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home : education : Tuesday, May 24, 2016

12/1/2006 Email this articlePrint this article 
Hmong Minnesota Student Association Heritage Day
Hmong Minnesota Student Association Heritage Day

Amy Doeun

Twenty years ago Lee Pao Xiong and his fellow students at the University of Minnesota saw a need to organize and offer education and socialization in Hmong culture. On Saturday, November 18 Xiong addressed the organization he had helped found. Hmong Minnesota Student Association (HMSA) now boasts over 100 members. Over 400 members, family and friends gathered to celebrate Heritage day in which HMSA showed a variety of activities and performances highlighting Hmong culture.

This year's theme was "Ib Tiam Dhau Ib Tiam: Generation after Generation." Participants celebrated with ball tossing and a traditional folk song entitled "Kwv Txhiaj." Performed by Kia Yang. The traditional singing group then sang two numbers, "Nco Txog Qub Teb Qub Chaw" and "Lub Npe Hu Ua Hmoob" Martial arts students from the Southeast Asian Community Council performed and then the keynote speaker, Lee Pao Xiong shared how proud he was of the growth in the organization and their continued mission.

The mission statement of HMSA reads, "The Hmong Minnesota Student Association strives to support the Hmong people and culture, reaching out to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities community and the community at large."

Kathy Xiong has been a member of HMSA for the past 5 years. The last two years, she has been a member of the board of directors where she currently serves as treasurer. Xiong stated that when she first arrived at the U, "I didn't know too much about my heritage." She went on to say that with the U being such a large school it is hard to just meet the other students like you unless you have an organization.

The first Friday of every month HMSA has a general meeting and the 3rd Friday a cultural workshop. In September the topic was Paj Ntaub and October Hmong Superstition.

The dinner, fashion show, play and traditional dance all represented the joy these students take in learning about and sharing their culture. For more information about this organization go to www.tc.umn.edu/-hmsa.


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