Music breaks language barriers. Or, in the case of this United States diplomat, it’s a way to bridge cultures and strengthen international relations with rhyming bars.
On Monday, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi posted a video on its official Facebook page of Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink, rapping an original song about the Lunar New Year.
In the caption, the tune was called a “Lunar New Year musical masterpiece.”
It starts with Kritenbrink, who will soon be stepping down from his post, walking the colorful streets of Hanoi. He is soon joined by Vietnamese rapper Wowy, as a groovy hip-hop beat plays in the background. Then, the ambassador starts rapping. “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, Tết is coming soon,” he raps, referring to the Vietnamese Lunar New Year holiday, to be held on Friday.
He also busts out rhymes about his love for hot pots and cà phê sữa đá (Vietnamese iced coffee). At one point, he proudly waves a red envelope to the camera and says: “And [we] bring Lì Xì (money in red envelope) everywhere that we go.”
“Chúc mừng năm mới from your boy in Hanoi!” Kritenbrink exclaims near the end of the song, greeting viewers a “Happy New Year.”
The video received mixed reactions, with some calling it “cringey” and others praising Kritenbrink’s efforts to immerse himself in Vietnamese culture.
As of writing, the video has garnered 27,000 likes and 1,600 comments on Facebook.