HO CHI MINH CITY – Ms. Nguyen Thi Ben, 60 years old, in Tang Nhon Phu A ward, Thu Duc city spent two days wrapping 100 rolls of banh tet to give to tenants in her apartment building.
Ms. Ben said the activity of wrapping banh tet to give to tenants for Tet has been carried out for the past 15 years. This year, she and 10 family members and friends started washing rice, soaking beans, and marinating meat from January 20.
The total number of cakes she packed this year was 300, of which 200 were donated to a charity organization, the rest were for about 100 people, most of whom were workers and students renting in the family’s 50 rooms.
“I consider them as relatives so I care about their lives,” Ms. Ben said. “A little gift, hope everyone is happy.”
Mrs. Ben, from Hai Phong, moved to Ho Chi Minh City to start a business in 1985. She used to be a renter, living in a house, and her economic situation was very difficult. Since retiring, her family’s economy has become more stable thanks to the income from the boarding house. To share somewhat with the tenants, every year she often organizes a year-end party, wrapping cakes and giving lucky money to everyone.
In 2023, a wave of layoffs causes many workers to lose their jobs and pay rent. Mrs. Ben spent money to rebuild the house, so her finances were tight. Therefore, this year the family did not have enough money to organize a year-end party but still packed cakes and planned to give lucky money of 200,000 VND to each room, instead of 500,000 VND like every year.
Many tenants feel happy when they receive an early Tet gift from their landlord. Ngoc Han, 20 years old, a student at the University of Finance and Marketing who has been renting a house for two years, said she is a warm person and always cares about people.
Mrs. Ben stopped by Han’s room on the afternoon of January 21, asked about her and gave her a cake. Han said she felt the Tet atmosphere because when she came home, she saw hundreds of cakes drying on poles.
“It makes people away from home like me feel warm,” Han said.