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Tet away from home of Vietnamese expats in Australia

As COVID again spoils traditional Lunar New Year celebrations, Asian-Australians have been forced to keep their usually free-ranging family traditions closer to home, Australia’s ABC News reported.

The Year of the Tiger marks the third year in a row Marianne Bogard, who is of Vietnamese and French origin, has missed out on celebrating Tet (Vietnamese for Lunar New Year) with her Vietnamese family in Ho Chi Minh City.

Prior to the pandemic, Vietnam-born but Sydney-based Bogard would visit Vietnam every year with her Vietnamese mother and sister to welcome in the new zodiac animal.

"I have really missed going to uncles' and aunties' houses to wish them luck and get red envelopes," she said.

"My mum's side of the family in Vietnam is really big - 11 brothers and sisters and their many children - so there are about 30 people coming together to celebrate.”

Moving to Australia in 2013, Bogard realised she had been taking Tet for granted when living in Vietnam.

Binh Nguyen from Vietnam said he drove nearly 300 kilometres from Sydney to Canberra for this year's Vietnamese Embassy's Tet party.

"It was a wonderful chance to gather with Vietnamese students and communities from all around Australia,” he said.

"We gathered with some local and international friends to enjoy the delicacies of my homeland such as banh chung (sticky rice cake stuffed with pork and mung bean), authentic nem (Vietnamese spring rolls) and banh cuon (steamed rice rolls)."

The man stressed Tet is a time to celebrate the family spirit and described the event as one big happy family./.