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May 2021 Issue [Readings]

Diplomatic Jejunity

From the lyrics to a rap performed by Daniel Kritenbrink, the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, in a music video he released in February for Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.

Time for introductions are at hand:
Hi, my name is Dan.
I’m from Nebraska, I’m not a big-city boy,
Then three years ago, I moved to Hanoi.
Check the calendar, Tet is comin’ soon,
Can Tho and Da Nang are in the mood.
Clean the house now, friends are on the way.
Grab the hoa mai and hoa dào,
Get ready to party from Ha Giang to Ca Mau.
Tet in Vietnam is the tops.
I love the hot spots and hot pots.
I drink cà phê sua dá, not cappuccinos,
And bring lì xì with me everywhere that we go.
Cash for the kids, blessings for the family,
Love for my parents, and everyone around me.
Nam mói bình an from mine to yours,
From my shores to your shores,
our friendship endures.
U.S. and Vietnam, from now to forever.
We’re trusted partners, prospering together.
Chúc mùng nam mói
From your boy in Hanoi,
Spread the joy.

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May 2021

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