Present at the exchange were chairman of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations, Vu Xuan Hong, UNESCO chief representative in Vietnam, Katherine Muller Marin, HUFA chairman, Dao Van Binh, representatives from friendship associations and staff from the four embassies. Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc, Vice Chairwoman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, sent New Year’ greetings to Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar and said that the special relationship between Vietnam and all four countries has developed well in recent years. Celebrating their New Year in Hanoi helps Vietnamese people gain a better understanding of neighbours’ culture and strengthen ties of friendship and cooperation between them and Vietnam in all fields including economics, politics, and culture. Participants at the exchange enjoyed traditional rituals, such as tying a thread around one’s wrists, splashing water and special cultural performances, as well as traditional food from all four countries. Traditional New Year of four countries is often celebrated in mid-April.