Slain Fresno Hmong fled Southeast Asia for safety of U.S., only to be killed

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Va Ger Vang eluded death on the battlefields of Southeast Asia and in Thai refugee camps even as it claimed family members and friends all around him. But death caught up to him Jan. 11 in a foggy central Fresno alley.

Va Ger Vang, 63, was beaten to death just feet from his home early on a Sunday morning by a man police say is a Bulldog gang member. Francisco Garcia, 22, faces murder charges.

The irony that Va Ger Vang was brutally slain in the land where he came seeking safety from violence and conflict doesn't escape his friends.

Friends and family of Va Ger Vang prepare food Thursday, the day before Vang's funeral was to begin. Vang was killed when he was brutally beaten near his home by a man police say is a Bulldog gang member.

"Never thought this could happen," said Charlie Vang, Va Ger Vang's Hmong comrade in the battle against communist troops in Laos. "He thought Thailand would not be safe."

The Hmong community is mourning Va Ger Vang's death in a traditional funeral that begins today at United Chapel, 1146 B Street, and continues through the weekend.

Thursday, the community gathered in the small apartment he shared with his wife, Yeng Xiong, 45, and two children near Belmont Avenue and Abby Street.

Outside, food was prepared on propane burners under a blue plastic tarp as rain drizzled down. Inside, other veterans of the Laos war, some still wearing camouflage jackets, spoke quietly about their friend.

"He was a very friendly person who liked to help the community," said Youa Vang, who translated for other community members. "He performed shamanism. He could make utensils for farming from scratch."

Va Ger Vang was recalled as one of the last Hmong fighters to abandon the idea that their land could be wrested from the Pathet Lao.

He reached Thailand in 1979. Among those who never made it were his first wife, Dia Lor, and three of their five children. Va Ger Vang's second wife, Sai Xiong, died in a Thai refugee camp.

Stanley said Va Ger Vang's slaying has caused extreme hardship for his wife and two children, Ka, 9, and Thai, 12. Without his income, the family will have barely enough money to pay rent.

"She's worried what she will do," Stanley said. "She doesn't feel safe in that neighborhood."

Police have issued only sketchy details on Va Ger Vang's slaying and have not described a motive. Stanley said the family apparently was a recent victim of some burglaries. Police were able to recover some items, and Va Ger Vang may have been attacked in retaliation.

The reporter may be reached at or (559) 441-6339



Hmong Civilians Suffer Attacks, Atrocities in Laos

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thursday, 15 January 2009, 4:24 pm
Press Release: Center for Public Analysis

Hmong Civilians Suffer Attacks, Atrocities in LaosJanuary 15, 2009, Washington, D.C. and Bangkok, Thailand, For Immediate Release

Laos and Hmong human rights groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as Lao government sources and refugees are reporting that Lao Peoples Army (LPA) units are launching renewed offensive operations against Hmong civilians in Xieng Khouang Province, Laos.

Dozens of Hmong and Laotian civilians have been killed and wounded in recent days as the Lao government deploys more army troops, including several notorious Lao-Hmong army officers accused of atrocities and war crimes, against the Hmong civilian population in Laos.

The Hmong Lao Human Rights Council, the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc., the Center for Public Policy Analysis and a coalition of organizations have raised renewed concerns in Washington, D.C. and Southeast Asia about intensified military attacks and atrocities directed against civilians and unarmed dissident groups in closed military zones in Laos.

"Lao military attacks against Laotian and Hmong civilians in Xieng Khouang Province have reportedly intensified in recent days, especially at Phou Bia Mountain and Phou Da Phao," stated Vaughn Vang, Director of the Hmong Lao Human Rights Council. "Human rights violations, especially against the Hmong people, are now very serious in Laos."

Vaughn Vang stated further: "Special LPA military units of the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) are in the process of launching multi-pronged assaults against Hmong civilian and religious and political dissident groups in hiding in Phou Bia and Phoua Da Pao, in Xieng Khouang Province, Laos."

"Special Lao military units, in some cases led by ethnic Hmong commanders of the LPA, are now ruthlessly hunting down Hmong civilian groups in hiding using brutal and relentless artillery attacks; the Lao military is now moving forward with a new and intensified offensive at Phou Bia and Phou Da Phao surrounding Hmong civilian groups in hiding and forcing them out of the jungle and mountains where many have been killed or are dying without food or water," Vaughn Vang said.

"Hmong groups in-hiding are appealing to the world community, United Nations, United States, European Union, Amnesty International and other international human rights organizations, to immediately press the LPDR regime in Laos, and the Lao military, to cease its attacks on the Laotian and Hmong people and to withdraw all its military forces out of the jungles of Laos where these terrible human rights violations are now occurring against many innocent Hmong and Lao civilians," Vaughn Vang concluded.

Lao military attacks against Laotian and Hmong civilians in Xieng Khouang Province have intensified in recent days especially at Phou Bia Mountain and Phou Da Phao.

"The Lao Army should immediately cease its attacks on unarmed Laotian and Hmong civilians in Laos who are seeking to live in peace and who oppose the corrupt, one-party LPDR regime in Vientiane, Laos which continues to unjustly persecute and imprison Lao student leaders and other peaceful dissidents who only seek to bring human rights, democracy and an open society to Laos," stated Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the United Leage for Democracy in Laos, Inc. "The Lao Army is engaged in illegal logging in Laos, with the help of the Vietnamese military and corrupt generals in Hanoi, who are stealing our nation's natural resources... these corrupt LPDR officials are raping the forests and cutting down trees that destroys the natural environment of Laos, including where the Hmong people live."

"According to reliable sources from within the LPDR regime and inside Laos, the LPA is reportedly using notorious ethnic Hmong commanders, with previous war crimes backgrounds, to seek to hunt and kill Hmong civilians and dissidents opposed to the LPDR's oppressive one party communist regime," stated Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C. "Many of these LPA criminal commanders who are being paid with bonuses by the Lao military and LPDR regime to attack and kill their own Hmong people in Laos, including unarmed women and children, are clearly engaged in atrocities, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity; Amnesty International and other international human rights organizations have rightly deemed this pattern of atrocities against the Hmong people by the LPDR regime and LPA military units as war crimes."

According to Smith: "Reliable sources inside Laos report that Commander Soua Yang Xiong, an ethnic Hmong communist commander for the LPA is now leading a battalion of troops to attack and destroy Hmong civilians and dissident groups in-hiding in Phou Bia mountain to complete what the LPDR regime apparently hopes will be a final solution to ethnically cleanse Laos of Hmong in this area who oppose the LPDR regime."According to Smith: "Another LPDR communist Hmong commander in the LPA reportedly engaged in ethnic cleansing operations at the Phou Bia mountain area against his own Hmong people is Commander Neng Yang; LPA Commander Ai Chai is also reportedly leading an additional battalion from Nam Thein to conduct final deadly operations against Hmong civilians at Phou Bia Mountain."

"There are also reportedly at least four different military groups of the LPA surrounding and attacking Hmong groups in hiding in Phoua Da Pao, Xieng Khouang Province, Laos.," said Smith."

Currently, the LPDR regime, and LPA military forces are reportedly forcing captured Hmong civilian and village leaders, incluidng Yong Seng, Lee Xue Seng, Youa Pao, Your Lor, and Lee Song Pao to guide

LPA military units into the jungle of Laos to hunt and kill Hmong civilian groups in-hiding," concluded Smith.LPA military commanders reportedly engaged in current military operations, atrocities and war crimes against Hmong civilians in Laos on behalf of the LPDR regime include: Commander Tong Ntxawg Xiong, Commander Soua Yang Xiong (Nam Houb), Commander Neng Yang ( Xieng Khouang), Commander Ai Chai (Nam Them).



Minnesota State Senator - Mee Moua

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mee Moua
State SenatorDistrict 67

Majority WhipVice Chair, Transportation Policy and Budget Division

State Senator Mee Moua was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in a special election in January 2002. Her legislative accomplishments include funding for the Phalen Corridor and Metropolitan State University Library, making it easier to build affordable housing, and improving tax policies for low income Minnesotans. She also fought to protect civil rights and to secure funding for crime victims. Senator Moua is a Majority Whip, Vicechair of the Transportation Policy and Budget Committee, and serves on the Tax Committee and the Health and Family Security Committee.

In addition to being a member of the Senate, Senator Moua is an attorney. She has degrees from Brown University, a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Texas-Austin, and her law degree from the University of Minnesota. Senator Moua is a member of the Democratic National Committee and a board member on the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum.

Born in Laos, Senator Moua immigrated to the U.S. in 1978 and currently lives on St. Paul’s East Side with her husband Yee Chang and their two children, Chase and Sheng. She was the nation’s first Hmong American elected to a state legislature.


Mee Moua (born June 30, 1969 in Xieng Khouang, Laos) is a Hmong American politician and member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. She currently serves in the Minnesota Senate representing a district in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is serving her second term, chairs the Judiciary Committee and holds the highest office of any Hmong American politician. She was first elected to the District 67 seat on January 29, 2002 with 60% of the vote, replacing previous senator Randy Kelly, who had resigned to become mayor of Saint Paul.
Her father was a medic in the Vietnam War. At the end of the war, her family fled to Thailand when Moua was five years old. In 1978 her family, along with other Hmong refugees, moved to the United States. Moua obtained an undergraduate degree from Brown University, a master's degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School. In addition to her senate duties she practices as an attorney. Moua is part of the Democratic National Committee and a serves as a board member for the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum.
She is married to Yee Chang with whom she has three children.

Wiki source


The Hmong game of love

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

By Liz Price

Throw the ball and catch a husband. If you see a boy you like, toss the ball to him and hope he returns it. But if you don’t like your prospective partner, then drop the ball he throws you.

Novel, isn’t it?

This is pov pob, the ball-tossing game of the Hmong, a minority ethnic group in Laos. The ball-tossing game is a common activity for adolescents. Boys and girls form two separate lines in pairs that are directly facing one another. The players throw a soft black ball back and forth to each other.

Catching the ball gives him hope. Dropping it could mean she’s got her sights on someone else. — LIZ PRICE
The ball is thrown so that the other player can catch it with one hand. If the throw is good and the other player drops or misses the ball, an ornament or a piece of silver or a belt from his or her costume is given to the opposite player in the pair. Ornaments are recovered by singing traditional courting songs to the opposite player.

Girls can toss the ball with other girls or boys, but boys cannot toss the ball with boys. It is also taboo to toss the ball to someone of the same clan, as Hmongs may not marry within the same clan group. Through playing this game, the youngsters get to know each other, forming relationships that may eventually lead to marriage.

If the boy throws the ball and the girl makes no attempt to catch it, then he has been rejected. Traditionally the ball was made of cotton, but today the couples use tennis balls.

Every unmarried girl tries to make a new dress especially for the ball game. During their spare moments from working at home or in the fields, the girls embroider special designs on their costumes. The boys, too, wear their best new clothes.

Each player wears at least one silver collar. However, today, many have compromised on the dress code and wear unbecoming trainers or clumpy modern platform shoes. Some of the boys don’t even bother to dress up. It seems such a pity that the girls make a big effort to dress up for the occasion whereas a few of the boys come in their everyday clothes.

I had to laugh at the number of handphones I saw. Many of the boys and girls were catching the ball with one hand, while the other one clutched a handphone. In years to come they will probably give up throwing the ball and just send text messages instead!

Traditional Hmong society is very ordered and a marriage partner must be found from another clan. The ball throwing game takes place during the Hmong New Year celebration, because they usually work all year round and have no time for courtship. All the Hmong communities in the country celebrate the New Year.

It is held at the end of the 12th lunar calendar month and the beginning of the first lunar calendar month, which is the time of the full moon in November (of the Laotian calendar). This is at the end of the rice harvest, and the festival lasts anything from three to 45 days.

However, not all communities celebrate the New Year at the same time since it may not coincide with the end of the rice harvest for them. It is preferable that the New Year celebration coincides with those in other nearby villages so that the unmarried men can meet prospective wives in other communities as well.

Young people usually get married after the New Year, between the first and the 15th of the month. They believe that it’s a good time for marriage, because everything starts as new, especially with a new moon – something the Hmongs live their lives by.

There is an interesting story of the origin of this ball-throwing game.

A long time ago, before the Hmong migrated to Laos, they lived in China. There were specific times set aside for courting. It was the man’s duty to court a girl and the actual activity of pov pob occurred when some love-stricken fellow devised a plan in which he would be able to send symbols of love to his girlfriend.

He would hide some charm or personal item wrapped up in a bun and throw it to his chosen girl. Then she proceeded to do the same. Back and forth they threw these items. If they were separated by a high wall, he would sing to indicate he was there and she would have to answer with similar lyrics.

Over the years, the buns turned into balls made from strips of fabric and were tossed at New Year to show affection or interest. The beautiful lyrics continue to be a feature in this courting game.



Fresno Hmong New Years

I have NEVER attended the biggest Hmong New Years...located in Fresno, CA. My parents have gone there several times.

The New Years there last for several days. Watch the YouTube videos below about the Fresno Hmong New Years. You will see different styles of outfits, along with dance performances too.

In case you are wondering, why are those Hmong people throwing tennis balls to each other? It's just a traditional "game of love" like others would say. Only single Hmong people do this. Read here


This blog

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In one of my older post when I wrote back in July 2008 here, I received a criticism comment about why I post articles, links, etc. This is the comment is from John - It's funny how your blog suggest that one who knows Hmong is one who used internet resource to link your "Hmongness". Hehehe...

My response back - Well John - I'm sorry if you feel that way. I'm not here to make my own personal opinion on Hmong people. I am here just to share what is out there. I'm still learning about my culture. Thanks for stopping by.

In additional, I think this blog is enough "hmong-ness." I mean, yes, I post articles, links, whatever I find on the net. That is true. I'm not denying that. I never said I was going to blog about my beliefs or opinions on Hmong culture. Yes, I am Hmong. But for those who are Hmong, we are all still learning about our culture. The main reason is there were not written documentation about the Hmong culture. My parent's generation were the first to come to America. For me, growing up here I hit the bridge between Hmong and American.

However, the comment John left did encourage me to blog more about being Hmong-American, which I will start to do. Thanks, John.


Hmong ppl in Gwinnett Daily Post

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Note - I am going through my old documents and this link doesn't work anymore but it is from the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Georgia houses the nation’s 7th largest Hmong population with an estimated 447 living in Barrow County, according to the 2000 Census estimates. Over a three-week period, the Daily Post will look at the Hmong in Barrow and Banks counties, their families, religion and lifestyles.
The Hmong culture is thousands of years old. The earliest mention of them first appeared in Chinese historical records. The word “Hmong” means “free people,” and pinpoints their traditionally nomadic lifestyle. They left China in the 1800s for the rich and secluded mountains of Laos.

Youa Chou Thao, above, and his fellow Hmong soldiers fought alongside US troops in the Vietnam war, and were left behind to suffer under the government against which they fought when the US military pulled out of Southeast Asia.

More than 100,000 Hmong stayed in Thai refugee camps during a 10-year period. Most relocated to the United States, although some went to Australia and Europe. Extended Hmong families have settled in Barrow and Banks counties, finding the peace and quiet and land for farming to which they are accustomed.

Hmong publication schedule

April 15 — Hmong settle in Barrow CountyPresents the history of the Hmong people, their efforts in the Vietnam War and their journey to Georgia as seen through the life of Youa Chou Thao.

April 22 — Faith in the spirit: Hmong find refuge in new and old religious beliefsHmong practiced the ancient animism beliefs of ancestor and nature worship for thousands of years. Christian missionaries first took the gospel to Laotian Hmong in 1947 and found them very receptive. Many Georgia Hmong are Christian, others practice Animism while some practice a blend of both.

April 29 — A family together: Hmong family build homestead in Banks CountyWhen Youa Chay Heu and his wife, Lue, looked up at the green Banks County mountains, they found scenery and a climate remarkably similar to that which they left behind in Laos. Their nine children purchased individually a total of 120 adjoining acres near Commerce and created a homestead for their parents. Most of the siblings live on the acreage and Lue Hue farms two acres of rice paddy every year.


‘Gran Torino’ Opens as Top Movie With $29 Million

By Michael White and Jim Efstathiou Jr.

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The Clint Eastwood drama “Gran Torino” opened in first place at U.S. and Canadian theaters this weekend, taking in $29 million for Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros.
The film beat out the Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson comedy “Bride Wars,” which made $21.5 million, Media By Numbers LLC said today in an e-mailed statement.

“Gran Torino” is the latest successful collaboration between the 78-year-old Eastwood and Warner Bros., which has produced hits “Million Dollar Baby” and “Mystic River” in collaboration with the actor. Warner Bros. was the top grossing movie studio with $1.77 billion in sales last year, according to Burbank, California-based Box Office Mojo LLC.

“It’s Clint Eastwood in the type of movie people want to see him in,” said Brandon Gray, publisher of Box Office Mojo, in an interview today. “Rough and down to business, and he’s in action. It’s not surprising that it did very well.”

In “Gran Torino,” Eastwood plays an aging Korean War veteran who must overcome his prejudice to help Hmong neighbors battle a violent gang. Eastwood, who also directed the film, won the best-actor award from the National Board of Review for his performance.
‘Bride Wars’

Warner Bros. released “Gran Torino” five weeks ago in a limited number of theaters. This week, the studio expanded distribution by 2,724 movie houses.

“The release pattern and the strategy behind ‘Gran Torino’ was pitch perfect,” Media By Numbers President Paul Dergarabedian said in an interview. “Warner’s coming off a terrific ‘08 and now they’re kicking off ‘09 in great fashion.”

In “Bride Wars,” Hathaway and Hudson play best friends who become rivals after learning their wedding dates conflict. Audiences ignored the film’s critics, most of whom gave the picture low ratings. Of 92 reviews posted on, 81 were negative.

Among other new releases, Rogue Pictures’ horror film “The Unborn” was third with sales of $21.1 million. “The Unborn” follows the travails of a young woman tormented by a demon intent on taking over her body. The film stars Odette Yustman and Gary Oldman.
‘Benjamin Button’

“Marley & Me” dropped to fourth place from first with sales of $11.4 million. The film starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston has earned $123.7 million to date in the U.S. and Canada. The movie is based on a memoir by former Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Grogan.

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” fell to fifth from third with $9.5 million. The film, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, has made $94.3 million in three weeks of release.
Receipts for the top 12 movies rose 22 percent to $129.8 million from a year earlier, Los Angeles-based Media By Numbers said.

The following table has figures provided by studios to Media By Numbers. The amounts are based on actual ticket sales from Jan. 9 and yesterday and estimates for today. Movie Rev. Theaters Wks Avg./ Pct. Total
($mln) Theater Chg. ($mln)
1. Gran Torino $29.0 2,808 5 $10,337 888 $40.1
2. Bride Wars 21.5 3,226 1 6,665 - 21.5
3. The Unborn 21.1 2,357 1 8,950 - 21.1
4. Marley & Me 11.4 3,478 3 3,263 -53 123.7
5. Benjamin Button 9.45 2,947 3 3,207 -49 94.3
6. Bedtime Stories 8.55 3,511 3 2,435 -58 97.2
7. Valkyrie 6.66 2,838 3 2,347 -53 71.5
8. Yes Man 6.16 2,955 4 2,083 -56 89.4
9. Not Easily 5.6 724 1 7,735 - 5.6
10. Seven Pounds 3.9 2,456 4 1,588 -61 66.8

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at and To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Efstathiou Jr. in New York at


Lao military launches bloody attacks on Hmong

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Wednesday, 31 December 2008, 10:32 pm
Press Release: Center for Public Policy Analysis

Laos military launches bloody attacks on Hmong civilians in hiding

Bangkok, Thailand and Washington, D.C., December 31, 2008
Contact: Maria Gomez

The Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) has launched a deadly new military offensive against Hmong civilians in Xieng Khouang Province, Vientiane Province, Luang Prabang Province and elsewhere in Laos. Sources inside Laos as well as Laotian and Hmong refugees in Thailand and human rights and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have reported the new offensive largely centered in mountainous and remote areas of Laos in the Phou Lung, Pha Phai and Phou Bia mountain area. The Lao Human Rights Council, Inc., the Center for Public Policy Analysis and other organizations have issued humanitarian appeals and statements.

"On December 29, 2008, special units of the Lao Peoples Army at the direct order of Lao military commanders and senior party and defense ministry officials in Hanoi and Vientiane, Laos launched attacks on Hmong civilians at the Phou Lung, Pha Phai, Phou Bia areas," stated Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis. "In these recent attacks which are continuing, hundreds of innocent Hmong civilians were reportedly killed and wounded by the Lao military which is being backed by Vietnamese advisors and troops."

Smith continued: "Some 7,000 Hmong political refugees in Thailand are now in danger of being forced back to Laos from Ban Huay Nam Khao and Nong Khai, Thailand to this deplorable environment and blood bath in Laos where their security, human rights and lives are clearly at stake; many of the Laotian and Hmong refugees in Thailand seeking asylum fled from these very sorts of attacks by the Lao military and LPDR regime in recent years."

Amnesty International, the New York Times, the BBC and other independent human rights and news media organizations have issued reports about Hmong civilians and dissident groups subjected to persecution, starvation and attack by the Lao military and LPDR regime.

Amnesty International has issued reports about the mass starvation and war crimes being committed against Laotian and Hmong civilians hiding in the jungles and mountains of Laos.

Vaughn Vang of the Lao Human Rights Council, Inc. issued the following statement in response to the heavy LPDR military attacks of December 29, 2008, against Hmong civilians that persist and have resulted in many Hmong casualties in recent days:

"Hmong groups in hiding in Laos in the Phou Bia, Phou Lung, and Pha Phai areas have reported that at 10:00 am on December 29, 2008, the Lao PDR government launched two military attacks by two groups of Lao Army troops, consisting of more than 120 soldiers, led by Commander Soua Yang Xiong, Commander Ai Chai, and guided by Tong Ntxoog Xiong to attack Hmong groups In-hiding in Phou Bia, Phou Lung, and Pha Phai, Laos.

A Lao military helicopter was reported flying around, strafing and attacking Hmong groups in hiding in key locations and sprayed deadly chemicals to them prior to the latest military attack against the Hmong people. The Hmong groups in-hiding, including women, children and elders, were seriously affected, sickened and disabled by this chemical weapon dispersed prior to being attacked by the Lao military.

Many Hmong have died by this deadly chemical attack; the Lao PDR government soldiers are currently relentless pursuing and attacking these Hmong groups in-hiding for the past three days.

Hmong groups in hiding are appealing to the United States, United Nations, international human rights organizations and the world community to immediately demand the Lao PDR Government to end this genocide, ethnic cleansing war and war crimes against Hmong groups in-hiding in all areas of Laos.

The Hmong in the jungle that are under attack by the Lao military have repeatedly stated: ‘We are civilians, women and children and we only wish to live in peace, freedom without fear of persecution, torture and death by the Laos PDR government.'

U.S Ambassador Ravic Huso, Harvey Somers, Chief of Political and Economic Section, a Representative of EU Commissioner to Vietnam, and UNHCR reportedly visited the Hmong returnee resettlement in Laos in the Phalak Village on December 10, 2008.

To end this genocide, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing war by the Lao government and LPDR regime against the Hmong and Laotian people in Laos as well as the refugee crisis in Thailand and the increased numbers of Hmong in hiding in the jungles of Laos, these key figures and diplomats need to, also, put immediate attention and priority on the issue of the many Hmong and Laotian civilian groups in hiding in the jungles of Laos."

( End Statement of Vaughn Vang, Director of the Hmong Lao Human Rights Council, Inc.)


Center for Public Policy Analysis
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Suite No.#212
Washington, D.C.

Tele. (202) 543-1444

On the web:
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Random thoughts

Friday, January 2, 2009

As I re-connect with many of my high school peers within the past few weeks, I thought about how high school was for me and how different I was back then. Being one of the few Asian people who graduated from Towers High School in 1994 -- damn I make it sound like I'm so freaking old now, don't I? -- I thought about what kind of person my classmates perceived me as. The quiet, shy, nerdy Chinese girl, I believe. Hey, not many people cared what my ethnicity was back then. If I was yellow and had slanted eyes, than I was considered Chinese. Forget educating others about my ethnicity being Hmong. Plus it had to do with how my parents raised me. They raised me to not make a big deal out of little things - to let these just be so there would be no trouble. So about me being Hmong was on that list. But when I was around my Hmong and Lao friends, I was this outgoing person with a sense of humor, always making people laugh because I'm silly. They even considered me to be more daring so they would always let me do the more "bold" things. However, when I get back to high school, it's totally different. After high school, I got married to my hubby and started my own family and didn't have my parents around me to guide me. I started to have my own identity, my own voice of what kind of person I really was. Now, I'm not those crazy girls who went on "Girls Gone Wild" or anything. Just saying I'm the type who would tell you what's up. It has gotten to where I am right only, hahaha. But I've gotten better at that. Sometimes it's better just to agree to disagree.

Having a family of my own, I understand where my parents are coming from. They escape from Laos to Thailand to come to the USA. In 1975, General Vang Pao was the first Hmong man to come to the USA and helped many of the Hmong people to re-locate to start a new life because many Hmong people have lost their lives helping the USA fight in the Vietnam War, also known as the "Secret War." I was born in 1976 and all my parents wanted to do was make sure I was safe and still had to adapt to the American ways.

In the past few years, my heart has gone out to teaching others more about my ethnicity. Even though I've been criticized for not being with a Hmong man, I believe my heart is more Hmong than others who claim they are Hmong. I started a Hmong blog - - for me to keep up with Hmong news as well as educate others. The disturbing YouTube videos that circulating a couple of years ago is what got me so emotional. Plus a couple of weeks ago, Duce and Pagnia's lyrics on their "The Hmong Movement" song really teared me up. How can we Hmong people help out America and still no one knows about us?