US ambassador to Vietnam releases rap song for Lunar New Year

Charm offensive from ‘Your boy in Hanoi’: US ambassador to Vietnam releases rap song to stunned local audience ahead of Lunar New Year

  • Daniel Kritenbrink has set Vietnamese internet alight with his endearing rap
  • The video, released on  Tuesday, shows the diplomat walking through the streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city rhyming a Tet message in English and Vietnamese 
  •  It has been viewed, liked and shared thousands of times, with locals describing it as ‘cute’ and ‘fun’

Celebrants of the Lunar New Year have received an unexpected gift from ‘Your Boy in Hanoi’ a.ka. US ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink, who dropped a surprise rap to mark the occasion.

A video of the song has set the local internet alight, drawing admiration and some cringing from those who’ve watched it.

Kritenbrink, a career diplomat with previous postings in Kuwait, China and Japan, is seen roaming the streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City wearing headphones and  rhyming a Tet message in English and Vietnamese as he prepares his entry for a popular rap competition.

Celebrants of the Lunar New Year have received an unexpected gift from ‘Your Boy in Hanoi’ a.ka. US ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink (centre), who dropped a surprise rap to mark the occasion

A video of the song, which features Vietnamese rapper Wowy (right) has set the local internet alight, drawing admiration and some cringing from those who’ve watched it

The Lunar New Year, known locally at Tet, is the most important annual holiday for Vietnamese and is centred around family gatherings, which will be more modest this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It also has enormous significance in relations between Washington and Hanoi, as North Vietnam launched what became known as the ‘Tet offensive’ over the holiday in 1968, catching the US-backed southern Saigon government unawares. 

Kritenbrink takes a lighter approach to the occasion, rapping: ‘Tet in Vietnam is tops’ while he sips coffee and samples local delicacies with Vietnamese rapper Wowy.  

The song includes several nods to holiday traditions including cleaning the house and buying cherry or peach blossoms and features Kritenbrink with a duster, rapping: ‘Clean the house now, friends are on the way’. 

The three-minute video, produced by culture magazine Vietcetera has been viewed, liked and shared thousands of times since it was uploaded on Tuesday.

Most praised it as ‘lovely’ or ‘fun’ – but others were less complimentary.

Kritenbrink, a career diplomat with previous postings in Kuwait, China and Japan, is seen roaming the streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City wearing headphones and rhyming a Tet message in English and Vietnamese as he prepares his entry for a popular rap competition

‘Has the US State Department turned into a rapper department?’ asked Phuong Nguyen in a post on the US embassy’s official Facebook page.

Stephen Turban seemed to disagree: ‘Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable. A work that will be remembered for generations to come,’ he wrote jokingly on YouTube.

‘It’s so cuteeeee,’ Huyen Nguyen wrote underneath the video, while YouTube user Minh Thi Pham said it might be her favourite video of the year.  

After the decades-long war between the US and Vietnam, relations between the two powers were formally reset when then-President Barack Obama visited in 2016 and lifted a long-standing embargo.

Trade tensions have recently ramped up, however, after Washington accused Hanoi of currency manipulation.

None of that appeared to silence the ambassador.

‘From my shores to your shores, our friendship endures,’ he rapped.

‘US and Vietnam, from now to forever, we’re trusted partners, prospering together.’   

At one point in the video, American-Vietnamese rapper BinZ congratulates Kritenbrink on the song, telling him: ‘Good job!’, before the diplomat signs off his rap with a cheerful: ‘Chuc mung nam moi [happy new year] from your boy in Hanoi!’ 

Source: Read Full Article