most striking for him because of the deep importance of this holiday to the Vietnamese.

It reflects the value of family and friends, tradition, and culture as it is still the center to every Vietnamese individual despite the aspiration of Vietnam to be a modern society.

Like Christmas, the Tet holiday is the occasion for everyone in Vietnam to look back at their life for the past year and value the inspiration and sacrifices of their ancestors, families, and friends throughout the years, and to be revitalized and inspired to start anew and strive for a better year, Montealegre said.

Lunar New Year Greetings from Foreign Ambassadors to Vietnam
New Zealand Ambassador Tredene Dobson and G4 ambassadors meet with representatives of community groups supporting people with different abilities in Ho Chi Minh City. Source: NZ embassy

According to New Zealand Ambassador Tredene Dobson, what she really loves about Tet is the feeling of warmth, the feeling of love, and connectivity – particularly with families as they come together at this special time. This is very similar to the spirit of the Christmas season in New Zealand.

She added this will be her second Tet in Vietnam, and she loves all the dishes that come out during Tet. “Last year, I got to try out a lot of new Tet foods so I’m hoping to even expand that further this Tet.”

Lunar New Year Greetings from Foreign Ambassadors to Vietnam
Venezuelan Ambassador Tatiana Pugh Moreno. Photo: VNA

Venezuelan Ambassador Tatiana Pugh Moreno described Tet as a fascinating festival for people in the West, noting she is happy to welcome the Lunar New Year and festive activities in the most beautiful season of the year in Hanoi and Vietnam as a whole.

Tet is an occasion to gear toward family values and make plans for the New Year. It is also an occasion to taste banh chung, decorate the embassy and private home to ring in the New Year, the diplomat went on.

Lunar New Year Greetings from Foreign Ambassadors to Vietnam
Algerian Ambassador to Vietnam Boubazine Abdelhamid. Photo: VNA

For his part, Algerian Ambassador Boubazine Abdelhamid said he arrived in Vietnam right on the New Year 2023, which is followed by the Vietnamese traditional New Year (Tet) festival.

Through this special time, he realised the close attachment of the Vietnamese people to their traditional culture that has been developed over centuries. Tet is an occasion for the Vietnamese people to show the strong bond with their families and the strong connections among generations, and more deeply, the remembrance of their roots, said Ambassador Abdelhamid.

Lunar New Year Greetings from Foreign Ambassadors to Vietnam
Russian Ambassador Gennady Bezdetko. Photo: VUFO

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador Gennady Bezdetko shared the view that the Lunar New Year is a special occasion connected with the history and traditional culture of the Vietnamese people.

Tet is the time for family gatherings, meetings between friends, visits to teachers, review of the previous year and making of future plans, and it is associated with interesting customs and rituals. The festival features many interesting traditions, customs, and rituals, making it colorful, attractive, and full of positive emotions, he opined.

On this occasion, the ambassadors also offered greetings to the Vietnamese leaders and people, wishing that in the New Year, the country will reap even greater achievements in socio-economic development.

Hannah Nguyen