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home : community : community Thursday, September 21, 2017

6/15/2016 3:41:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
4th Annual Hmong American Day Celebrations

By Peter Chang

Community festivities took place throughout the Twin Cities on Saturday, May 14th to mark the 41st anniversary of the Hmong American diaspora.

Hmong American Day was observed for the 4th annual year on Saturday, May 14th. The historic date marks the first day of the Hmong people's mass escape out of Laos in 1975 and the beginning of the Hmong American diaspora. Since Governor Mark Dayton's inaugural proclamation of May 14th as Hmong American Day in Minnesota in 2013, a growing number of cities with local Hmong communities across the US have had May 14th or 15th similarly proclaimed.

A free community picnic was held in Minneapolis at Minnehaha Park's Wabun Picnic Area on Saturday, May 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The picnic's opening ceremony featured a debut reading from Fue Xiong, the winner of Chipotle's "Cultivating Thought" essay contest. Most of the day was filled with casual and creative open mic performances hosted by the Center for Hmong Arts and Talents. Picnic goers also enjoyed daylong breakdance acts, presented by the Hmong Breakers Leadership Council, along with arts and crafts activities, a bouncy house, meeting various community partners and a free lunch. Attendees were encouraged to bring picnic chairs and blankets, portable BBQ grills, and supplies for outdoor kids and sports activities.

In the evening, celebrations continued at the River Gala, a 21+ formal boat cruise along the Mississippi River, from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Excellence Awards were presented to community nominated Hmong trailblazers: Lee Pao Xiong, Susan Pha, Captain Peter Vang and Red Green Rivers. Attendees had a memorable evening in style and fun dancing to Hmong classics and top-hits music and enjoying fusion horderves with a projected boatload of 200-plus Gala goers.

HMONG AMERICAN DAY MICROGRANT EVENTS

The "Own Your Hmong American Day" grant is a community-wide micro-grant funding project that engages and enriches the community in honoring Hmong American Day - May 14th, 1975. Grant winners this year are Brooklyn Center Secondary School and the Infinity Youth Group and Boy Scouts of American Venture Crew 9033. Both microgrant groups hosted events on Friday, May 13 from 5-7 p.m. and were free and open to the public.

Brooklyn Center Secondary hosted Peb Zaj Dab Neeg (Our Story) exhibit at Brooklyn Center Secondary. The Infinity Youth Group and Boy Scouts of America Venture Crew 9033 hosted Infinity Field Day, featuring sports clinics and a cultural showcase at the Duluth Case Recreation Center.

ABOUT HMONG AMERICAN DAY

The celebration honors the contributions and sacrifices of the Hmong to America during the Vietnam War Era through present day. Hmong American Day calls upon all Hmong and non-Hmong Americans to recognize our shared history, celebrate our common determination to strengthen America's social fabric, and envision our shared future together.

The Hmong American Day Planning Committee is composed of community volunteers in fiscal partnership with the Hmong American Mutual Assistance Association. 2016 festivities are made possible with the sponsorship of Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Minnesota, Premiere Bank, Wells Fargo, Minnesota Historical Society, Coca Cola, Thao Kue, Inc., and financial support from individuals.

For complete information about the Hmong American Celebrations, visit www.hmongamericandaymn.com.




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