Stevens Point to celebrate Hmong Week, May 13-18
For the City Times
STEVENS POINT — Hmong Week, a week of cross-cultural community engagement, learning and celebration, will be held at several area venues from May 13-18. All activities are free and open to the public.
“There are more than 1,200 Hmong Americans who live in Portage County. Hmong Week is a chance to recognize and celebrate their contributions,” said Chai Moua of Freedom Inc., one of the week’s organizing partners. “We have a variety of activities throughout the week for people to be able to get together, have fun, and grow together as a community.”
The week will kick off Monday, May 13, with a Hmong Week proclamation from Mayor Mike Wiza. The proclamation will recognize the 44th anniversary of the fall of Long Cheng, a private United States-Hmong airbase in Laos during the Secret War (Vietnam War), and the Hmong refugees resettled in the United States to escape war and persecution.
People will also be able to learn how to roll Hmong egg rolls and how to make Hmong mochi (rice cakes) from 5 to 7 p.m. at Central Rivers Farmshed, 1220 Briggs Ct, in Stevens Point.
Moua will lead a training titled “Uplifting through Understanding: The Hmong Journey yesterday, today and tomorrow” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at Woodlands Church in Plover. Preregistration is required at http://tinyurl.com/hmongjourney.
A screening of Finding the Middle Way, a feature length 2013 documentary about the Hmong community in Portage County, will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, at CREATE Portage County, 1039 Ellis St, in Stevens Point. A panel discussion will follow the film.
People can learn Hmong step dance from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16, in Section C of the Laird Room in UW- Stevens Point’s Dreyfus University Center, 1015 Reserve St, in Stevens Point. Members of Sisterhood, a local Hmong girls group, will lead the activity.
Hmong art and artists will be featured Friday, May 17, during CREATE Portage County’s ArtsWalk event from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown Stevens Point.
The week culminates in a Community Celebration from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday May 18, at the bandshell in Pfiffner Pioneer Park in Stevens Point.
A ceremony and community lunch honoring Hmong Veterans will be held at noon, followed by a fashion show at 1:30 p.m. Guest speakers start at 1:45 p.m. Keynote speaker KaYing Yang, a social justice advocate who has built and led community development efforts in Colorado, Minnesota, Washington, DC, Thailand and Laos, is scheduled to speak at 2:30 p.m. A cultural show featuring live music from Tsabmim Xiong, one of the most popular Hmong singers of the 90s, starts at 3:30 p.m.
“We are thrilled to bring KaYing and Tsabmim to Stevens Point,” said Moua. “These are inspirational Hmong women we know people will not want to miss.”
Event sponsors include Delta Dental, Old National Bank, Investors Community Bank, ThedaCare, Simplicity Credit Union, Donaldson Company, Vine Park Brewing, Central Rivers Farmshed, Samoeun’s Happy Wok, Mama Mai’s Noodles, Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, Wholistic Home Solutions LLC, i2i, Woodlands Church, Xixo Menswear, Stevens Point Area YMCA, Sisterhood, R.I.S.E., City of Stevens Point, Kholman & Lee’s Groceries, Pasoua Home Care LLC, Loyal Phant Market, Sisterhood, Hmong Alliance Church of Stevens Point, Point Market & Vietnamese Restaurant, V A & C , Point of Beauty, SPASH Hmong Club, and Asian American Market.
Organizing partners in addition to Freedom Inc. include the Hmong American Association of Portage County, CAP Services, Portage County Literacy Council, and Create Portage County.
Learn more about Hmong Week and its activities at capservices.org/hmongweek.