Overseas Vietnamese feel warm in the homeland.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in co-ordination with the Hanoi People’s Committee, organized a program in Hanoi this week to celebrate the coming Lunar New Year festival with overseas Vietnamese who have come home for Tet. The program gave overseas Vietnamese an opportunity to learn more about their homeland’s tradition and culture.

More than 1,000 overseas Vietnamese, the largest number so far, from more than 100 countries and territories around the world. They attended an incense burning ceremony at Thang Long Citadel, visited President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and released fish in Uncle Ho’s fish pond. The “Spring in the homeland” program has been held annually for the past 5 years by the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs to welcome Vietnamese expatriates returning home for their country’s biggest festival, where they could also learn about the business environment in Vietnam. Nguyen Van Dat, an overseas Vietnamese living in Germany said: "When I arrived at Noi Bai international airport, I decided immediately to get a ticket to join this program. I’m very happy with the warm reception at home".

For Mr. Dat, who has lived far from home for 20 years, the “Spring in the homeland” program is an emotional New Year’s gift which warms his heart.  Celebrating the traditional lunar New Year at home provided overseas Vietnamese unforgettable memories. "I think other overseas Vietnamese have a similar impression to mine when returning home. Everything here belongs to us. When we live overseas, we are just guests and we feel warm in our hearts when we return to the motherland", said Nguyen Hoang Hiep, an overseas Vietnamese living in Russia.

Overseas Vietnamese feel warm in the homeland. - ảnh 1

Many overseas Vietnamese maintain and promote Vietnam’s fine cultural tradition, especially during the traditional lunar new year festival. They prepare feasts to worship their ancestors, make paper peace blossoms and give lucky money to children. Nguyen Van Dat told us: "Last year, we celebrated Tet in Germany with our children and grandchildren. During Tet, when other people still go to work, we stay at home and make square sticky rice cakes and prepare a feast to worship our ancestors. There, our family has an altar to worship our grandparents and parents. We teach our children to uphold this tradition".

Statistics show that more than 300,000 overseas Vietnamese came home last year. Overseas remittances totaled a record 9 billion USD, accounting for one tenth of Vietnam’s GDP making Vietnam one of the world’s ten top recipients of overseas remittances. Mr. Hiep, who works in the real estate business, says he believes Vietnam will continue to grow this year. "This year will be a year full of opportunities for our business. Vietnam’s real estate market is quiet now and I think this is a good time to invest in this field, which boasts great potential", said Hiep.

Overseas Vietnamese have been a bridge of friendship between Vietnam and other countries and an inseparable part of the Vietnamese nation.