Slowly, but I think surely, I am finding my way back to the Hmong culture.
I have always been here, always in the background somewhere between the world of the Hmong and the American. Here. But yet somehow still lost in between both worlds.
And yes, I admit, the Hmong world has been pushed back further for many years as I tried to establish myself professionally in America. It wasn't that I abhored the Hmong culture. Not that. It was just that in my quest to be successful and to provide for my family financially, the Hmong in me got lost. Little by little, it chipped away. Some of it lost by conscious decisions I made, such as moving away to a city where there were no relatives at all in order to chase a career. Other aspects of my Hmong self were lost unintentionally--in times when, for example, the English language spilled out of my mouth before I could even remind myself to speak Hmong. Only later upon reflection would I see my mistake.
Through the years, I may have lost some of the substance of what it means to be Hmong, but I am still Hmong. I still identify myself as Hmong before American. And it is now when my life is somewhat settled down educationally and professionaly that I find myself trying to catch up on what has been happening in the Hmong community. Now I find myself wanting to edge my way back into the Hmong world.
I want to enjoy the Hmong New Year celebrations.
I want to go to the big July 4th tournament in Minnesota.
I want to speak more Hmong to my kids.
I want to visit Laos to see firsthand the country my parents came from.
Goals for 2012 and the next few years to come......