This past Monday night we continued our trend and had 3 guest speakers come to share their stories with us. Xang Lee, PaHoua Yang and Xia Yang are all students here at Concordia. I believe Xang and PaHoua are sophomores and Xia will graduate in the fall. I enjoyed getting to hear students speak of their experience because it's very different of our guests from last week who were adults during their experiences. They each talked about their story of growing up and coming to the United States. It's just crazy to think about all they went through at such a young age, even if they don't really remember it. They each also shared about life in America and why they came to CSP. It was interesting to hear about the different aspects of their cultures that sometimes makes it hard for them to fit in. I can't imagine never being able to go out and having to have the women do all of the work. It was interesting though, that even with the work both girls said they would want to raise their kids traditionally. I think that really says something about how important their culture is to them.
I felt a little bit more of a connection getting to hear from kids my own age, but disconnected at the same time. It's hard to explain but what I mean is though they are my age and so I can relate in some ways to some of their experiences (fitting in at school etc.) I have no idea what they went through at all. I just love getting to hear each of their stories, and throughout this semester I have realized that we all have a story about how we got here. Some may be more "eventful" than others, but that story is a part of who we are and the fact that we each have a story is something that we all have in common. (My apologies if this makes no sense... I'm quite tired and feel like I'm talking gibberish.)
I really enjoyed getting to hear from kids who are my own age tell of their stories. I honestly am just blown away that we have been focusing on one topic and yet every week I feel like I learn something new and different. Getting to hear kids tell their stories was a new angle on our quest to learn all that's possible about Hmong immigration. Hearing things from a students point of view is just different in the way that they express their feelings; it's more "real" and something that is easier for us kids to relate to because they are "speaking our language" and more in terms we understand.