The Year of the Horse has ended after many ups and downs and has given way to the Year of the Goat, which will bring new hopes and aspirations. Thu Trang spoke to people born in the earlier years of the Goat and asked them about their expectations for 2015.
Le Quang Liem, 24, Vietnamese chess grandmaster and the 2013 World Blitz Chess Champion
During 2014, I mostly concentrated on my studies at the Webster University. I had a very successful academic year and got excellent grades, while adjusting to a new environment that involves American culture, college life, etc.
Regarding chess, I did not participate in too many tournaments the way I used to before I went to college. I reported mixed results in various competitions: winning two national championships with the Webster Chess Team, winning a gold medal at the Viet Nam National Blitz Championship, finishing fourth at the World Blitz Championship; but I played poorly during a couple of tournaments, such as the Millionaire Open in Las Vegas and the SPICE Cup in St Louis. Consequently, my chess ratings suffered a slight decline.
It currently stands at 2678. As for my family, I am always very grateful for them as they support all my decisions.
I certainly hope that the Year of the Goat will bring me luck. I plan to take chess more seriously, train harder and continue improving. My goal is to take my rating back to the 2700 level by the end of the year.
I owe all of my success to my hard work and guidance from my teachers. I think luck brought by fate plays only a little part.
I wish all of my family and friends good health, happiness and big successes! Again, I would like to thank everyone for supporting me. This has been a strong motivation for me to do my best.
Hoang Ngoc Thuy, 60, doctor at the Epidemiology Ward under the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology.
At the age of 60, I feel moved to welcome the year 2015, but I am regretful because the year 2014 was the last year of my official working life and marked my retirement. After serving as a doctor at the Epidemiology, Health Dissemination and Education Ward of the National Institute, I reviewed all of my career and I feel that I have done quite a lot to take care of public health.
I joined trips to poor and remote areas, where I guided ethnic minorities on how to prevent diseases. My colleagues and I also discovered a number of malaria epidemics and helped thousands of residents avoid contracting the disease. I travelled on foot for dozens of kilometres, overcame hunger and cold weather to go to every house in the mountainous Central Highlands and the border villages, and I always felt that my efforts were worthy.
But whatever I do, I am not satisfied as I wish to do more and have more time to help poor people in controlling diseases.
Being born in the Year of the Goat, which is considered a precursor to an easy and happy life, I think that my life has been quite hard, but full of happiness. Everything that happened was a result of my own efforts and not because of destiny.
This year, I hope that Viet Nam's public health sector achieves all its targets, and that the people do not have to suffer from any more epidemics, especially in the remote areas, and that they are able to lead a comfortable and happy life. I wish that my young colleagues remain healthy too and continue to go to poor areas to impart more health care to the locals.
Actress Chieu Xuan, 48, former actress of the Ha Noi Drama Theatre and now director of the Nam Viet and Viet Nu companies which produce television films
Last year was a successful and meaningful year for me. I shot for the film Heo May Ve Qua Pho (Cold Wind Blows through the Street), which talks about some people living together, who take a wrong decision. They spend their whole lives trying to make the right decision, but are unable to do so and end encountering a self-created tragedy. It is a sad film.
When it was broadcast in July, many people, especially the older generation, praised me, adding that they found the film to be a reflection of their life and that they too had experienced a phase in their lives when they were too afraid to take a decision or to make mistakes.
I also joined hands with the Unilever and Muong Thanh groups to build a clean water system for 150 households in Nua Ngam Commune of Dien Bien District in the northeastern mountainous province of Dien Bien. The area lacks clean water round the year. The project has been successful, although we had to tap water from a source, which was located more than two kilometres away from the commune.
I am confident that my success was a result of my hard work. Certainly, life is always filled with ups and downs. However, sadness should never bring us down and our new chapter cannot be opened if we keep revisiting earlier ones.
As the New Year begins, I hope that people will remain healthy and create happiness for themselves and also bring happiness to others. I wish everyone luck in their work.
Vu Hoang Ngan, 24, interpreter of the H&P Viet Han Co Ltd
Some people have told me that I was born in the Year of the Goat so my life will be happy and full of leisure. I am not sure whether that thought is right or wrong, but I find that I am quite lucky and happy. I was born in a family, where both my parents were public employees, and from the time that I was small until now, I have been taken care of perfectly. I have lived in a house where everyone is always smiling and happy.
2014 was a good year for me because I had all my wishes fulfilled. My parents remained healthy, my love remained strong and I found a job in a private company right after I graduated from the Ha Noi University's Korean Language Faculty. One thing I still worry about is that this work is not really suitable for me. My target for the New Year is to find a new opportunity. I can find a more suitable job, make strides in my career and stabilise my work.
I hope that the Year of the Goat will not only bring me luck, but also to my family and my friends. I wish everyone lots of pleasure, happiness and success during the year. — VNS