On Monday February 23, the Honors class was privileged to have three Concordia Hmong students share their story. Each of them had a unique experience to talk about and explain. All of them we're born in a different country than the United States. Some of them have vague memories of their time in the other countries but the some do not. They talked about what their family life is like and how they are dealing with the two different cultures. A discussion about Hmong culture in reference to marriage and other celebrations lasted a very long time. Also we discussed the faults and successes with the movie Gran Torino. The students had much to say and they kept you on the edge of your seat as they did it.
This panel connects very well with the other panel we had earlier. Although each set is from a different generation many things were very similar. They both stated the same history that got them to the United States in general. The account of the war was more detached from the students end but they still knew about it. This also is connected to when we visited the Hmong Center. The presentation there was connected to what they students had to say because the people of very close in age to one another. When Paul Hillmer came in and talked to us about his book he also talked about the migration to the United States. His account of history is very close to what the Hmong students told us at the panel. Although Kalia Yang's book is much more descriptive than the stories the students had to share they are very similar. Both sets of people remember the Refugee camps and how they were treated in Thailand. Another common thread is that of the difficulty adjusting to American culture for the parents and therefore on the children as well. It seems to be a commonality throughout Hmong people.
To me this panel affected me more than any other experience, except when Kalia came in, I have had to write a blog on. Hearing the story from someone who is around my age is so much more powerful. The way they could talk about their experience and in a way relate to us. Since they are our age they have lived in the same time as we have and we have a common living time. This really helps for looking at Hmong culture and family life. Mainly because we can compare what happened to our culture and family when the same events were going on. The way they shared the history of their people hit me so much deeper and in a completely new way.