Despite the impact of the financial crisis spreading around the world, the number of overseas Vietnamese coming back to the country for this year’s Tet was higher than previous years. SGGP interviewed some overseas Vietnamese about their impressions of the country before they checked in at Tan Son Nhat airport to return to home. Ms. Nguyen Thi Oanh (living in the US)
Overseas Vietnamese say goodbye to relatives at Tan Son Nhat Airport
I’m really impressed by the rapid development of Ho Chi Minh City, with so many modern buildings continually springing up. There is no doubt more city residents are getting richer, as there are more cars on streets nowadays instead of motorbikes and bicycles.
On the first days of the Lunar New Year, I went for a stroll on streets like Nguyen Hue, Dong Khoi and Le Loi, which were temporarily transformed into streets of flowers, and was attracted by the scenes of joy. City residents flocked to the streets to enjoy the spring atmosphere right in the heart of the city.
When I saw smiling young lovers walking hand in hand, browsing the art works displayed on the flower streets, I caught myself thinking about the current situation in the US, where many people are facing rising unemployment, and I understood that there were not many places in the world where people could enjoy peace and tranquility like the people here.
Mr. Vo Thanh Hiep (living in Canada)
I have lived in Canada for over 30 years and this is the second time I came back to the country with my family to welcome the spring festival in Vietnam. The last time I was in Vietnam was 2002.
Getting back to the country after seven years, I first of all noticed that the formalities at Tan Son Nhat Airport have been simplified considerably.
During one month staying in the country, I traveled from North to South and was sometimes in contact with provincial authorities, wherever I was I always saw friendly smiles on government officials when they were working.
I therefore trust the most pressing problems in the country, like bureaucracy and corruption, will be eliminated in the coming future. Until then, the national economy will develop healthily and be able to attract more foreign investors.
Mr. Le Dinh Vy (living in the US)
I have settled down in the US for more than a decade. As a retired employee, I always come back to the country every year to enjoy Tet with relatives and friends. We usually go on tours to visit famous landscapes and the countryside throughout the country.
I’ve found that economic conditions in the country have been significantly improved, not only in big cities like Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, but also in small provinces.
Huong Khe Town in Ha Tinh Province, located on the Ho Chi Minh National Highway, is my hometown. It has been transformed from a small and deserted mountainous village into a crowded city with newly-built houses and streets.
Houses have already been hooked up to the electricity grid and furnished with expensive household appliances, including televisions, washing machines and CD players. Safe water is available. People in my hometown used to walk but now most of them travel by motorcycles.
Although people are busy making money, many still take good care of their children and try to keep the manners and customs of the country and the good traditions of a Vietnamese family. People in the country are no doubt living a happy life, I would say.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Oanh (living in the US)