13:00 | 12/02/2021 Society
Overseas Vietnamese (OVs) across the world celebrate the traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday in different forms due to the impacts of COVID-19.
|Overseas Vietnamese gather at a Tet celebration with the participation of overseas Vietnamese in Austria and Slovenia, as well as international friends|
On February 10, the Vietnamese Embassy in Israel hosted a virtual gathering to celebrate Tet with the Vietnamese workers and students who are working at Israeli agricultural cooperation centres. The Tet celebration went online to ensure safety for the participants since the COVID-19 situation has become complicated in the nation.
Briefing the OVs on the domestic and international situation in the past year, Vietnamese Ambassador Do Minh Hung laid stress on the critical damage of the COVID-19 outbreak to the world.
However, he said, Vietnam was successful at completing the dual tasks of preventing the pandemic while maintaining GDP growth of nearly 3% to ensure local social welfare.
Talking about the Vietnam-Israel relations, the diplomat underscored bilateral cooperation across trade, aviation and labour, with trade as a highlight with exchange value topping US$1.3 billion, compared to US$1.1 billion in 2019.
The Vietnamese Embassy has paid due attention to the citizen protection work, and it arranged two flights to bring Vietnamese citizens home amidst pandemic, he stressed.
In Austria, the Vietnamese Embassy organised a Tet celebration with the participation of OVs in Austria and Slovenia, and international friends, including Lao Ambassador Sithong Chitnhothinh.
Vietnamese Ambassador Le Dung wished the guest good health and success in the Year of the Buffalo, while hailing the Vietnamese people community’s activities in 2020 such as organisation Vietnamese teaching class, and donation to support flood-hit victims in the central region.
In 2020, Vietnam was a bright spot in the world in repelling the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, adding despite formidable challenges, Vietnam has attained excellent achievements in socio-economic development and foreign affairs.
The country is among very few countries posting positive economic growth, and is a model in the fight against COVID-19, he said.
Regarding the Vietnam-Austria ties, Dung said both countries maintained sound trade relations thanks to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), adding with 35 effective projects valued US$147.3 million, Austria ranks 44th among 139 countries and territories having investments in Vietnam.
Two-way trade reached over US$3 billion, declining from the previous year due to the fall in purchasing power and COVID-19.
The embassy also presented Tet gifts to Vietnamese people in Austria’s Vienna and Linz and Slovenia’s Maribor.
The Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland this year celebrated the Lunar New Year by making Chung cake, the traditional food for Tet, to present to Vietnamese expats by post. Ambassador Le Linh Lan sent Tet greetings to the Vietnamese people community in the host nation in a letter, in which she highlighted Vietnam’s achievements in the past year.
She said the embassy stood shoulder by shoulder to the Vietnamese people community by carrying out a wide range of support activities, helping consolidate a community who always remember the homeland, help each other to overcome challenges, and build a bright future.
Vietnamese expatriates in Laos have rushed off their feet those days to prepare for the traditional Lunar New Year holiday since they could not return to their homeland due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They gathered to make chung (square glutinous rice) cake - the soul of Tet that reflects the quintessence of heaven and earth through the skilled hands of humans.
Busy with washing dong leaves, marinating the meat, wrapping and boiling the cakes, the Vietnamese expats recalled the old memories in the homeland, and felt the warm Tet atmosphere is around the corner.
Do Van Nam and Vu Thi Tam, who have lived in Laos for more than ten years, said they always come back home to enjoy Tet holiday with their families, and although they have to stay here due to COVID-19, they enjoyed a truly traditional Tet with the chung cake making activity.
The expats hoped that the pandemic is put under control soon so that they can return to their homeland, meet their relatives and friends, and visit famous tourist destinations in the country.