According to the Ministry of Education and Training, there are about 45,000 international students from more than 100 nations and territories studying in Vietnam. During Tet 2024, Vietnamese universities held many activities for international students to enjoy the unique cultural features of the Vietnamese people. During this time, they practiced making Banh chung (square glutinous rice cake), played folk games together with local people.

International students from the Hanoi University making Banh chung

Chor Seiha, a Cambodian student at the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences, held that he was invited by Vietnamese people to the Tet Festival celebration. On the occasion, he understood more about the Vietnamese culture and traditions. These were unforgettable experience that he got during his stay in the country.

This year, the University of Education of University of Da Nang has 42 international friends staying in Vietnam to welcome the traditional Tet, including eight Nigerian, three Lao and 31 Chinese students. Shi Qingqi, a Chinese student at the university was not alone because she received due care and encouragement from the Vietnamese school, lecturers, and peers. She had learnt about Vietnamese culture during the festival and hoped to have a chance to experience more Vietnamese traditions on the occasion.

After ten years living and studying in Vietnam, David Holloway, a teacher at the British University Vietnam, thought that the Vietnamese traditional Tet is a special festival with unique cultural features. He was impressed by the Vietnamese traditions of vising teachers on the third day of a lunar year. He held that in his country, the teaching profession is not really highly appreciated like in Vietnam. “This is the respect for those who have great influence in each person’s life,” he added.

In addition to taking part in traditional activities, this was also an occasion for international students to enjoy Vietnamese traditional dishes.

Tet is not only an important festival for the Vietnamese people but also an opportunity for international friends to explore cultural traditions during their time in Vietnam, contributing to promoting understanding and respect among different cultures, building a diverse and integrative international student community in the country.

Translated by Minh Anh