By Faten Omar
KUWAIT: On the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan, Kuwait Times is chatting with ambassadors to Kuwait in an attempt to see Ramadan through their eyes. Vietnamese Ambassador Ngu Twang Thang spoke with Kuwait Times about his experience of Ramadan in Kuwait. He said his first posting was at an overseas mission in the Gulf region, where he sat at iftar tables during the holy month of Ramadan. “Kuwaiti people are very friendly, and these occasions are an opportunity for ambassadors and diplomats to understand and create connections with the Kuwaiti people, thus boosting trade and investment relations with each other,” he said.
The Vietnamese ambassador showed his interest in nightly meetings (diwaniyas), which he considers a very important tradition in Kuwait. “Through the diwaniyas, I understand more about the Kuwaiti culture and appreciate the people’s hospitality. I have also tried a lot of fine Kuwaiti delicacies, and I have a few favorites. One of them is machboos, either mutton or chicken — I enjoy it very much. Another is Umm Ali – a dessert whose taste I like. I feel that in the holy month of Ramadan, people seem to get closer than ever, and it seems very easy to communicate for work. It is also a pleasure to see each other,” he said.
Regarding Ramadan in Vietnam, Thang said around 100,000 Muslims are currently residing in his country. “I am aware that the holy month of Ramadan is important to Muslims. I think Muslims around the world will celebrate the month with general activities that are proper to the Islamic religion and have their own customs according to the region. In Vietnam, Muslims and people of other religions live in harmony with each other. The holidays of every religion are respected and celebrated in the local community,” he said.
The ambassador added the COVID pandemic affected many aspects of daily life. He rued that when he started his mission as ambassador in 2021, the pandemic restricted a lot of close contacts and therefore affected the diwaniyas. “After a year, I got the chance to attend a few of the diwaniyas, but noticed that the time was a bit short, only from 8 to 11 pm. I hope this year with the new situation, the Ramadan activities would last longer – until midnight or later. It would be better for people to have more chances to communicate with each other,” he said.
Ambassador Thang expressed Ramadan wishes to HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and to the Kuwaiti people, wishing everyone a Ramadan full of joy, peace and blessings.