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You are in: Birmingham > Faith > Features > Celebrating the Vietnamese way

Celebrating the temple opening

Celebrating the temple opening

Celebrating the Vietnamese way

Birmingham’s Vietnamese community gathered to celebrate the grand opening of a newly refurbished Vietnamese Buddhist Temple on Holyhead Road in Handsworth.

Blessing the Buddha

Blessing the Buddha

The temple was purchased by the Midlands Buddhist Association in 2002 following an intensive fundraising effort across the community.

The building was formerly a working men’s club and a team of dedicated volunteers have spent the last few years converting it into a beautiful chanting hall and a community resource centre.

The grand opening on Sunday 8th October 2006 celebrated the completion of the major conversion.

Blessing the Buddha

Blessing the Buddha

The day began with a traditional street procession into the chanting hall including drums and lion dancing lead by monks and nuns.

Blessing the Buddha

The Lord Mayor's Deputy, Councillor Nangle and Chief Inspector Michael Gillick from West Midlands police were among several specially invited guests to witness the cultural celebration.

Hundreds filled the temple for a Buddhist blessing ceremony and those that weren’t able to fit into the hall watched the proceedings on a giant screen outside.

Fun activities

Fun activities

The day continued with various displays, presentations and other attractions – including nail art, reflexology, face painting, martial arts demonstrations, traditional Vietnamese music, food and dance.

The Vietnamese Development centre

Another aspect of the day’s celebrations was the opening of the newly refurbished Vietnamese Development Centre, converted from an abandoned derelict basement adjoining the temple.

The resource centre hopes to become an important facility for the local area and will be working to promote the interests and meet the varied needs of the Vietnamese community in Birmingham and neighbouring areas

Celebration time

Celebration time

Chair of the Vietnamese Development Centre Dorothy Vuong expressed her pride in their achievement:

"We are very proud of the work done by our volunteers from the community and Vietnamese Buddhist faith group. They have converted an old building into a very beautiful and impressive temple.

"We started out in a front room of somebody’s house and gradually we raised enough funds to buy the building and convert it into a place of worship and community activity.

Dororthy Vuong

Dororthy Vuong

"The Vietnemese Development Centre  will run community social programmes including women and youth programmes, an elderly lunch club, keep fit and Tai chi classes, welfare advice and much more.

"We had Vietnamese visitors come from all over the world join us for this very special occasion."

Watch video highlights and see pictures from the grand opening celebration.

See the highlights below.

About Birmingham’s Vietnamese community

Birmingham has a Vietnamese community of over 3,500 living across the city but are particularly concentrated in the Aston, Lozells and East Handsworth, Handsworth Wood, and Perry Barr areas.

Having fun

Having fun

Vietnamese refugees popularly known as ‘boat people’ first started arriving in Birmingham in the 1970’s.

The Vietnamese community now plays a major part in contributing to the city’s economic, social and cultural life; however they still maintain their own cultural traditions and institutions.

More information:

Vietnamese Buddhist Temple and Development Centre
34 Holyhead Road, Handsworth
Birmingham, B21 0LT
Tel no: 0121 551 7751

last updated: 30/09/2008 at 19:13
created: 12/10/2006

You are in: Birmingham > Faith > Features > Celebrating the Vietnamese way

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