Several hundred people watched on Saturday, Oct. 1, as the Chinese Civic Center of Houston  celebrated China’s National Day with a flag-raising ceremony, an intergenerational choir singing, dragon dancers and other performances.

A choir of elders performed patriotic songs alongside children who take choral training at the center at 5905 Sovereign Dr. in the Southwest Management District. 

For 73-year-old Jiang Yuan, practicing singing with his fellow seniors in the weeks leading up the event was both an invigorating activity and a way to get to know fellow immigrants his and his wife’s age.

“I really felt the beauty of this day in my heart,” the retired middle school English teacher said. “I know that each of the elders who sang felt the same way… having a joy for China and this beautiful nation we now call home.”

An honor guard of older children solemnly raised the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China flags before a backdrop of a huge red banner on the civic center facade proclaiming National Day pride in Chinese characters. Volunteers launched doves to symbolize unity and peace at the event.

The civic center is a cultural gathering place and provides space for workshops, exhibitions and community gatherings while promoting volunteerism, multicultural education and social services. It holds English-as-a-second language and computer skills training, aerobics and Tai Chi classes, an active table tennis club, U.S. citizenship classes and financial literacy seminars. It also provides monthly trips by bus for Chinese elders to see Texas sites.