On April 14, 2023, at NAPA Headquarters in Hanoi, the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) held a ceremony to celebrate the 2566th Lao New Year Bunpimay for Lao international students currently enrolling at NAPA.
Bunpimay, which takes place in April, is the largest and most widely celebrated traditional festival in Laos with the inheritance of long-standing customs and habits imbued with national cultural identity. NAPA annually organizes Bunpimay for Lao international students.
Attending the ceremony was Ms. Phonevilay Sypaseuth, Second Secretary, Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to Viet Nam. On the side of NAPA, there was Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Quoc Suu, NAPA Vice President; representatives and leaders of NAPA units (NAPA Office, State Management Review, and Department of Refresher Training Management); leaders and officials of the Department of International Cooperation, and all Lao students enrolling at NAPA.
On behalf of NAPA Board of Directors, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Quoc Suu, NAPA Vice President would like to congratulate the Lao Party, State and People on a new year of success and new victories; he wished the staff of the Lao Embassy in Viet Nam, Lao students and their families a happy and successful new year. He hoped the special friendship and cooperation between Viet Nam and Laos in all spheres will positively contribute to the causes of national construction, development, and protection of each country.
On the basis of the Agreement signed between the two Parties and the States of Viet Nam and Laos, the Vietnamese Government has assigned NAPA with the task of cooperation in training public leaders and managers. Thanks to the similarities in culture and lifestyle as well as traditional friendship between the two nations, Lao students easily integrate into the training and living environment in Viet Nam and establish rapport with Vietnamese students and faculty. Lao students also have actively participated in cultural – arts – sports activities at NAPA. The international students have effectively applied their acquired knowledge to their work practice and achieved success in their country.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Quoc Suu acknowledged and praised the learning spirit of Lao students and vowed to give them continuing and generous support. The learning results of Lao students at NAPA are practical activities that promote a friendly and cooperative relationship between the two countries.
Ms. Phonevilay Sypaseuth, Second Secretary, Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to Viet Nam appreciated NAPA’s Board of Directors and staff for their care and support in all aspects for Lao students. Thanks to that, the Bunpimay far away from home is full of warmth and joy.
According to Ms. Phonevilay Sypaseuth, Bunpimay is the traditional New Year according to the Buddhist calendar. Pimay means new year, and this is the time of transition from the dry season to the rainy season. Bunpimay usually takes place when the sky is clear and the rivers are abundant with water, symbolizing a peaceful and prosperous new year. Bunpimay, the water splashing festival, means to bring freshness, prosperity, and purity. On these days, people often splash water on each other to bless each other and pray for favorable weather, a prosperous New Year, and happy families. In addition to the water splashing activity, Lao people have a very unique custom called tying strings around a person’s wrist to preserve health, happiness and luck.
On the occasion of the Bunpimay New Year, Ms. Phonevilay Sypaseuth wished the NAPA Board of Directors, the NAPA staff, and Lao students, good health and happiness. She voiced her hope that Viet Nam and Laos will intensify bilateral relations.
On behalf of Lao students, Mr. Akhom Siviengsay, a postgraduate student from class HC27.B7 of NAPA expressed his deep gratitude to NAPA’s Board of Directors, staff, and trainers for the support and organization of the Bunpimay celebration. Although Lao students do not have the opportunity to celebrate Bunpimay in their home country, they still feel the warm and happy atmosphere of their traditional new year held in Viet Nam.
At the ceremony, the ritual of tying strings around a person’s wrist with traditional songs and dances imbued with the national identity of Viet Nam – Laos created a warm and intimate festival atmosphere.