Vietnamese community in York County showing growth spurt

Motorists along North George Street in North York pass by the outside of the Vietnamese Alliance Church. Here, inside that church, Springettsbury Township’s Duong Huynh admires a flower decoration. The 70-year-old’s story was told in a York Sunday News story that explored the culture of relative newcomers to York County. Also of interest: Check out these updated lists of pioneering York County minorities, women and Vilma Garcia-Jones remembered as prime spokesman for Latinos in York County and All black history posts from the start.

Duong Huynh was an employee at the time of the fall of the South Vietnamese government in 1975 – 35 years ago.
That role landed him in prison, away from his family, for eight years.
Today, he lives in Springettsbury Township.
He says his hardships have led him to Christianity… .

He’s held in high esteem, helping the growing Vietnamese community navigate the American system.
“He is the man you see if you have questions,” said Bao Nguyen, a friend and parishioner at Huynh’s church.
That information comes from the York Sunday News story: Communists imprisoned him in Vietnam; now in York, his family flourishes.
It’s an interesting read, offering insight into the local Vietnamese community.
Contrary to a common view, York County is far from homogenous, serving as home to waves of people from many nations since the first settlers crossed the Susquehanna River in 1730.
As U.S. Census Bureau numbers attest, the number of people speaking Vietnamese as their primary language at home in York County is on the uptick:
2003: 385
2006: 902
2008: 938
That translates to just about one out of every 450 people in York County. Interesting, that comes at the time that a memorial to honor local men and women in the military who fought in Vietnam has gone up.
The fighting men and women and those they fought for – and often alongside – are meeting up in York County.
Also of interest:
All York Town Square posts from the start.
All York County people posts from the start.
York Spanish Council organized 33 years ago.
Photo courtesy of York Daily Record/Sunday News.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, and its many digital products. Journalism/history blogger: Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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One Response to Vietnamese community in York County showing growth spurt

  1. Jo says:

    As a social work student at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA I served an internship with a northern Virginia United Way agency. During the six months service I assisted incoming Vietnamese refugees with resettlement in the Falls Church area. Other agencies arranged housing and other basic needs for them, and I assisted with doctors appointments, transportation to public welfare agencies to apply for assistance, shopping and whatever a family or individual required. Perhaps the greatest pleasure I had was greeting a newly arrived family just off their flight at Dulles Airport.
    Sometimes there was an interpreter available and other times I was on my own. Somehow our language differences did not matter. The very kind and gentle Vietnamese people placed their trust in me and allowed us to accomplish whatever needed to get done.
    I signed many documents–scribbled is more like it–with my first name running into the last name so it looked like Joot on paper. It was common for me to be in a local Falls Church business and hear some one shouting “Mrs. Joot, Mrs. Joot.” I wondered, as I read the story in today’s paper, if this family ever was a client in Falls Church.

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