Monday, April 5, 2010
WAUSAU -- More than 60 people turned out Saturday for an event to celebrate the start of the seventh annual Marathon County Hmong History Month.
The event, organized by the Wausau Area Hmong Mutual Association, was at the Wausau Center mall. The festivities featured singing, traditional dances and trivia about the history of the Hmong culture.
"The purpose of Hmong History Month is to celebrate the Hmong history, culture and traditions since we have such a large presence in Marathon County," said Peter Yang, executive director of the Wausau Area Hmong Mutual Association and a member of the Hmong History Month planning committee.
The kickoff also featured a raffle and a rundown of events happening this month.
Sang Her, 19, of Rib Mountain said that he was pleased with the event's turnout and that he would like to see more events throughout the rest of the year.
"Wausau has so many Hmong people now, and events like this one show that we are just here to live and to make friends," Her said. "The more events there are, the more people will get to know us."
Theresa Bootz, 51, of Wausau said her favorite part of the kickoff was the traditional dancing done by groups of local middle school and high school students, who also donned Hmong regalia.
"The dancing itself is educational. They were so impressive, and it made me want to learn more about the culture," Bootz said.
The dancing, as well as the other activities offered at the kickoff, helped reflect this year's theme of "Our Continuing Journey," Yang said.
"When we look at the past, or even the present, we see that our people and our culture are going through a constant transition. Our culture started a long time ago, and continues to evolve even today," Yang said.