Australian Consul General Family's First Tet in Ho Chi Minh City

Wearing ao dai, the acting consul-general told their feelings about their first Tet in Vietnam and the prospect of the bilateral relations.

Ciaran Chestnutt, Australia's Acting Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, brought his wife Allyson Joy Pannier, and two sons to Nguyen Hue Flower Street to enjoy the Tet atmosphere on Jan. 29.

Australian Consul General Family's First Tet in Ho Chi Minh City
Ciaran Chestnutt said this was the first year his family celebrated Tet in Vietnam. (Photo: Thanh Nien)

Impression with Lunar New Year

Chestnutt said this was the first year his family celebrated Tet in Vietnam. He said everything was great. The whole family is looking forward to the upcoming holiday as an opportunity to meet friends and family.

“Vietnamese Tet leaves a deep impression on me because this is the occasion when everyone focuses on family and an opportunity for everyone to gather together and share a special time of the year. I think Vietnamese Tet is very similar to how Australians spend Christmas. Therefore, we have a very familiar feeling on Vietnamese New Year", he said.

His eldest son was taught about Vietnamese Tet at school. The boy is extremely interested in everything related to this occasion, especially the traditions and cultural practices of the Vietnamese people.

Australian Consul General Family's First Tet in Ho Chi Minh City
The Consul General's family on Nguyen Hue street. (Photo: Thanh Nien)

According to the Australian diplomat, the Vietnamese community is growing strongly in his country. “I grew up in Perth, near a Vietnamese area, a lot of Vietnamese live there, so I also know about Tet through the news on television. Every year, Vietnamese people hold a fair and anyone can attend. It can be said that I have known about Tet, but this is the first time I have experienced Tet in Vietnam.”

Chestnutt's family was impressed by the Tet atmosphere in Nguyen Hue street. “My children love seeing tigers everywhere they go. I think we will have a good time at Nguyen Hue Flower Street,” he said.

Australian Consul General Family's First Tet in Ho Chi Minh City
(Photo: Thanh Nien)

Expectations for Vietnam-Australia relations

An annual fair is held in Ho Chi Minh City for foreign consular offices to introduce their cultures. Australian booth this year is decorated with cute images of a tiger in blue ao dai and a koala in pink ao dai. Chestnutt said the booth showed the solidarity between Vietnamese and Australian people in the fight against the pandemic.

The Acting Consul General of Australia highlighted the fruitful bilateral friendship, whose one of the strongest links is the relationship between the two peoples. Both countries have committed to elevating bilateral relations in the future. Australia is pleased to help Vietnam access Covid vaccines.

Australian Consul General Family's First Tet in Ho Chi Minh City
Wearing ao dai, the acting consul-general told their feelings about their first Tet in Vietnam and the prospect of the bilateral relations. (Photo: Thanh Nien)

He said the first job in his term in Vietnam was to assist the then consul-general Julianne Cowley to hand over the vaccine batches having just arrived in Ho Chi Minh City when the city was under lockdown. He is delighted to be able to bring the vaccine to Ho Chi Minh City at the time of need.

“Australia is committed to supporting Vietnam with 7.9 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, and so far we have delivered 6.6 million. The next batch will soon be on the way,” he said.

"Our two countries are aiming to strengthen relations in the coming time, which I think is obvious based on our historical and cultural links. I am sure that there are many fields that can boost the relations further in the future. I am extremely proud to be able to contribute to that future,” he said.

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