Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Guest speaker for the Hmong Cultural Night on April 3 at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith will be Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt, renowned photographer, war correspondent, historian, human rights advocate and an expert on Southeast Asia.
The Hmong Student Association is hosting the event, which will be held from 6-9 p.m. in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center at UA Fort Smith. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Hamilton-Merritt’s book “Tragic Mountains: The Hmong, the Americans, and the Secret War for Laos, 1942-1992” was published in 1999. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998 and again in 2000 for her work on behalf of the Hmong tribal people of Laos. Her books will be available for signing after her speech.
Kong Dah Lee, president of Hmong 18 Council of South Arkansas, will make an opening speech.
The main purpose of UA Fort Smith’s HSA is to educate the community and society about the aspects of the Hmong and to promote higher education to the younger generations. Goal for the Hmong Cultural Night is to let others experience the Hmong culture through traditional events that will be performed by Hmong students, including cultural dancing and singing, a fashion show of traditional Hmong clothing and a “qeej” performance. The qeej is a sacred, ritual instrument which has a cultural tradition among the Hmong.
The Hmong Cultural Night is free to the community. Food will be provided by Troung Son, a local grocery and restaurant.
Although there is no admission charge, Takeo Suzuki, executive director of international relations, asks those who are interested in attending to register by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.