Expats Celebrate Tet
The Covid-19 situation has brought a big change to the flavor and feeling of Tet. Nevertheless many expats have fully got in to the spirit of the season.
Mesmerized by the onset of Tet
Pramod Angadi, 28, has lived in Vietnam for more than four years, and is familiar with Lunar New Year celebrations.
|Pramod Angadi (sitting) and his Zumba class. Photo: Pramod Angadi
"Tet has touched my heart in so many ways. I spot many similarities between the culture of my home country and Vietnam. Vietnam is a place of such kindness especially in past years during the Covid pandemic. I have experienced so much hospitality and food. My heart will forever be full of beautiful memories of Tet," said Angadi.
"I am a Zumba instructor in Hanoi. We had had a rough year in 2021, but thanks to the effort Vietnam made to fight the virus, we are still healthy. I had to close the class for 6 months and I am so grateful for my Vietnamese friends who helped me during those difficult times."
This year, Pramod and his dance group prepared a special project to celebrate Tet. With hit song "Nam Qua Da Lam Gi" by Vietnamese pop singer Noo Phuoc Thinh, Angdi and five beautiful Vietnamese dancers starred in a self-produced performance video.
|Sporting red and shiny outfits, the dancers gave an energetic performance in the spirit of Tet. Photo: Pramod Angadi
"This is a Zumba video with a Tet theme that my students and I usually perform before the Vietnamese Lunar New Year to create a festive atmosphere," he said.
"We choose songs together, come up with ideas for choreography, costumes, and recording location. My students are very passionate about music and dancing so they enthusiastically participate even though this is just a video for fun."
|Pramod has plans with his Indian friends to travel during Tet. Photo: Pramod Angadi
Expats press pause on travel
Large gatherings still feel like a hassle for some expats and people are careful about how their actions can affect others. They want to join hands to prevent the spread of the virus.
Smaller groups and family is preferred nowadays. The amazing community connection and spirit of Tet has not died, it is just laying low until the end of the pandemic.
Long-term expats have started to use Tet as a time to stay home and enjoy the simpler things in life.
|Long-term expats have started to use Tet as a time to stay home and enjoy the simpler things in life. Photo: Alex Stevenson
Alex (South African) has been doing remote work for almost two years, and moving his business online, leaving HCMC for Hoi An, is how Alex coped with the social distancing regulations in Vietnam.
After the move, Alex quickly got used to the relaxing and peaceful town of Hoi An and the lack of public activities is not a dampener. It cannot take away the joy of having survived the pandemic that has raged for two years.
"I love traveling, there are many places I wanted to visit, especially the north of Vietnam. I also want to travel overseas. But now is not the time. I had lived in Vietnam since 2015 so I had had quite a lot of fun experiences celebrating Tet with both locals and expats," he said.
Foreigner's tropical paradise
This year's Tet celebration held a remarkable meaning for both locals and expats. As the whole community has suffered from the negative impacts of Covid-19, now is the time to celebrate the year coming to an end.
Vietnam has many destinations for cross-country adventure, so expats can have a quiet, somewhat isolated Tet.
On her Con Dao holiday, Lauren is among a small number of expats. At the beach of Con Dao, she sent new year wishes to friends and loved ones.
|Lauren (America) decided to spend the holiday in Con Dao island. Photo: Lauren Sherar
Con Dao is a famous destination with sunny days with little to no rain. Those who hate the busy life in the big cities traffic see Tet as great time to visit quiet placeas and de-stress. It is also a photographers’ delight thanks to the untouched nature.
Traveling to less-crowded destination is an experience worth trying. Not many stores remain open; it is a chance to befriend the locals and learn about their cultures, especially in Lunar New Year - the most anticipated celebration of the year among Vietnamese.
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