Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

VietNamNet Bridge – Lee Myong Sik, a Taekwondo expert from the Republic of Korea (RoK) has been living and enjoying the traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday in Vietnam since 2001.


Vietnam, Korean trainer, Taekwondo
Lee, his Vietnamese wife and daughter have lived happily in Hanoi for 11 years.

We visited Lee’s house on the first cold days of the week-long holiday which began on February 10. The Korean expert welcomed us with a smile and extended greetings in both Vietnamese and Korean.

Lee speaks Vietnamese quite well after his 11 years here. We sometimes asked his Vietnamese wife, Tran Thi Tuyet Thanh, to re-translate his speedy answers.   

“Our holiday preparations were completed before the Tet festival began. Lee drove my daughter and me to buy the traditional fruit, a branch of peach blossom, and confectionery,” Thanh said.

She said the family enjoys Tet shopping every year. Lee particularly likes travelling to flower markets to select wonderful flowers and a branch of peach blossom.

On the last day of the 12th lunar month, they visit Thanh’s parents and enjoy their year-end party. On New Year’s Day they pay Tet visits to their relatives and friends in Hanoi.

Like other Vietnamese families, the couple prepares traditional Tet dishes including Banh Chung (cake made from sticky rice, green beans and pork), sausage, sticky rice and chickens for Tet celebrations.

His wife also cooks Korean dishes such as Kimchi (traditional fermented vegetables) and Tok (rice) cake to ease Lee’s homesickness.

Love for Vietnam

Lee was invited to train athletes of Hanoi in 2001. Five years later, he moved to work as a trainer for the Ministry of Public Security’s Taekwondo team.


Vietnam, Korean trainer, Taekwondo
Lee prefers shopping with his wife and daughter.

This year, he did not return to his homeland, but decided to stay in Vietnam enjoying the week-long holiday with his wife and daughter.

He said Korean and Vietnamese people share a tradition of giving red envelopes with lucky money inside to their beloved relatives and paying Tet visits to each other.

Lee has lobbied sponsors to mobilise funding for Vietnamese athletes to train overseas. Hundreds of Vietnamese Taekwondo artists have broadened their professional horizons through his efforts.

Thanks to his assistance, Dieu Linh and Huynh Chau got sponsorships to take part in training and competitions at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Many other athletes have won medals at international competitions.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry of Public Security have presented Lee with certificates of merit, recognising his contributions to Taekwondo development in Vietnam.

Ferewelling us at his door, Lee offered a red envelope and gifts from the RoK, extending wishes of happiness, success and prosperity to all Korean and Vietnamese people in the new lunar year of the snake.

Source: VOV

By vivian