“Go Hmong Boy~ Go Hmong Boy Go~ Get that spicy egg roll Hmong boy~”
(Hmong outfit credit google image)
Tou Ger Xiong, a Hmong-American storyteller came to my elementary school back in the 90’s and I sat there thinking, ‘Yeah I’m Hmoob!’ HMOOB, often spelled, “Hmong” and pronounced with an unaspirated “h” (mong), is a word I use to identify myself. But little did I know where I came from, what my culture is, why our traditions matter, and who are the Hmong people. No one really questions our history or where are our ancestors?
During college, I was really inspired to learn more about Hmong human rights and my heritage because of my mixed identities when I was living in China. I thought I was American, and I thought I was Hmong and yet Hmong American was its own identity. Meeting international students from all over the world, and having to explain to them that I am Hmong was difficult because we did not have a country. Hmong are a diaspora minority group that lived in many countries such as Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, France, and Australia and are all very unique.
The Hmong originated from China thousands of years ago, and as they migrated, its culture, language, and clothing were influenced by other countries and the Hmong were no longer the same Hmong. Often we struggle to answer the question, who are the true Hmong? Or someday will the Hmong still have existed because of its dying culture?
Tou Ger was a great inspiration to me to learn about my own culture and listen to the stories of my parents and grandparents. Were you ever interested in learning more about your family history, or hearing your parents and grandparents stories? #storytelling #bondingwithfamily
Check out Tou Ger’s Performance in 2012.
“As the Hmong spread out to variety of countries and are very different to each other, they are still very much connected. And even though they have their own beat, they still follow one song.”