Overseas Vietnamese return for new spring in motherland

Vietnamese leaders met with more than 1,000 overseas Vietnamese at a special gathering night at Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi Sunday to celebrate the forthcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) Festival, which will officially start Jan. 23.

The State Commission for Overseas Vietnamese and Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized the special event to welcome Vietnamese having returned home. It was titled Xuan Que Huong, or Spring in the Homeland.

Overseas Vietnamese visit where late President Ho Chi Minh worked inside the Presidential Palace in Hanoi January 15, 2012

Officials of the Commission and Mr. Huynh Dam, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee welcomed them and wished them a healthy, successful and peaceful New Year.

In the spring atmosphere, State President Truong Tan Sang welcomed the Vietnamese expatriates. He said the motherland of Vietnam has made important achievements, including economic growth, ensuring social security, keeping social and political order and improving the country’s prestige in the international arena.

Overseas Vietnamese have made contributions to the achievements, the State leader said.

In 2011, more than 300,000 overseas Vietnamese returned to their homeland, according to unofficial statistics. Remittance sent to Vietnam from Vietnamese expatriates exceeded US$9 million, equal to almost one-tenth of the country.

On the Sunday afternoon, State President Sang and representatives for Vietnamese expatriates came to visit the wooden house inside the Presidential Palace in Hanoi where late President Ho (Uncle Ho) used to live. President and the visitors released fish into the fishpond next to the house, in line with a Vietnamese tradition.

By Vinh Xuan, translated by Tuong Thuy

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