A Minnesota PBS Initiative
Hmong in America
Minnesota is home to more than 66,000 Hmong people, making it the largest Hmong population in the world.
What led to this "Hmong Migration"? Why did the Hmong leave their native Laos and settle in Minnesota? And what exactly does it mean to be Hmong in America? These stories give a bit of insight.
I wanted to do a documentary about my father's life and his role in the Secret War in Laos... he has the chance to tell this part of the war that for the most part is unknown.
In our success, we lift up the spirits of the fallen, members of our community, our ancestors, our cousins, our aunts and uncles who were not fortunate enough to survive the war.
The adults continued having nightmares. They cried out in their sleep. In the mornings, they sat at the table and talked to us about their bad dreams: the war was around them.
I’m not sure why it had to be black and white. I now understand that the problem was me and my struggle with the gray area between being Hmong and American.
The majority of us youth found a connection with hip hop because it's really the same thing: we live in poverty and we're trying to find a way up by telling the world who we are.
Reaching the United States brought one level of relief. The daily chance of dying fell dramatically, but the absence of immediate trauma released long suppressed fears and emotions.
One night, partying at school, I saw myself in the mirror and was like, "Who am I, anyway?" I had that yearning to learn about who I am and where I came from.
Story Themes: America's Secret War, Art, Chai Lee, Cy Thao, Dance, Hmong, Identity, Immigrant, Jonathan Vang, Kang Vang, Kao Kalia Yang, Kaolee Vang, Kong and Shu Project, Look, Magnolia Yang Sao Yia, MN Original, Paul Vang, Personal Identity, Pioneer Public Television, Poetry, Politics, PTSD, Qeej, Refugee, Secret War, SGU, Shu Lor, Sia Her, Stories on a Theme, TPT, Twin Cities PBS, Xai Nou Vang