“Homeland Spring” brings warm Tet to expats

President Tran Dai Quang with OVs at Xuan Que Huong

The annual “Xuan Que Huong” (Homeland Spring) programme took place in Ho Chi Minh City on January 20 with a variety of cultural activities to welcome overseas Vietnamese (OVs) back for the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.
Co-organised by the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, the Foreign Ministry and the municipal authorities, the event includes an incense offering ceremony, carp releasing and a get-together. 
The event saw the presence of President Tran Dai Quang as well as other Politburo members.
Speaking at the programme, Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh emphasised that in 2016, Overseas Vietnamese deeply and comprehensively implemented tasks, contributing to supporting expats to stabilise their lives in their host countries.
He also affirmed that this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will co-ordinate with other ministries, branches and localities to hold more activities both at home and abroad in order to gather and attract more expatriates to join hands for the cause of national development.
Addressing the programme, on behalf of the Party and State, President Tran Dai Quang warmly welcomed the OV returning home as well as extended his best New Year greetings to those who are living, working and studying in foreign countries.
He said that over the past 30 years of Doi Moi (Renewal) process, Vietnam has gained numerous achievements and overseas Vietnamese have made great contributions to these important achievements.
The State leader expressed his pleasure at the development of the OV community in all fields of scientific research, investment, production and business.
He hoped that more than 4.5 million expats would continue to join hands to make the fatherland more prosperous and strong as well as promote solidarity to overcome all difficulties, contributing to their host countries.
The President noted that more and more expatriate professionals and businesspeople have returned home to help the country develop.

He reiterated that the State sees overseas Vietnamese an integral part of the nation and has issued many policies encouraging them to do more for the homeland’s construction and development

He asked the OV community to continue upholding patriotism, contributing to tightening friendship and co-operation between Vietnam and the rest of the world.
The arts programme featured numerous songs and dances praising the beauty of the country as well as the Party, Uncle Ho and the achievements of Ho Chi Minh City, leaving a good impression on expatriates and audience members.
Vu Huy Hoang, an overseas Vietnamese in Russia, said the Vietnamese community in the country has always looked back to the homeland and been ready to share difficulties with victims of natural disasters and those in need.
Phan Van Vuong, a businessman in Thailand, shared that although he spent his childhood in Thailand, he still had chances to enjoy the traditional Tet (Lunar New Year) festival with Chung cake (square glutinous rice cake) and parallel sentences.
“We will keep the beautiful tradition for our children and teach them how to preserve it for the next generations,” he said.

Tran Quang Luc from Ukraine said only when coming back home can he really feel the warm atmosphere of the traditional Tet festival although he and other OVs have celebrated the festival annually in the host country.
He expressed his wish that the State will make it easier for young people abroad to contribute to the country’s construction and development.
Sharing Luc’s views, Prof. Do Dinh Chien, who has spent over 50 years in France, suggested the State pay more attention to human resources to improve the country’s science and technology sector so that it is on par with other countries./.
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