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Vietnamese students in Oxford celebrate traditional Lunar New Year

Vietnamese students in Oxford celebrate traditional Lunar New Year

Tuesday, January 25, 2022, 13:40 GMT+7
Vietnamese students in Oxford celebrate traditional Lunar New Year
Professors, students, and researchers from the University of Oxford attend an informal meeting to celebrate the upcoming Year of the Tiger in the UK, January 22, 2022. Photo: Dinh Thu / Tuoi Tre

The Vietnamese Student Association at the University of Oxford brought the unique air of Vietnam’s traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) to an event celebrating the upcoming Year of the Tiger, with the participation of many professors, students, and researchers on Saturday.

The informal meeting took place in an intimate atmosphere and open conversation, in which the overseas Vietnamese community in the UK recalled their memories about the Tet holiday in their homeland, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

The event was also an opportunity for Vietnamese students at Oxford to promote their traditional cultural values ​​to international friends.

Nguyen Hoang Long, Ambassador of Vietnam to the UK, expressed his pleasure and honor in attending the meeting along with many famous professors and scientists from the University of Oxford.

“I hope that the relationship and cooperation between the two countries will be promoted, especially in scientific research,” the ambassador said at the special event.

Professor Nick Brown, principal of Linacre College, Oxford showed his excitement of trying delicious dishes and traditional activities in Vietnam’s New Year celebration, just right in the UK.

“I hope that Linacre College will welcome more Vietnamese students to our country,” Brown said.

Professor Peter Horby, director of Pandemic Sciences Center under the University of Oxford, said that the event brought him back to the old days when he was researching in Hanoi, Vietnam.

“Vietnamese’s New Year celebrations in both Vietnam and the UK share similarities which are groundbreaking customs and the belief that the first guest to visit the house is the one to bring good luck to the family for the whole year,” the professor excitedly said.

He additionally commented that Tet, which is still a week away, is an occasion for family reunion and an opportunity for people to reflect on what happened during the previous year and build their to-do lists for the coming year.

Dr. Tran Quang Minh from the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, spoke highly of the gathering as an opportunity to promote Vietnam’s images and cultural traditions to friends across the globe.

“I always miss Vietnam, especially on the days when the traditional Tet holiday is approaching,” Dr. Minh admitted.

“Born in a Vietnamese family, I always keep the valuable traditions of making banh chung [sticky rice cake], worshiping Gods and ancestors, wishing relatives good luck for the new year and exchanging lucky money during the Tet holiday,” said Vu Thi Phuong, a Vietnamese attendee.

Phuong believed that overseas Vietnamese need to maintain those national cultural traditions and uphold them for the next generations.

The recent event marks the first time the Vietnamese Student Association at the University of Oxford has celebrated the Lunar New Year in the UK.

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Nhu Nguyet / Tuoi Tre News

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