|Lê Thị Quỳnh Trang (second from right), chairwoman of Vietnam International Fashion Week, instructs foreign guests to make bánh chưng (Square sticky rice cake) at Tết celebration held recently in HCM City. File photo courtesy of the organiser|
HCM CITY – Foreign diplomats based in HCM City and business executives gathered recently to celebrate Tết (Lunar New Year).
The attendees included Vincent Floreani, The French consul general, Mary Tarnowka, the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam and former consul general of the US and executives from the EU-Vietnam Business Network, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam and the Business Executive Network Vietnam.
All in áo dài (Vietnamese traditional dress), they were joined by Lê Thị Quỳnh Trang, chairwoman of Vietnam International Fashion Week (VIFW) and president of the Council of ASEAN Fashion Designers, and a number of fashion designers.
|Mary Tarnowka (R), executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam and former consul general of the US in HCM City, plays nhảy sạp (bamboo dancing) at Tết celebration. File photo courtesy of the organiser|
They took part in traditional in Tết activities like making bánh chưng (square sticky rice cake), learning Vietnamese calligraphy, nhảy sạp (bamboo dancing), and listening to folk songs and chầu văn (spiritual singing).
Their children got to play with traditional the Vietnamese toy, tò he, which are small, colourful figurines of heroes, animals, flowers, and fairies made from glutinous rice powder.
Tết dishes like bánh chưng, thịt kho trứng (caramelised braised pork and eggs, canh măng (bamboo shoot soup), and dưa hành (pickled welsh onion) were made on the occasion.
Floreani said he was “overwhelmed” by the celebration, getting a chance to wear an áo dài and enjoy bánh chưng and the rest of the traditional Tết feast.
Trang, the host of the event, said: “The year 2020 was a tough year to everyone. Tết is an important and sacred time for Vietnamese people, but many foreigners could not return home due to COVID-19.
“The celebration is an opportunity for expatriates to discover Vietnamese traditions and culture.
“We hope they have a happy and prosperous year.” — VNS