French Ambassador: Walking to see Hanoi during New Year days is 'fantastic'

This year I will have Tet in Hanoi. On the morning of the 1st day of the lunar New Year I will get up early to walk.

The scene will be great when the street is quiet and I can see what was left after the New Year’s Eve, French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery told VietnamNet.

Đại sứ Pháp: Ngày Tết đi bộ ngắm Hà Nội rất tuyệt

French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery. Photo: Pham Hai

It seems that you have natural bonds with Vietnam when you served as the French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City (2004-2007) and last September you were appointed as Ambassador to Vietnam?

Fifteen years ago, I had a term in Ho Chi Minh City that lasted more than three years. At that time my children were still in school, so my whole family lived in the city. Now, I am very pleased to return to Vietnam as an Ambassador. While working as the French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, I had many occasions to go to Hanoi when there were high-level visits to Vietnam or meetings organized by the French Embassy.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have different features. Ho Chi Minh City used to be a port city, a commercial center and now is the economic hub with very active activities. Historically, Hanoi is a political, cultural, and academic center, so it has a different pace.

Regardless of position, I have not only worked in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City but always taken advantage of opportunities to visit other localities in Vietnam. During this term, as the French Ambassador to Vietnam, I have returned to Da Nang, Hue, Da Lat, Dien Bien and I plan to visit Can Tho, Nha Trang, Hai Phong in the coming time because each Vietnamese cities and locality, whether big or small, has their own characteristics.

Vietnam in 2020 assumes dual responsibility: ASEAN Chairman and Non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. What is your assessment of Vietnam's current position in the region and the world?

2020 was a very important year for Vietnam as it took on the roles of ASEAN Chairman and Non-permanent member of the UN Security Council at the same time. Vietnam has been very successful in assuming these two roles. Right from the beginning of the year when Vietnam became the Chairman of ASEAN, the Covid-19 pandemic occurred, and since March, all ASEAN activities were organized online. Despite these difficulties and challenges, Vietnam achieved the goals set out during its term.

Within the framework of the UN Security Council and the UN, Vietnam performed an outstanding role, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Specifically, in early January 2020, as Chairman of the UN Security Council of the month, Vietnam held a seminar related to the UN Charter and then during the year, in Hanoi, Vietnam successfully held a related event on women's roles with peace and security.

At the end of 2020, did you experience the traditional New Year of Vietnam?

I've had Tet many times in Vietnam.

Đại sứ Pháp: Ngày Tết đi bộ ngắm Hà Nội rất tuyệt

French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery. Photo: Pham Hai

Do you see any similarity between the Vietnamese traditional New Year and the holidays of the French people?

The year-end holidays in France and Tet in Vietnam have similarities, when it comes to family reunion. For France, we focus most on Christmas Eve and the next day when we meet relatives and family members.

In Vietnam, I see Tet as a reunion occasion, but this holiday is longer and has different rituals from other holidays. Not only New Year's Eve, on the 1st day of New Year, the Vietnamese have the custom of visiting the parents... It is also an opportunity to tighten family and social relations.

During my term in Vietnam, I was once lucky to witness the reunion of a Vietnamese family. I saw a bond between the old, the young, all family members, creating a very similar atmosphere in France during Christmas.

 

More specifically, the first day of the Vietnamese New Year is very similar to the New Year's Day in France, when there are almost no people on the street. Going out on the street that day will be a very special feeling.

Could you share with us your plan to experience your Vietnamese New Year this year?

This year I will have Tet in Hanoi. On the morning of the 1st day of the lunar New Year I will get up early to walk. The scene will be great when the street is quiet and I can see what was left after the New Year’s Eve.

I plan to go to Ngoc Son temple in Hoan Kiem lake. On the morning of the 1st day of New Year, many people come here to burn incense.

What is your expectation of the cooperation relationship between France and Vietnam in the new year?

2021 is a very special because after the National Party Congress, Vietnam will have new leaders. It may be the year to put an end to Covid-19 pandemic and the two countries will make more efforts to strengthen bilateral relations. We hope that 2021, after the pandemic is under control, the two sides will work together to promote stronger relations in all fields such as economy, culture, and health.

Healthcare is one of the key areas of cooperation between the two countries, with a long tradition of cooperation.

In the future, we will continue this partnership, also in response to Covid, vaccines and other issues.

During your term, what fields will you focus on with the efforts to strengthen relations between the two countries?

During my term, I hope to further promote the strategic partnership between Vietnam and France, tighten the political relationship between the two sides, and promote projects in economic, culture, higher education and projects related to climate change, environmental protection...

In general, France and Vietnam will promote bilateral relations, and exert joint efforts to promote multilateral relations.

I would like to add that there is a highly iconic project in Hanoi. The metro project No. 3 (Nhon - Hanoi urban railway line) is being implemented well. The first train has arrived in Vietnam. I hope the project will be completed soon to serve the people.

Thai An-Hien Anh

“See the sun through parting fog and clouds" to cooperate and fill our differences

“See the sun through parting fog and clouds" to cooperate and fill our differences

"Thank heaven we are here today/To see the sun through parting fog and clouds" are two sentences from “Truyen Kieu” (The Tale of Kieu) quoted by then US Vice President Joe Biden,

Chinese Ambassador shares his views on VN-China bilateral ties and Tet holiday

Chinese Ambassador shares his views on VN-China bilateral ties and Tet holiday

Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo shared with VietNamNet his wish to promote the Vietnam-China relationship in the new year as well as interesting thoughts about the Lunar New Year (Tet holiday).

 
 

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