There are a core group of deficiencies in humans that must be replenished and maintained, to ensure that we live a content life of fulfilment. One of these key characteristics is to be apart of, and have a sense of community. A moment where you truly feel welcomed into the wolf pack is when someone offers to share their table and family. Thankfully, that is exactly what happed us.
TET is the Taj Muhl of all holidays and celebrations in Asia. It is the Lunar New Year and is comparable to Christmas and New Years Eve rolled into one, injected with steroids and spread out across two weeks. Everything literally shuts down and all as the ear can hear is electronic dance music and karaoke blaring through over sized speakers from every tenth house. Families travel from all over the country to be united. The bonding agent that fuels this wonderful time of the year is daily banquets of food and beer.
Upon moving to Vietnam, we had always reiterated that we wanted to become part of the Vietnamese community and not just be some foreign expats. Shannon happened to befriend a sweet Vietnamese girl that worked at our local coffee shop across the road. They struck up a friendship from exchanging language lessons with each other and let me tell you, it was rather entertaining. So when our new friend invited us to her family TET celebrations- we were ecstatic to accept the kind offer.
We rode out to a small rural village about half an hour from where we live in Da Nang. This land is mainly occupied by farmers, their families and is surrounded by beautiful lush green rice fields. When we arrived there were about twenty family members, all sporting great big smiles, waiting to greet us. We sat down to eat and relied solely on body language and broken sentences to communicate across the abundance of food; we had the most beautiful experience.
In the face of adversity and everything these beautiful people have endured, including having their land taken over for centuries by invaders and the most recent atrocities of their civil war, these people, are still ever so welcoming and opened their hearts and home to us. Their hospitality to complete strangers would have to be at the pinnacle of our world travels and experience. By the time your sip of beer had hit the table, they would fill your cup full, when your bowl was becoming empty, they would fill it to the brim.
We have learnt so much from this wonderful experience and are excited to apply the humane art of hospitality to complete strangers in our lives, regardless of any deluded barriers we erect. Are there any areas in your life where you could be more welcoming to others?