RMIT Vietnam NewsTet traditions for RMIT Vietnam staff

Tet traditions for RMIT Vietnam staff

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 11:58
RMIT Vietnam Business Information Systems Senior Lecturer Pham Cong Hiep
Centre of English Language, Concurrent English Program Manager June Lee

It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement and festivities of Tet, according to RMIT Vietnam Business Information Systems Senior Lecturer Pham Cong Hiep.

The Tet period marks the beginning of the Year of the Goat, a symbol of wealth, prosperity and happiness.

For Vietnamese-Australian Hiep, he expects 2015 to be a peaceful and flourishing one. 

Mr Hiep’s colleague in the University’s Centre of English Language June Lee said she once read people with the zodiac sign of the goat tend to love peace.

“Hopefully that's what the Year of the Goat will bring,” Ms Lee said.

Like other RMIT Vietnam staff, the pair will experience Tet in different ways.

“It will be the tenth Tet in Vietnam for me,” Korean-American Ms Lee said, who has also experienced the lunar new year in the traditional Korean way.

“Vietnam seems to bloom with red and gold decorations during the weeks leading up to Tet and everyone feels very festive, including myself.”

For many years, Ms Lee has spent Tet travelling but this year she’ll have some quiet time either in Ho Chi Minh City or somewhere nearby.

“I do enjoy the festivities before Tet but what really feels special and unique to me is the lull in the city after everyone has left for their hometown,” she said.

“I don’t think of it as a quiet and lonesome lull but as the streets being emptied to fill homes with warmth and chatter.”

Also a fan of the quiet streets, Mr Hiep will ride his bicycle to District 1 early on the first day of Tet to experience the empty streets of the bustling central business district, which only happens once a year.

“There are also quite a few flower markets and festivals I would like to visit before and during Tet,” he said.

“It’s a good time to get some great photos of all the flowers and people.”

Career-wise, the duo expect 2015 will be a busy but productive one.

Recently taking on new responsibilities in the University’s Centre of English Language, Concurrent English Program Manager, Ms Lee will continue teaching English as well as support other English educators in program delivery.

“I'm very excited to be doing this and look forward to working with different people and developing further as a professional,” she said.

The year ahead for Mr Hiep will see him continue his PhD research, industry engagement at workshops and events, as well as preparing innovative learning and teaching activities for his students.