Emily Vang, after she was crowned Miss Hmong, Oklahoma 2012 with her parents Nhia Chue Vang and Derx Vang. Submitted Photo
The title may not be as prestigious as Miss U.S.A or even Miss Oklahoma, but for Emily Vang, of Marble City, the title of Miss Hmong Oklahoma 2012 is every bit as important.
Vang was born in Wisconsin, but her parents Nhia Chue Vang and Derx Vang, came to the U.S. when the Hmong people lost their country during the Vietnam conflict.
As Miss Hmong 2012, Vang is responsible for promoting her culture among other young Hmongs.
“We don’t want to lose our culture,” Vang said. “I help with different events that bring the Hmong culture to public notice as well as keeping younger Hmong people connected to the people and land where they came from.”
The Hmong people were a sub culture in Vietnam. Some moved to Laos or Cambodia during the conflict, others came to the United States when their country was taken over by the North Vietnamese armies.
As Miss Hmong Oklahoma 2012, Vang attends special celebrations like Hmong New Year and mans a table at cultural fairs.
“The title gives me the opportunity to be a role model for younger members of our culture. It shows other young people that they can be part of the United States and still maintain their Hmong culture,” she said.
Vang is part of a small group of Hmong people living in the area.
“We still speak our language. Many of the younger family members are losing that. Many of the elders want us to keep our language,” she said.
Vang is a nursing student at Northeast State University in Tahlequah.
She has four sisters and one brother and her family owns a chicken farm near Marble City.
Most of the stuff on this blog are Internet sites, with the sources reference to back to the articles. Even though I am Hmong, myself, I still am learning about my culture every day.
Usually when people ask my ethnicity, I used to hesitate to tell them what my ethnicity is because most people do not know what the heck Hmong is! As I grew older, I learn to appreciate my culture. True, there is not much written in books about Hmong people. However, over time, thanks to the Internet, more sources are available. In the end, I've educated others about the Hmong culture.
I've been criticized of not being Hmong enough. Why? My husband is not Hmong. Sometimes in life, we don't pick and choose who we fall in love with. I'm more Hmong than some Hmong people who claim to have Hmong pride. Just because my husband isn't Hmong or I don't attend Hmong events doesn't make me less Hmong. Doing all that doesn't mean you're more Hmong. I educate myself in the Hmong culture and teach others about it. I can not shelter myself from others and expect others to know who Hmong people are.
The purpose of this blog is for me to blog about anything about the Hmong culture, language, clothing, events, whatever. I wanted a place to come back to share with friends. Before I used to send out emails about my findings. Now I can blog about it.