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home : community : community Sunday, November 19, 2017

12/26/2012 Email this articlePrint this article 
Hmong Cultural Center Celebrates 20 Years

By Amy Doeun

Nicole Ly†(right), from U.S. Senator Al Frankenís office, presents†Txong Pao Lee, Executive Director of Hmong Cultural Center,†with an American flag that Sen. Franken had flown over the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.†in honor of the Hmong Cultural Centerís 20th anniversary. †The two were among dozens of Minnesotans who†gathered†at the Center on†December 12th to honor the Hmong Cultural Centerís commitment to sharing Hmong culture throughout Minnesota. (Courtesy of Hmong Cultural Center)
For 20 years now the Hmong Cultural Center in St. Paul has been collecting information and artifacts about the Hmong Community. With a goal to "promote the personal development of children, youth and adults through cultural education," the center has been educating on a variety of topics related to the Hmong community.

On Wednesday, December 12th the community came out to celebrate this landmark anniversary. Over 60 people attended the event with representatives from both Senator Franken and U.S. Representative Betty McCollum's office attendees. While some of the people attending were new to the Hmong culture and came to learn more; "the vast majority of attendees, however, were longtime clients and/or friends and former board members of Hmong Cultural Center," according to Dr. Mark Pfeifer, Liberian Emeritus for the Center.

Several current and past students performed qeej. A wedding song, by HCC's wedding and funeral song instructor, Shoua Sue Lee, was performed by Wangsue Lee on the Hmong Two-String violin.

Pfeifer said of the event, "There was a full house for the anniversary event. The space was completely full. We actually ran out of seating space. Governor Dayton and Saint Paul Mayor Coleman proclaimed December 12, 2012 as Hmong Cultural Center Day and HCC also received letters of commemoration from U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum and State Senator Sandy Pappas." It was a day of honor for the Hmong Cultural Center.

"Txongpao [Lee, Executive Director] and I were very proud of the more than 2,000 people Hmong Cultural Center has helped earn U.S. citizenship since 1992; these include many elderly and disabled Hmong refugees. We have also found Hmong Cultural Center's multicultural education work over the years to be very fulfilling. These initiatives include hmongembroidery.org virtual museum with the Hmong archives; the Hmong Resource Center Library (http://www.hmonglibrary.org/); the Learn about Hmong videos webpage (http://www.learnabouthmong.net/); the Hmong 101 program which is expanding to include webinars; and new Hmong American history exhibits we are planning with a Minnesota Historical Society grant."

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