Thursday, October 27, 2011

Paug tau ub ob...

Puag ……….. tau ub os………….ib tus ntxhais Hmoob txiam txim siab tias nws yuav mus kawn ntawn nqib siab tos lub tsev kawn ntawn College of St. Benedict. Nws muaj 18 xyoo. Nws paub hais tias lub tsev kawn ntawn feem ntau yeev yog Mekas xwb; nws tshai heev tabsis nws muaj peem xwm heev. Tau nws mus txoj tog lus tsev kawn ntawn ntawn lawn no nws hais tias:
            “Where are you from?”
Nws tes: “St. Paul, Minnesota.”
Lawn nog duas: “No, where were you from before that.”
Qhov no ua rau nws tus siab heev. Nws tsis pom nqa yuav teb li cas. Nws tias mus rau teb chaws Suav mus nhriav nws li Hmoob keevkwm. Lws zaus lawn no nws duas nws tias paub teb lawn.

(Translation: Once … upon a time… a young Hmong girl decided that she was going to attend college at the College of St. Benedict. She was 18 years old. She knew that majority of the students will be White; she is intimidated by this but she was also very courageous. When she arrived at the college they asked her:
            “Where are you from?”
            She answered: “St. Paul, Minnesota.”
            They asked again: “No, where were you from before that.”
This made her really sad. She didn’t know how to respond to this question. That is why she decided to come to China in search of her Hmong history and heritage. Next time when they ask her this question she will know the answer.)

I wanted to tell “them” that I was Hmong and that my family resides in America but we were originally from Thailand, but we are not Thai people, because before Thailand we (the Hmong people) were in Laos and Vietnam, but we’re also not Laotian nor Vietnamese, because before that we were in China, but we’re not Chinese either. I didn’t have enough time or knowledge to tell them. So I shut my mouth about the history.

I answered: “I’m not an international student. I’m from the Twin Cities. I am Hmong.”
They said: “I’ve never heard of that.”
End of Conversation.

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