Ambassadors to Vietnam from the G4 countries, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, and Switzerland, have expressed their good wishes to Vietnamese people and other foreigners in Vietnam with a short tribute video.
The four foreign diplomats walked down the street in Hanoi to meet sanitation workers and street vendors to thank them for their contributions, as well as to give them lucky money, a custom called li xi in Vietnamese.
“As we get ready to celebrate Tet and the lunar Year of the Dragon, we all want a more beautiful, happier, and fairer world for ourselves and our children. This cannot be achieved by governments alone,” said Thomas Gass, Ambassador of Switzerland to Vietnam.
“The better world that we want will only become a reality if all people, all organizations, and all private enterprises participate in pursuing these goals."
Everyone can and should participate with their resources, capacities, and reflections, Gass stated.
“Sustainable development requires a society where all people can participate in the reflection about what should change, how it should change, and how they can contribute,” he added.
Meeting Tuyet, a sanitation worker, on a street in Hanoi one day, a few days from the 2024 Lunar New Year festival, Hilde Solbakken, Ambassador of Norway to Vietnam, shared that she was so happy to feel the pride that “Ms. Tuyet is showing in her work.”
“Another Tet is around the corner. Let’s take this occasion to highlight the contribution of workers like Tuyet who I met today," she said.
“She and many others are working hard every day, and even more now around Tet to keep the city tidy and clean and enjoyable for all the rest of us.
“Tet is the time for appreciation and hope, so I wish the new Year of the Dragon will bring everyone joy, health, prosperity, and also opportunities for decent work and professional fulfillment."
The over-three-minute video also shows Ginny Chapman, chargés d'affaires ad interim at the Embassy of New Zealand in Vietnam, visiting a street stall and handing out lucky money to Hien, the owner of the stall, as a way to hail her contribution to Vietnam’s economic growth.
She said that workers like Hien play a vital role in the Vietnamese economy.
“They offer a wide range of goods and services, many of which are much more affordable for lower-income residents,” Chapman stressed.
Street vending offers an alternate source of livelihood for many people who might otherwise struggle to find work, she said.
“And for me, street vendors add to the richness and the diversity of the Vietnamese landscape,” Chapman said.
She also wishes the Year of the Dragon will bring these workers and everyone else the best of luck and happiness.
“I wish all of us, including informal workers, a more prosperous, mentally and physically healthy, and supportive year,” said Shawn Steil, Ambassador of Canada to Vietnam.
He also underscored, “Supporting informal workers and guaranteeing everyone decent work is crucial for a more inclusive and equitable society.”
The four foreign diplomats and some local street vendors and sanitation employees say “Happy New Year!” to end the video.