Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hmong Leaders

I have come to realize that a leader isn't someone who is rich and famous but someone who has inspired others to do great and better things.  In your eyes I may even be a leader, but in my own eyes I am far from it.  I still have yet to accomplish a lot and to do better things.

There are so many personal projects that I have (mingling in my head that need to be written down before I forget them) to accomplish.  All of which I plan to do as soon as I graduate from college this May or shall I say August, but for sure I'll be starting as soon as summer hits!

Hmong leaders have been inspiring me to do so much more in my life, to be better, and let our Hmong people's voices be heard.

I was so inspired by Ka Vang, the poet and writer.  She has so much to say, I could listen to her forever!!  She said some amazing things to me that I hope I always keep in my heart!!  She said something like,

The Hmong people are so strong, they have traveled from country to country being warriors and fighting for our rights, they have fought in battles that they have won and are still who they are to this day.  No matter how many people want to dispose of us we are still around, we are still standing strong!

Now that may not be exactly what she said, but that was the main point and I was so inspired.  Did you realize that?  All those people trying to kill us and we are still alive!  Think about it.  Another thing that another Hmong leader (Kang Vang who has directed movies such as Tou and Mai) said was that General Vang Pao wrote in a journal that when he spoke to the CIA and said yes in helping the Americans with the Vietnam War he wasn't thinking about guns and killing, he was thinking about a future for our children, he was thinking about making sure that our children have shoes on their feet.  Without him taking that chance we would have never come to the states.  People may hate General Vang Pao but they must realize that we would never have stepped one foot on American land if it weren't for him.  With all our people dying in Laos and Thailand there are few that survived.

Being Hmong and living in American I am very grateful of all the things that I have and all the things that I have learned.  I definitely owe it to my people to do something with my life.  I would love to be a Hmong leader some day and inspire others to pass the message onto others to educate them about our people.

When I was in NZ I wanted to educate as many kiwis as possible, as many people that I met.  I wanted everyone to know about Hmong and what struggles we have been through.  One Hmong person in a country that knew nothing about Hmong people, I wanted to see how far I could get my message to.  I didn't get very far at all, sadly.  I cried, I wept, and I came home and told some people. 

I went to a funeral this past weekend for my first cousin.  There was a man who I saw talking to my mom, who was pointing at me and my sisters.  Later that man came to us and asked me if I was Jenny, I said yes and he proceeded to tell my sisters and I about what my mom told him.  He said that he heard I cried because I was in a world that didn't know about Hmong people, that I felt left out and alone.  I said yes that was me.  He proceeded to tell us about this new religion that has come up recently and that he is one of the pastors.  It's a religion that is kind of difficult to explain, it's called Poj Koob Yawm Ntxwv.  This religion is mainly based on beliefs and practices that state that men and women are equal.  There are 16 principles to follow in order to have a successful marriage.  There was a lot of things that he talked about to us, he was trying to reach out to us in hopes that we will come to learn more.  I was very intrigued but I don't live in that city so I won't be able to attend.  

There are Hmong leaders everywhere, my parents are Hmong leaders.  They inspire me on a daily basis.  I want their stories to be heard as well.  That is why this summer I hope to accomplish one of my many projects in documenting what they have to say, their life story, and quoting their many wise words!

Be a Hmong leader and step up, you owe it to our people, to your people even if you're not Hmong. 

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