The Hung Su Viet of Michigan-Minnesota was at the Mall of America last weekend to perform at the Pride of Vietnam event. (Contributed photos by Thinh Quoc Nguyen)
By Phuoc Thi-Minh Tran
Pride of Vietnam: Legends & Rituals and Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration at the Rotunda, Mall of America on Sep.10 was very successful and made a special impression on audiences.
Sang Truong and Thuy Duong Nguyen-Tran served as co-emcees and introduced the amazing planning committee of Susan Lien, Lisalan Thai, Hung Duc Phung, Brother Simon- Hoa Phan, and Phuoc Thi Minh Tran. They welcoming guests with seasonal Vietnamese greetings.
Bill Rodgers, Division manager from Hennepin County Library kicked off the event as the special guest. Event goers enjoyed reading the Vietnamese, Filipino Oral History books and met the narrators presented by James Fogerty from Minnesota Historical Center.
A theme of the event was the strength of the bamboo shoot and the protection provide in standing by a bamboo tree. It served to symbolize the bonding, the support, the interaction and the connection between Vietnamese in Minnesota as they worked to keep their traditions, legends and rituals, passing them on from generation to generation.
There were more people attending this year and the program this year was very unique with the presence of many great and talented performers, dance groups, musicians, and artists who contributed their time and talents to the great cause, such as Kieu Anh Ha with her spectacular T’rung performance, Hung Su Viet from Michigan, Asian Tellers David Zander and Phuoc Thi Minh Tran, Nkauj Ntxuam Dej, Cultural Society Filipino Americans, Me LInh and Hoang Anh Dance groups.
With the warm and vivid tone, singers Phuong Lan and Susan Lien have made the audience felt the beauties of Vietnam by all senses. The Rotunda was always full and people standing all the levels watching the lion dancing by Hung Vuong Association of Minnesota. Children enjoyed very much the cultural crafts by making fish lanterns, origami hats, decorating the non la, designing cards with colorful sand bags. Most of all, the tutu making from TutuCrafty were a big hit and Best Buy instant photos as well.
The audience had a chance to witness and watch all the Vietnamese talented and gifted young children in their drumming, martial arts demonstration, War history, and hula dancing. All the children were so happy to receive the red envelope with Lucky Money sponsored by Saigon Nho Minnesota as part of Tet Rituals.
Renee Reed, the, principal librarian at the Hennepin County Library said, “The Moon Festival at the Mall of America is a joyful celebration that I look forward to attending each year. The beautiful music, traditional dress, dance, cooking, martial arts and dragon dance are a delight to experience. What a wonderful way to bring the ambiance and culture of Vietnam to all of the people of Minnesota. Thank you for sharing these elements of the life of Vietnamese people.”
Bilquis seconded, “Sabir and I enjoyed your program at MOA. It was educational and introduced the Asian Culture to the Minnesotans. Although we could not understand the language, we were so impressed by your [storyteller Phuoc Tran] physical and facial actions— which gave an insight into the story of Cuoi. David’s story talent was superb as he spoke in English and we enjoyed the graceful dance movements.”
Today there are millions of Vietnamese living outside of Vietnam. All of them hold pride to the same flag that takes them back to their heritage. The Vietnamese audience was very impressed by the presence of the most loving flag (yellow plain and three red stripes ) under the big screen , which has been recognized by many government bodies from different states and other countries as the Heritage Flag for Vietnamese in their communities.
Last but not least, every child was anxiously waiting for the moon cakes and beautiful paper lanterns. They joined in the lion dancers for a lantern parade around the Rotunda.
The success of event was greatly attributed to the countless hours of planning and preparing the activities. Once again, on behalf of the planning committee we would like to express our sincere thanks to our sponsors and participating organizations and individual donors, volunteers, families and friends for their support and generosity to make this event a huge success.
Please join us for more Mid Autumn Celebration at the Augsburg Park Library on Sep.17 at 1:30 p.m. at 7100 Nicollet Ave S Richfield, MN 55423 and at the Landmark Center on Sep. 18 from 4-6 p.m. located at 75 West 5th Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102.