Ambassador’s address on the first day of the Year of the Dragon
Excellencies and distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen,
This evening, on the very first day of the lunar New Year, we – the children of the legend Dragon and the Fairy parents – gather here to welcome the Year of the Dragon in our traditional ceremonies. I have a great pleasure to extend on behalf of the Embassy of Viet Nam in Greece and the event organizers the warmest seasonal greetings and best wishes to all Vietnamese people and treasured friends in Greece for a year of good health, lucks and prosperity. On this occasion, I also would like to send to compatriots who are not present here because of their own engagements our heart-felt New Year greetings and wishes.
I am very elated to share with you some latest statistics about our dear Viet Nam. Last year 2011, Việt Nam attained economic growth rate of over 5.8%, hence raising the income per capita to 1.300$. Throughout the year, we were able to increase our export by 33%, bringing the total foreign trade volume to over 200 US$ billions and after several years in deficit we had an account balance in surplus with over a billion dollars. The year 2011 also witnessed a record remittance from overseas Vietnamese of 9 US$ billions. This record number vividly manifests the close linkages and sentiments that our compatriots reserve for the native land. I can say that all these have helped sustain Viet Nam’s socio-economic development and improve the living standards of its people and raise the stature of the country in international arena.
In Greece, facing unprecedented challenges of economic reality, many of our compatriots in Greece have been making tremendous efforts to keep their business running and as a result help retain jobs for many Vietnamese and Greek people and generate income and pay taxes to the country’ coffer. At the same time, other Vietnamese have shared the difficulties with the Greek people shown their support by continuing their work and/or study in positive manners. These efforts and attitude are especially meaningful and cannot go unnoticed by the Greek Government. It is even more appreciated that despite such difficulties our compatriots have spared their time and made efforts to take part in activities to enhance community cohesion and mutual assistance as well as ones towards the Homeland.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This morning, my family began the first day of the Year of the Dragon with my wife helping my son to go to school and me preparing for my prearranged meeting with the Hellenic Foreign Ministry and then other works of the Embassy. It was just another normal busy Monday morning. But as I lighted the incense to pay tribute to my ancestors according to the Vietnamese tradition, a strong feeling overwhelmed me. It was the feeling about what my compatriots living abroad have been through over the years, away from where they were borne and brought up. It was the images of the hard days in nostalgia of the Homeland when they had to manage the new life to earn their living without family support and in a different cultural setting.
I realized the efforts by our compatriots to get integrated into the new society and create a standing for themselves and their children. Deep down, I honor every contribution by each and every compatriot whether in cash or in kind, in work or with spiritual support so that the whole community, especially the children, can somehow feel the ambience, taste the food, enjoy the festivities and be proud of the Qi and spirit of Vietnamese traditional Tet. In broader sense, it is the heart and mind of the elders, the brothers and sisters in the communities who earnestly desire to nurture, keep and pass on the fine traditions and values of our forefathers to the younger generation living abroad.
I sincerely thank each and every member of the organizing committee and the whole community as well as the Embassy’s staff for their hard work and creation that makes this evening a real festival, one full the Motherland’s traditions.
I therefore deeply appreciate the reception, assistance and support that the people and government of this beautiful country – a country of proud culture and history – have extended to the Vietnamese community. And through such actions of humanity and generosity, this land of legends and giants like Plato, Aristotle, Hippocrates, Archimedes, Euclid and countless others great men of history has become the second homeland for the Vietnamese community here. I also appreciate the respect and receptive attitude of the Greek people of the Vietnamese traditional and cultural values. This helps enrich and make humankind’s culture and civilization more diversified and splendorous.
With that spirit and with the conviction in the friendship and cooperation between Viet Nam and Greece and the successful integration of Vietnamese community into the Greek society and on the happy occasion of the lunar new year, I wish you all, Excellencies, distinguished guests and all Vietnamese people in the community good health, good lucks and more successes.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
KAΛΗ XPONIA ΣE OΛOYΣ!
CHÚC MỪNG NĂM MỚI!
Last modified 01-03-2012