Saturday was a special day for almost 70 seniors at Spring Arbor Assisted Living Center. Some of Rock Hill's Vietnamese-American kids came over.
The girls, ages 8 to 11, wore traditional costumes that Vietnamese people wear for the Asian New Year, celebrated a few weeks ago. They sang in Vietnamese taught to them by parents and volunteers at St. Anne Catholic Church, where many in the city's Vietnamese population worship.
Huyen Nguyen, who runs a store on East Main Street along with her husband, helps run the culture and language classes along with other parents and a Vietnamese nun displaced from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
"We want our children to know both cultures, to know where parents come from, where their families come from," Nguyen said.
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The class, in its fifth year, performs at church every year for the New Year and around Easter, but this was its first foray into performing for people not familiar with them. The children also have collected money that was sent to Vietnam to help homeless and handicapped children.
"We wanted to give something back to people," said Teresa Hoang, another parent/teacher with the class. "That's what we do in Vietnam. That's what we do here."
Spring Arbor sometimes hosts other groups, such as Winthrop University's men's choir. But this visit that spans oceans was a first.
"We got the call and said, 'Come on over!'" said Becky McGuirt of Spring Arbor. "I don't think any of our residents have ever seen anything like it. It's exciting."