Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The Oshkosh Plan Commission this afternoon will consider allowing Hmong funeral services at a new community center slated to open this fall at 910 W. Murdock Ave.
Currently, there is only one funeral home in Oshkosh, Konrad-Behlman Funeral, that can accommodate a traditional Hmong funeral service, which can last three days and can extend overnight in some cases, said Chiaxah Vang, president of the community center. With an ever-growing Hmong population in the area, the added space at the new Hmong Community Center, which will be housed in a vacant building, will provide room for such a service.
“This is meant to keep our tradition alive. Without this building it’s hard to keep with our ritual,” Vang said. “Konrad Funeral Home (is what) we have been using for the past 20 years. We think it’s time to be on our own feet.”
Over the past 20 years, Vang said the area Hmong population has grown from 400 people to 2,500.
The memorial funeral service will be one aspect of the community center, which will also have a retail store that sells Asian grocery items, an office and a kitchen. The building could also be rented for events throughout the year.
The plan commission will consider granting the Hmong Community Center a conditional use permit to conduct funeral services at a 4 p.m. meeting.
Check Wednesday’s Northwestern for an updated story.
Amie Jo Schaenzer: (920) 426-6668 or firstname.lastname@example.org.