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Lunar New Year’s Eve in Vietnam: Shake it off!

Friday, January 27, 2017, 19:02 GMT+7

Did the dog leave you for a better master? Has your girlfriend left you for another boy? Failed every test at school? Don’t worry! It’s New Year!

The coming year brings with it many things the lunar 2016 missed. More opportunities, better twists and turns, unexpected surprises and another special feature; more climate change!

If you take the time to read the sales brochure for the lunar 2017, you’ll discover it costs exactly the same as last year and comes with brand-new opportunities to improve your life, luck and health.

For example, the lunar 2017 comes with fully automated new friends, travel and some quiet time to reflect on how you’re doing in life. The windscreen is slightly tinted too, so you don’t have to squint at any unpleasant memories from the lunar 2016, even if you come across a major life storm, the windscreen wipers are specially designed to allow you to shrug off the heaviest of problems. 

The lunar 2017’s motor is also faster, more powerful and more economical than ever before. In the New Year you should find yourself racing ahead in life, unaware of the acceleration, but also safe in the knowledge that you have great braking power if you spot danger up ahead. 

Yep – the lunar 2017 is a bargain.

Whatever went on in the lunar 2016, it’s time to shake it off and put on your dancing shoes!

The lunar 2017 is your chance to show how well you dance through life and show off the smooth moves you’ve learnt. 

For all my Vietnamese friends, Lunar New Year’s Eve is a time of celebration, just before the long rest after a frantic year of work, family responsibilities and as always; the pressure to make money. For most expats it’s fun as well, even though we’ve already welcomed in our new year. It’s Vietnam’s time to party and even though there’s no fireworks display, there’s sure to be some in your personal life.

The Year of the Rooster is not the time to be shy or hide your talents, so start making noises and get the attention of the people you want to. Display the strengths you’ve hidden away all year and impress someone you care about. Who knows, your life might take a new direction... woo-hoo!

For most of my Vietnamese friends and students, praying for good luck, fortune, health and great educational results is a typical activity after Lunar New Year’s Eve, but you could also pray for world peace and a high school education for every child.

The other important thing to do is shake off ‘the blues’ – the feelings of sadness or depression that happen when something isn’t successful. It’s a life skill that we really should be teaching in school. One thing that Vietnam really teaches you comes from the people’s ability to laugh or smile about things that go wrong. 

Yet it’s more than that – the Vietnamese learn from a young age that obstacles are normal and that you must find ways to get over, under, around or simply just wait until problems resolve themselves. This is ingrained in the national consciousness, very much a part of the resilience that has won Vietnam a number of wars as well as a cheerful knack of living in the moment - because the future is so often uncertain.

Unlucky in love last year? Well, there are a million more possible lovers out there! Didn’t get the job you wanted? Try moving to a similar job – always get closer to your goals, you never know, opportunities often appear disguised as something else.

Above all, don’t dwell too much on the scale of the challenges in front of you or the size of any unsolved problems carried over into the coming lunar 2017. Do what most young Vietnamese do, listen to music, play computer games or go to a café! 

I predict the lunar 2017 will be an amazing year for love for a lot of lonely people (with many marriages in the Year of the Rooster) and a spectacular time for artistic projects, discovering new talents and shaking off old ways of doing things.

If it seems like the world has gone mad – it’s normal. A quick study of history will tell you that there have been far worse times in the past and since we humans don’t learn from our mistakes well enough, there’ll be worse times to come too. The best way forward is to make your own life less crazy. This Lunar New Year’s Eve, don’t worry about the fireworks, find a clever way to bring in the New Year. How about a flash mob in your street? What about a viral video of everyone in your family dancing around in pyjamas at midnight? Why not get the kids to make confetti and throw it all over the neighbors! Whatever you do or decide on Lunar New Year’s Eve or next year – have fun!

And to all our readers, may the lunar 2017 be a very prosperous and memorable year for you and your families.

Chuc Mung Nam Moi (Happy New Year) and see you in the Year of the Rooster!

Stivi Cooke

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