Vietnamese expatriates gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Germany, Switzerland, and Macau (China) on February 21, the third day of the Year of the Goat.

At an event held by the Germany-Vietnam Friendship Association, President of the organisation Siegfried Sommer said 2015 is a special year for Vietnam with the 70th anniversary of its National Day (September 2, 1945) as well as the 40th anniversary of its national reunification (April 30, 1975) and the establishment of the two countries’ relations (1975).

Bilateral ties between Germany and Vietnam have been thriving across politics, economics, culture, and education, he noted, adding that continued growth can be expected on the basis of the countries’ strategic partnership established in 2011.

Siegfried Sommer said his association has issued a regular bulletin on Vietnam, built a German-Vietnamese bilingual nursery school in Berlin’s Lichtenberg district, and designed a Vietnamese language teaching programme at the capital city’s Barnim High School. He added the organisation will do its utmost to contribute to the development of the connection between the countries.

At the event, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Thi Hoang Anh described the Germany-Vietnam Friendship Association as a bridge linking the two peoples.

She expressed her hope that natives and Vietnamese expatriates will actively participate in events marking the nations’ 40 years of diplomatic ties, which will be held later this year.

In Switzerland, nearly 200 expatriates attended a similar Lunar New Year gathering organised by Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, and other Geneva-based international organisations.

Deputy head of the mission Pham Quoc Tru voiced his hope that Vietnam’s “doi moi” (reform) and international integration will be strengthened in 2015 as a series of important national events take place.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Vietnamese guest workers in Macau—China’s special administrative region—gathered on February 20-21 to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Vietnamese Consul General Hoang Chi Trung sent his best wishes to participants and expressed his hope that Vietnamese nationals will continue their solidarity and mutual support, adhere to local laws and labour contracts, and contribute to relations between their country and Macau as well as China in general.

At the celebrations, attendees had a chance to enjoy traditional Vietnamese cuisine and musical performances.-VNA