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Viet Voice

A Glimpse Into a Vermont Nail Salon and Its Vietnamese Community During Tết

by Staff | February 29, 2016

Eva Sollberger, multimedia producer for the publication Seven Days, visited Allure Salon in South Burlington, Vt., and spoke with salon owner Jen Tran for her "Stuck in Vermont" web video series. Tran has owned her salon for over a decade and works with her sister, Hannah Tran, and her daughter, Ly Tran.

Allure Salon has been Sollbergers’ go-to salon to get her nails done and over time, she has gotten to know Jen, Ly, and Hannah. “They shared stories about Vietnam and their transition to life in Vermont and I knew it would make a great video. They have been telling me about Tết for months and we planned the video to come out right after it. I wanted to include both their lives at the salon and their rich cultural traditions,” she says.

Students sing the South Vietnamese national anthem during the Lunar New Year celebration in Burlington, Vt.

Students sing the South Vietnamese national anthem during the Lunar New Year celebration in Burlington, Vt.

It’s not often we get to see the Lunar New Year festivities of smaller Vietnamese communities, as Vietnamese-American media tends to be based in the larger communities like Orange County and San Jose, Calif., and Dallas and Houston, Texas. Vermont’s small, yet tight-knit Vietnamese community celebrated the Year of the Monkey at St. Joseph’s Pre-school in Burlington with singing, traditional performances, lion dancing, and a feast.

“This was my first time attending a Vietnamese New Year celebration and it won't be my last,” Sollberger says.

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