It was so awesome for the three Hmong students to come and share their stories with us. I especially appreciated their presentation because it was fascinating for me to compare their stories to the stories of my Hmong friends back in Appleton. It was exciting to hear what they remembered from their lives before coming to America and how their culture has affected the way that they and their families live in American culture. I found it interesting that the two girls complained about how they were so sheltered by their families and hated having to stay home, and yet they want to raise their children in that culture so that they experience that same life. On the other hand, the only male in the group, who in the Hmong culture would have more "power," was the one who claimed he would be most open to a change in the culture. He was definitely the most charismatic of the group, and it seemed like he had to keep defending himself because he was outnumbered by the girls.
We've now heard from several different generations in the Hmong culture, from the old to the young and the generations in between. It's been so cool to hear all of the different perspectives and stories straight from the mouths of the people who experienced them. The Latehomcomer and the Hmong pieces in the immigrant art convocation have helped to solidify all of the things we've learned so far.
Hearing from the Hmong students made me homesick. I began to miss my close Hmong friends in Appleton, who used to tell me some of their stories and would complain about how hard it is to be Hmong in the American culture. All of the things we've talked about this semester have helped me understand what they go through a little better. The next time I go home, I am going to have a different perspective of who they are because now I really know where they came from and how their culture has shaped them.