Yes, we made it!
Following Tet, we brought 50 parcels (for a total value of about €1200) to 50 needy families in the mountainous commune of Xuan Luong in Bac Giang, Vietnam.
Seeing the satisfaction among the children and their families when they received the aid parcels, the smiles on their faces and, above all, the appreciation towards all those “strangers” who want to help bring them a happy New Year was truly heart warming.
They told us that with every gift, no matter big or small, the giver’s intention is the most important thing. And indeed, we gave them things they need on a daily basis. But beyond that, we also paid attention to those little things that help make something special out of the most important celebration of the year. Small useful gifts like a new jumper, a warm hat or scarf. Little gifts that mean a lot.
Here are some comments we took from our conversations:
” I got the things I need most, rice, fish sauce, cooking oil, … Today we got a big gift from your group”
” We children love sweets and the little red covers with “lucky money”
” I like noodles, but I can’t eat the very spicy ones”
” I wanted a pink scarf for the new year”
” A gift, big or small, it’s the intention to give that counts”
We know our goal was achieved. They got the most important things for Tet, a good start for the new year and faith that it will be a good year.
We would like to take this opportunity to explain a little more about our traditional TET New Year to all our friends for whom it may not be so familiar.
Vietnamese New Year “Tet”. The date is determined by the lunar calendar and normally falls somewhere between late January or early February according to the Western calendar. This year, Tet fell on February 1, 2022.
Like around Christmas and New Year in western countries, the house is decorated for Tet. We buy all kinds of goods and presents for the family, new clothes for the children and last but not least, some money for the children, parents, grandparents which we give in small red pocket squares and call it “lucky money”. This then must be an omen of a prosperous year.
But Tet is also a time to be together. A time to share nice things with each other. It is the common belief that a good start to the year is the harbinger of a very good year. For Vietnamese, it is the most important and biggest celebration of the year.