HCM CITY — The tropical city will add a new name to its ever-expanding list of international festivals: Maslenitsa, or the Welcome Spring festival. As the country's economy expands, it ushers in new business opportunities and welcomes new expatriates, who bring with them their own traditions and customs.
|Seasoned fun: Russian women perform a dance to celebrate Maslenitsa. The Welcome Spring festival will be held in HCM City on Saturday. — File Photo
The city's inhabitants have celebrated Oktoberfest with the Germans, Thanksgiving with the Americans, Diwali with the Indians, and now they welcome a new spring festival from Russia.
Maslenitsa is the Russian counterpart of Rio de Janero's Carnival or New Orleans' Mardi Gras – a combination of Russian Orthodox-Christian traditions with the earlier pagan customs of the area. After Russia's long, cold winter, Maslenitsa is when people come together to greet the long-awaited arrival of spring.
"We want this event to bring people together," said Natalia Nikokosheva, representing the Russian Club in HCM City, which has been active in pulling resources together for the event
"We hope to introduce our Russian traditions and customs to our Vietnamese friends and the wider expat community in the city," she said.
The Russian Club of HCM City is a community organisation of about 100 people who either studied in the former Soviet Union, speak Russian or work for Russian companies. The event will involve Russian music, food, drink and the local treat of blini – Russian pancakes served with sour cream, smetana, butter, apples or caviar.
To help celebrate Maslenitsa the Russian way this Saturday, come to HCM City's Windsor Plaza Hotel. Tickets are VND200,000. — VNS