Christmas 2021 was my third Christmas in Australia. One of my habits is keeping my photos in one place, so, I can look at the photos and see how the year has gone from the photos.

I looked at our Christmas photos from throughout the three years since we have been in Australia.

How to make friends in Australia

I still remember the first holiday season, our family’s dear friends – ‘Suzanna and James’ organised a lady’s party from her HASH club. Suzanna invited me to come over to the party and introduced me to her friends. This way I could meet more people and I might make new friends there.

Apart from that, both Suzanna and James tried to help me understand more about social life in Australia.

We are lucky to have James and Suzanna as part of our family in Australia since we moved to Brisbane. Before we moved to Australia, James and Suzanna helped us to check out our home while we were in Vietnam so we could buy it confidently. Then, my husband can proudly say that we bought our home online. They have supported us in many other ways.

Ready for Boxing Day Lunch

Friendship in Australia

The other day, one of my friends asked me, how do I feel living in Australia. I said I feel very happy here, I am studying, I have got a job, and I start to have good friends.

Her reply was “…and your friends can be your family, right?”

I thought about it and answered, “Yes, you are right”.

In Vietnamese culture, family is very close and bonded, so it can be hard to accept other people who are not your siblings, parents, or children as your family.

That’s what my friend really meant when she said your friends can be your family here.

Vietnamese New Year – ‘Tết’ in Australia

Tết’ – Vietnamese new year (Lunar New Year). This special event is like Christmas in Western culture. If you want to know more about ‘Tet’ this article would help you. ‘Tết’ is the time for families to gather together, it is a festive season in my culture.

However, it can be a very stressful time too. Because we have many rules and rituals during ‘Tết’, one of those rules is if we don’t follow the rituals, it is considered bad luck for the new year.

I still remembered when I was a child, my parents were young, and they always followed all rituals. They tried to pick the right person who was to be the ‘First Visitor’ for our house in the new year.

The chosen person had to have good manners, well-respected, and their age must be a compatible age to our father’s age. As most Vietnamese people follow ‘Feng Shui’ this compatible age was very important.

We always were waiting for the ‘First Visitor’ nervously. If the chosen one was late or somebody else was accidentally our first visitor, it would make my parents so upset about it.

Fortunately, nowadays young people take it less seriously, so it is more fun during ‘Tết’.

Enjoy the holidays

My small family is being mindful about Christmas, we agreed that we would not buy expensive presents for each other during this time. The most important thing is to relax and enjoy our holiday. We don’t want to turn Christmas into a stressful time. One good thing is when we have a mixed culture, we can pick the best bit from each culture.

Jigsaw Puzzle – Our Holidays’ Game

This year we had a small Christmas with Suzanna and James, and a few other close friends. We spent most of our time being lazy, reading books, watching stupid movies, or going out for a bushwalk.

What about you? Do you have the same experience as me? Just leave a comment if you would like to share your story with me.

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