Among them, Colonel Farbotko Przemyslaw, Polish Defense Attaché, has enjoyed the Vietnamese Tet five times. He said that during his five-year term of office, he has never missed the opportunity to enjoy the Tet atmosphere.

The Polish officer shared that he loves with the Vietnamese Tet, especially taking strolls along empty streets at the beginning of a Lunar New Year. “Most of people return to their hometowns to welcome the holiday. Thus, Hanoi at this time looks empty and silent compared to the bustling of usual days,” he said.

Additionally, Colonel Przemyslaw really likes Vietnamese traditional foods during the Tet holiday.

At the gathering to welcome 2017 Lunar New Year for foreign defense attachés and their families held by the Vietnam Ministry of National Defense

For Captain Blair Tidey, Australian Assistant Defense Attaché, he is fond of busy time ahead of Tet when Tidey and his family join local crowds in going shopping.  This Tet is the third time Captain Tidey celebrates the holiday in Vietnam. “When in Hanoi, do as the Hanoians do,” he said. Thus, his family also has peach and kumquat trees as well as traditional Tet dishes like Chung cakes.

For Colonel Nerolie McDonald, Australian Defense Attaché, Vietnamese Tet brings her both strange and familiar feelings. Though she has just undertaken the new position, Colonel McDonald has a profound understanding of the Vietnamese Tet. She shared that in 2011-2012, she joined a training course at the Vietnamese Military Science Academy and learned about the festival via Vietnamese language training sessions. She also enjoyed a Tet in Vietnam and celebrated a traditional Tet with her friends in Melbourne.

Colonel McDonald held that her biggest impression of the Tet holiday is the connection among members of each Vietnamese family. “Vietnamese people always try to reunite together to enjoy Tet with their families. It is your beautiful custom and culture,” the Australian officer added.

Like Colonel McDonald, Colonel Bangsy Xaysomkhoth, Lao Defense Attachés, reminisced with vivid memories of the past when the Vietnamese Tet was coming. Nearly 40 years ago, Colonel Xaysomkhoth welcomed the holiday three times during his study at the Vietnamese Officers’ Training School No.1. He sees the Vietnamese Tet as the Bun Pi May festival of Laos because it is an occasion for the family members to gather and wish each other a warm and happy New Year.

Returning to Vietnam for a new position, Colonel Xaysomkhoth was surprised by the country’s socio-economic development but his eager feeling for the Tet holiday is the same as it was in the past.

The Tet holiday is approaching. Foreign defense attachés to Vietnam, like the Vietnamese, look towards a Lunar New Year with special sentiment and feeling.

Translated by Van Hieu