VietNamNet Bridge – Pre-Tet and Tet days prove to be the busiest days for
students, because they not only have to prepare for the semester exams, take
extra jobs to earn money for Tet celebration, but also have to move heaven and
earth to arrange money to invite teachers to Tet parties.
Giving gifts to teachers is a normal practice
Dang Duong, a fourth year student of a technology school in Hanoi, said visiting
teachers and giving presents to them was the “most important thing” he had to do
before leaving for the home village to celebrate Tet.
“In previous years, I left Hanoi right after the semester exam finished.
However, as I will finish school this year, I have to give presents to the
lecturers in a hope that the lecturers would be “more generous” when marking
exam papers,” he said.
Duong and the other four classmates invited the lecturers to a New Year eve’s
party at a luxurious restaurant, where they gave presents to them instead of
visiting the lecturers at their homes.
“I have heard from the elderly students that visiting lecturers and giving
presents is a normal practice,” he said, adding that the presents cost him a big
sum of money. “Each of us has to contribute VND500,000,” he said.
The Phuong, who also graduates university this year, also complained that it
takes him a lot of time and money to “take care of lecturers.”
“I am not a good student, therefore, I have to meet lecturers more regularly and
give presents, hoping that the lecturers would ignore my mistakes and let me
pass the exams,” he said.
“I am now writing a thesis. It is a completely new theme; therefore, it’s very
difficult to find materials. I have no other choice than asking for the help
from lecturers,” he complained.
When asked how much money Phuong gave to the lecturers, he declined to reveal
the sums, but said that he visited lecturers many times during the time of
writing thesis, and he always gave the envelops with no less than VND1 million
Chivas, Napoleon or envelops with money inside?
Thuy Nga, a student of an economics school, said she feels luckier than the
students from technology schools. Nga thinks she would give the children of the
lecturers some hundreds of thousands of dong as presents on New Year, while she
doesn’t have to spend money on luxurious presents.
Meanwhile, Lan Phuong said students would think carefully before buying presents
for teachers after considering their needs and hobbies.
“The lecturers at my faculty go abroad regularly to attend seminars. As they
have got used to the western lifestyle, they would only accept valuable gifts,”
In general, students visit teachers at their homes in groups of four or five.
Each of them contributes VND1 million which would be used to buy valuable
presents. “Foreign made liquor such as Chivas or Napoleon are the top choices
for us,” she said.
Tuan Anh, a student of an economics school, though having contributed money to
buy presents to lecturers, still feels insecure, because he does know if the
money can help. Since Anh could not come to see the lecturers, he wonders if the
lecturers realize who they received money from.