If there is one festival that one should not miss in Laos, it is the Hmong New Year. While Laos celebrate 3 different new years, the Hmong New Year is the liveliest and most unique. Hmong is the third largest ethnic group in Laos and this new year is one of the biggest festivals of the year. The event is celebrated mid-December at the end of the harvest season. Travelers should plan their trip around it so encounter some of its most interesting celebrations and rituals. As part of their culture and belief in animism, they also take part in rituals that connect with the spirits of their departed family members. This is a way for them to reunite the family and also bless the house. While it is rare for tourists to observe this, you can always reach out to locals and ask. The Hmong people are kindhearted and will certainly would want to make you feel at home and join their festivities.
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Broadcast Schedule. Hmong National Development This national advocacy group advocates for self-sufficiency, improvement in education and resource development in the Hmong community. This site offers extensive resources, including farm and business development and citizen and cultural education information. Hmong Studies Journal This online journal devoted to the scholarly discussion of Hmong history and culture includes a wide variety of articles examining the Hmong experience.
Lao Family Community of Minnesota Hmong cultural information page This section of the LFC’s website provides valuable cultural training tips to help non-Hmong people interact better with the Hmong community by presenting the Hmong worldview and frame of reference. Virtual Hmong Virtual Hmong aims both to educate the public about Hmong culture and to preserve Hmong traditions, customs and beliefs.
In The Sacramento Bee’s AAPI newsletter, California Hmong women describe how patriarchal clan systems are upheld by mostly male.
Two organizations will host separate celebrations this year. And a search of court documents uncovered a newly filed lawsuit showing how deep the divide between those organizations has become. The celebration at the Fresno Fairgrounds has drawn as many as , people in a single year. But last year, a splinter group held its festival at a city park. Now the group behind that celebration is suing to take over at the fairgrounds.
Organizers with the Hmong National Council expect a crowd of 70, people at the park during the weeklong festivities starting Monday.
The locals had toiled in the glaring heat on steeply sloping fields throughout the year to harvest their crops, and now I, too, was able to savor the fruits of their labor. I cradled a warm Beerlao, made from hops picked nearby, enjoying the crisp national brew in the remote and dusty town. The locals favored a cheaper alternative: half a dozen men sat in a circle on the ground, sipping homemade whiskey from a large jar through meter-long straws.
I watched other revelers swaying under a blue-and-white striped tarpaulin, where the makeshift dance floor was lit by a single fluorescent bulb. The dancers shuffled around the perimeter of the venue, rocking almost imperceptibly from side to side and holding their hands limply at waist-level like an army of hamsters.
LUANG PRABANG, Laos — An annual Hmong festival that takes place in a small Laotian village is also a huge matchmaking festival.
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The slightly hidden festival symbolically represents San Diego’s Hmong community, which has kept a low profile since its first refugees began arriving in the U. But that invisibility, says San Diego Police Sgt. Paul Yang, is beginning to change. Last week, the San Diego City Council declared December as Hmong Heritage Month, in recognition of the region’s 4, to 5, Hmong refugees and their contributions to local culture and the economy.
The designation couldn’t come a moment too soon, said Yang, who is director of the city’s Multi-Cultural Community Relations Office. My passion is to engage the community and teach our young children the history and customs to carry on to the next generation.
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Nina Boys is our guest blogger for the second time. A cloth-covered ball whizzes past my face, just grazing my cheek. Jolted, I spin around to a row of giggling young women wearing dazzling multi-hued outfits and ornate strands of sparkling coins that jangle as they teeter precariously on Crayola-colored heels. Completely absorbed by the festivities all around, I had inadvertently walked into the Hmong matchmaking game of pov pob around which their New Year celebrations revolve.
Participants prepare all year for the multi-day celebrations that begin in individual villages before snowballing into larger parties where normally isolated communities gather to socialize, perform — and perhaps most importantly — court romantic partners outside of their own clans. I beeline for the low plastic stools that all but guarantee a delicious meal in Laos and am not disappointed when a steaming bowl of aromatic noodles laced with lemongrass is ladled from the large metal cauldron simmering atop open flames and passed my way.
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Everybody comes to reunite and remember our culture and where we came from,” said Lor, one of eight sisters and two brothers born in the United States to immigrant parents from Laos. With attendance of almost 5, on Saturday and slightly less than that Sunday at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in south Stockton, Hmong New Year was a family affair with an emphasis on safety and security this year, said Dr.
Lao Family is a nonprofit social-services agency that assists families with becoming independent and productive participants in the community. Within Hmong culture, the traditional New Year’s festival is celebrated based on a lunar calendar around the time of the annual rice harvest in late fall. It is their most important holiday of the year, when families traditionally gather for a special meal of boiled chicken and tofu served with pounded, cooked rice dipped in cane sugar syrup.
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Pakou Hang, co-founder and executive director of the Hmong American Farmers Association , suggests just that as she shares five things you might not have known about Hmong food and farming in Minnesota. The first Hmong refugees began arriving in Minnesota 40 years ago. Today, the Twin Cities metro area is home to the largest urban population of Hmong people in the country. Hang said researchers from the University of Minnesota Extension reached out in the early s to new Hmong refugees who had begun arriving in the state.
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