I have always wondered, well always since I have been at Concordia, what this brick building that I see every time I look out my window is. I knew that it was the Center for Hmong Studies, and that's only because there is a sign right in front of the building. I was very curious to go inside and see what it was like; I had no idea what to expect. Well I got to have my questions answered this past Monday night as the Honors class got to spend half of our class period in their listening to Professor Lee Pao Xiong. I really enjoyed listening to him explain about Hmong studies at Concordia as well as his own personal story; he has had so many interesting experiences! I was surprised to learn that the Center is open to all students all the time; it had always seemed exclusive. I learned a ton of new information from Professor Xiong and it was all very interesting. I was very unaware of Concordia's great involvement with the Hmong culture. It was really neat to get to look at all the artifacts, models, clothing and jewelry that is in the center.
Professor Xiong stated that the town which he is from, Long Cheng, is talked about it Dr. Hillmer's work. It was helpful to my understanding of Hmong culture to be able to listen to someone's own story. It is unparalleled in its power to capture your attention and make you really understand what things were like. Hearing personal stories makes it seem more real to me, than just reading about it. Professor Xiong was a good storyteller, which helped, and he always had a smile on his face no matter what he was talking about.
Listening to Professor Xiong didn't alter my thoughts, he only made them more clear for me to understand. I was surprised to learn about all of the Hmong activities that happen, but have all had very poor showing of Concordia students. He said that people travel from all over to listen to these lectures right here on our campus, but we can't seem to make the walk to go to them. It was also nice to learn that the Center is open for everyone to come and study or look around.