South Africa Honorary Consul makes Tet cakes for poor people in Saigon


Updated : 01/21/2017 15:00 GMT + 7

Honorary Consul of the Republic of South Africa Do Thi Kim Lien has joined local students in a charity event aimed to bring a taste of Tet to needy people in Ho Chi Minh City.

During an event held Friday at the municipal Youth Cultural House, the diplomat and students finished cooking about 1,000 banh chung, an indispensable delicacy for the Vietnamese to celebrate Tet, for underprivileged people.

Banh chung, or square glutinous rice cake, is a specialty made from glutinous rice, mung bean and pork, and is synonymous with Tet.

All the ingredients will be wrapped in a special kind of leaf called la dong, and tied with bamboo strings, called lat, before getting boiled.

Tet, or Lunar New Year, begins on January 28.

The cakes will be delivered to those in need today, January 21, according to the Consulate of South Africa in Ho Chi Minh City.

Speaking at the cake making event, the honorary consul highly appreciated the meaning of the traditional delicacy which reflects Vietnamese rice civilization with its components of rice, mung bean and pork.

“This activity does not only aim to launch a movement on bringing underprivileged people a happy Tet holiday, but also help the students know how to make the traditional dish, to understand its meaning and to feel the holiday atmosphere deeper,” she said.

Honorary Consul of the Republic of South Africa Do Thi Kim Lien (C) joins local students to make banh chung on January 20, 2017. Photo: By courtesy of South African Honorary Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City

At the event, Honorary Consul Lien guided the students through the process of making banh chung, from working on rice to wrapping all the ingredients in leaves and cooking the cake.

The cake making activity was part of the consulate’s annual program “Nha sach don Tet” (Clean house to welcome Tet), in which volunteers joined to clean houses to raise money for poor people.

For every working hour, the volunteers receive VND65,000 ($2.9) from the house owners, with all money proceeded from the job donated to needy people.

The event, now in its third year, saw nearly 500 participants on its opening day on January 8.

This Sunday, Lien and the students will also visit and bring gifts to cancer patients in the city.

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