Filling campus with food, facts and culture

LaNiesha Bisek, Life Reporter

High school students and Hamline students participating in the event activities. (Chetha Ny)

The “Hmong Cultural Night” event hosted by Hamline’s Hmong Student Association on Nov. 3 provided education on Hmong culture and delicious food.  

With numbers higher than anticipated, attendees enthusiastically settled into their spots to wait for food and the opportunity to learn about Hmong culture. Not only was the event attended by Hamline’s own community, there were also family members and visiting high school students. 

My favorite part was watching all the visiting high school students enjoy themselves at the event. I kept thinking some of these students could very well be enrolled at Hamline next year,” Associate Dean of Students Carlos Sneed said. 

While seeing all of the visiting high school students was his favorite part, Sneed also enjoyed the speaker, Txiabneeb Vaj, and hearing the stories that were shared about their experience and the Hmong community.

Communication professor Suda Ishida also enjoyed all of the new information she learned through this event. 

The guest speaker also gave us good information about Hmong culture. I didn’t know about how bamboo pipes were turned into arrows and weapons to protect themselves. That was very interesting to hear about,” Ishida said. 

Txiabneeb Vaj, the guest speaker, talked to students about Hmong
culture and artifacts. (Chetha Ny)

One of Ishida’s favorite parts of this event was the community coming together to learn about Hmong culture. 

“I love the fact that there were a lot of students who showed up and attended this event.  This is a great way to help strengthen the Hamline community and build social networking with local schools in the area as well,” Ishida said. 

She also discusses her own personal experiences and how this event connects to her. 

“I also used to work in a refugee camp in Thailand right after I received my BA degree from Chiang Mai university in Thailand.  My students were Hmong, Loatian and Vietnamese who were affected by the Vietnam War back in the 70s. It’s been about 40 years since they migrated to the U.S.” Ishida said. “I’m particularly interested in the Hmong culture.  I also went to their 40th annual international freedom festival at Como Park after I came back from my study abroad program in Thailand this summer.” 

After a lovely event, attendees left Anderson 112 full with new experiences, an abundance of knowledge and lots of food.