In the context of international integration in higher education, more and more students from other countries are coming to study at universities in Ho Chi Minh City and many other schools across the country. In the days when the Tet holiday is approaching, many universities have planned to organize programs and activities to celebrate Tet for international students to experience and feel the flavors and culture of Vietnam's traditional Tet holiday.
Student Amanda Ross, a UK international student studying at Ton Duc Thang University, said that he came to Vietnam in the spring of 2023 through a cultural exchange program. He revealed that he likes most Vietnamese food from pho to rice and other dishes all with their own attractive flavors. He was more eager to celebrate the Vietnamese traditional Tet which was very interesting as he experienced activities such as going to the Tet market and learning to make banh chung ( Vietnamese traditional sticky rice cake) and banh tet ( cylindric glutinous rice cake ). he said that being international students, participating in traditional Tet activities is a special experience, making him feel the warmth and hospitality of Vietnamese people.
Meanwhile, student Connor Shaun Moore, an Australian student at Ton Duc Thang University, has a very unique feeling about traditional Vietnamese costumes during Tet. The most unforgettable experience for him was wearing ao dai, a traditional costume that Vietnamese people often wear during Tet as well as on special holidays, and also at the closing ceremony of the school's academic program. Through that, he loves Vietnamese people, Vietnamese culture, and Vietnamese spirit even more.
Four-year Japanese student Konaka Yuichiro of the Department of Vietnamese Studies faculty of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities under the National University of Ho Chi Minh City, the traditional Vietnamese New Year is the most special day of the year.
She added that this is an opportunity for family members to reunite and give each other the best wishes for the new year. Japan has no longer a traditional New Year, because the Japanese also welcome the New Year like Western people but it is also the most special day of the year.
What impresses her most about Vietnamese Tet is that there are many traditional dishes such as banh chung and banh tet. Another very impressive feature is the way Vietnamese people display five-fruit trays during Tet with many meanings for a prosperous new year, good business and fortune, said Konaka Yuichiro.
According to Korean four-year student Lee Ah Nam at the Department of Vietnamese Studies, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, the most outstanding feature of Tet holidays in Vietnam or Korea is the lucky money-giving tradition. The difference is that in Vietnam, children receive lucky money in lucky money envelopes, while in Korea children receive it in a bag called a lucky bag.
In addition, in Korea, children and grandchildren must bow to their grandparents to receive lucky money, but in Vietnam, they only need to clasp hands and politely wish their grandparents and adults a happy new year to receive lucky money. What impresses him most is that on Vietnamese traditional Tet, the whole family gathers together to make banh tet, banh chung and have many traditional games during Tet, said Lee Ah Nam.
Even though he stayed in Vietnam for four Tet holidays, Laotian student Xaiyasongthor Tulee, a five-year student majoring in Medicine at Nguyen Tat Thanh University still has a special feeling about Vietnam's traditional Tet holiday. The school organized activities such as decorating five-fruit trays, wrapping banh chung, banh tet, and sharing a year-end meal to help international students experience Tet to the fullest.
Xaiyasongthor Tulee revealed that a friend of his invited him to the friend’s hometown in An Giang for a Tet celebration. He and his friend’s family members celebrate New Year's Eve, have a New Year's Eve meal, receive lucky money, go to the temple, and give each other best wishes. Therefore, he really likes the Vietnamese traditional Tet holiday, with many unique traditional cultural features similar to Tet in his own country.