Organised by the HCM City Union of Friendship Organisations (HUFO) and the city’s committee of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS), the ceremony saw the presence of representatives from the consulates-general of the four countries in HCM City, the municipal Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee, the municipal Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, and the countries’ entrepreneurs and students.

Participants in the ceremony bathe the Buddha statue, a ritual of the traditional New Year festival of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand.

The traditional New Year festival is known as Chol Chnam Thmay in Cambodia, Bunpimay in Laos, Thingyan in Myanmar, and Songkran in Thailand.

Addressing the celebrations, HUFO Vice Chairwoman Tran Hoang Khanh Van said the ceremony aims to further promote mutual understanding, cultural exchange, and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam, including HCM City, and the four neighbouring countries.

She noted that Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand are ASEAN members and have cooperated and assisted one another over many years. Their peoples have stood side-by-side in fighting for national independence, developing their countries, and building an ASEAN Community of peace, stability, cooperation, and prosperous development.

Most Venerable Thich Thien Tam, Vice President of the Executive Council of the Central VBS Committee and deputy head of the HCM City VBS Committee’s executive board, said the traditional New Year of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand reflects the similarities in culture and religious practices among the countries, adding that it is helpful in strengthening the five nations’ solidarity in their development efforts and in ASEAN Community building.

Echoing that view, Ratiwan Bonprakhong, Chief Representative of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s HCM City Office, held that the ceremony helps bring the five countries’ people closer together and also demonstrates their solidarity and unity.

Source: VNA