Hamline News

Hmong New Year Bash Concluded a Month of Activity


The Hmong Student Association (HSA) strives to celebrate and educate people about the Hmong culture and practices.

“We like to implement cultural activities and give out information to people that don’t know a lot about the Hmong people,” said sophomore Thomas Thao, External Public Relations chair for HSA.

The twin cities is home to the largest urban Hmong population in the world. Around 66,0000 settled here after the Vietnam War in 1975. Immigrating from farming and agriculture communities in South China, Loas, Vietnam, Burma, and Thailand, they found refuge and home in Minnesota.

As a way to familiarize people with the culture of the Hmong people, Hamline’s HSA recognizes November as Hmong history month. During the month HSA organized many different events that were open to the Hamline community. Some events from this year included a Lock In night, Hmong’s Got Talent Show, Keynote speaker TouGer Bennett Xiong, and Hmong Game Night. All of these events were centered around learning more about Hmong culture.

The Hmong New Year celebration starts with a non-religious blessing and the night continues with singers, dancers, speeches, and a banquet of traditional food. Many cities across the United States celebrate in different ways but they all incorporate the same concepts of celebration and giving thanks. The history of this event goes back to the the Hmong people’s cultural roots in farming. In that tradition the end of the year harvest season was celebrated and ancestors were thanked.

Senior Jessica Yang says it’s important to not only celebrate but appreciate all the different cultural events on campus.

“It's important to hold culture events to celebrate all different cultures and people,” said Yang, “It acknowledges a community. The Hmong community is really big outside St. Paul. It’s really special for us ... to celebrate and give it the recognition it deserves.”

The new year event will be held on December 1, from 6 - 9 p.m. in Anderson Center, the event is open to all interested in knowing and learning more about the Hmong culture. For more information on the event and performers check out their Facebook page or contact HSA at has@hamline.edu.

Written by Emma Larson