A dancing performance at the celeberation in France (Photo: VNA)

Paris (VNA) – The Year of the Monkey was celebrated with various activities by Vietnamese expatriates in France and Belgium as the lunar year began just a week ago.

In Nogent-sur-Marne – a commune in the suburbs of Paris, the General Union of the Vietnamese in France (UGVF), the Vietnamese Cultural Centre in France and other associations organised a Lunar New Year (Tet) celebration on February 13.

The event featured diverse activities such as singing, dancing, martial arts performances and traditional Tet markets.

It attracted some 1,500 Vietnamese people, along with Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Ngoc Son; Ambassador Le Hong Phan, head of the Vietnamese delegation to UNESCO; and representatives from the embassies of Lao, Singapore, Indonesia and the Republic of Korea.

Speaking at the programme, UGVF Secretary General Ngo Kim Hung said he wished the best for the participants. Secretary General of the Vietnamese Students Association in France Do Minh Hang shared in the 7,000 Vietnamese students’ joy as they welcomed in the New Year.

The Vietnamese Cultural Centre in France also took this occasion to announce the winners of the fifth Vietnam writing contest.

Also on February 13, the General Association of the Vietnamese in Belgium and the Belgian-Vietnamese Alliance held a similar celebratory programme featuring lion dances, ao dai (traditional dress), singing performances and Tet dishes.

Belgian State Secretary for Asylum Policy and Migration Theo Francken highlighted contributions by the Vietnamese community to Belgium’s economic development. He said he hoped for their continued efforts to promote traditional values and integration into local society.-VNA