The establishment of the Hmong American Day in Minnesota was a significant moment in Hmong American history. It all started in 1998, when Tou Ger Xiong, a charismatic Hmong American community leader and activist, decided to take action. Xiong, motivated by a deep sense of pride in his community’s contributions to the state of Minnesota, and a burning desire to raise awareness of the richness and diversity of Hmong American culture, founded the Hmong American Day.
In its early days, this celebration was a modest affair, attracting only a small group of community members. But despite its humble beginnings, the event was filled with cultural vitality, pulsing with the beat of music, the rhythm of dance, and the aromas of delicious food. Over time, word of the celebration spread, and more and more Hmong Americans and non-Hmong Americans alike began to attend.
The turning point came in 2008, when the state of Minnesota officially recognized the Hmong American Day as an annual state holiday. This recognition was the result of a long, arduous journey, undertaken by the Hmong American community and its allies. They labored tirelessly to educate the public about Hmong American contributions to the state, and to raise awareness of the importance of Hmong American culture.
Today, the Hmong American Day is celebrated annually on July 17th, and is widely recognized as a day to honor Hmong American heritage and culture. The event is a kaleidoscope of cultural activity, featuring live music, dance performances, and food vendors, as well as educational workshops and panels focused on Hmong American history and culture.
In conclusion, the Hmong American Day in Minnesota is a celebration of the strength and resilience of the Hmong American community. Founded by Tou Ger Xiong in 1998, this event has grown and flourished, and has now been officially recognized as a state holiday, providing a platform for Hmong Americans to showcase their heritage and cultural traditions with pride.