Today I'd like to introduce you to SEACHS, the South East Asian Cultural Heritage Society. In coming days, I'll post more about them and related activities.
The group presents indigenous dance, music and costumes from Southeast Asia, an area spanning 11 countries and 500 million people, of which Vietnam, Thailand and the Philipines are most strongly represented in BC's population. SEACHS performances strive to present indigenous instruments, cultural garbs, songs and dances interspersed with informative narration. This year, their performances - of Laotian, Vietnamese, Pilipino and Thai indigenous traditions showcased SEACHS performers including Kathara Indigenous Pilipino Arts Collective Society , the Thai Dramatic Arts and Cultural Association, and the Monsoon Society.
These are people who love what they do. Their passion is rooted in teaching Canadian-born people of Southeast Asian descent about their shared heritage.
With the help of SEACHS artists, I directed a young people's dance group for five years, performing Vietnamese dances taught by Co Kim Be Nhung and Co Betty Chao Nguyen, which I arranged and produced with other parents at Libraries, community centres, schools, galleries, benefits and particularly Lunar New Year Festivities.
My connection to SEACHS is personal. SEACHS members, and other Vietnamese Canadian friends have generously opened their hearts to my family. We are part of Vietnam Connection, a small collection of families whose heritage includes roots in Vietnam, predominantly through their adoptive children. We do things together to connect our families, particularly our kids, to Southeast Asian heritage - and to our amazement, we've weathered a decade of growth and change together.
Dancer: Lan Joyce
For seven years, we've marched in the Chinatown Parade each Tet (Lunar New Year). Last year Mr. Ha Sam kindly put a video glimpse of our rambling parade presence on line. We have been introduced as "particularly diverse" when we arrive at the dignitaries stand. In case you are wondering, I am the one driving Mr Ha Sam (accordian), little Sam, who didn't feel well, and a gaggle of beauty queens, in Tammy Truong's white miata sports car. Hen Gap Lai!
Thai Dramatic Arts and Cultural Association of BC