Every year, almost a thousand parishioners celebrate at the parish’s annual Christmas concert. This year, the celebration of music and food will be at Anapilis Halls in Mississauga, Ont., on Dec. 2. Photo by Vincent Pham

Vietnamese youth return to cultural roots at concert

By  Vincent Pham, Youth Speak News
  • December 1, 2017
While Christmas is for the family, Advent is for the parish. 

Fr. Joseph Tap Tran said it is important that this season is celebrated together as a community. For the Vietnamese Martyrs’ Parish in Toronto, that means it is also an opportunity to share the traditions of the Vietnamese culture and pass them on to the younger generations. 

Every year, almost a thousand parishioners celebrate at the parish’s annual Christmas concert. This year, the celebration of music and food will be at Anapilis Halls in Mississauga, Ont., on Dec. 2.

“The Christmas concert is a chance to celebrate the mystery of the Incarnation of Our Lord obviously. However it is also a chance to gather, build the love fellowship between members of the parish community and open our arms to other Vietnamese Catholic communities,” said Tran. “At the same time, many non-Catholics attend to celebrate who they are as Vietnamese people.” 

Though there are many adult performers that will take part in the concert, the youth are the stars of the show. 

Students from the Vietnamese International Languages program and other youth ministries at the parish take part in many of the performances.

“The concert allows me to rediscover my Vietnamese roots”, said Francis Nguyen, a Grade 9 student who has taken part in the concert’s performances over the past five years. 

“At the concert, I get to experience and watch performances that are part of the Vietnamese culture. The concert brings the Vietnamese culture to the younger generation in Canada during the most festive time of the year.”

“Participation in the concert reminds me to never forget to give back to the community,” said Joseph Long Nguyen, a Grade 8 student. “With what I’ve gained over the years from the Christmas concerts, I was considering bringing it to other parishes and to further develop my faith and life skills.”

Dao Nguyen, the concert co-ordinator and a leader of the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement, is excited about the youth performances, especially with the opening performance by youth of the Eucharistic Youth Movement. 

“An opening dance performance entitled The Heroic Vietnamese (Người Việt Nam Hào Hùng) consists of two songs that speak to a well-known Vietnamese legend, ‘Con Rồng Cháu Tiên’ and two heroic Vietnamese Trưng Sisters (Hai Bà Trưng),” said Nguyen. “Youth get together to show not only love for the Church, but also love of their cultural background, their roots as Vietnamese.” 

(Pham, 16, is a Grade 11 student at Chaminade College School in Toronto.)

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