Annual Hmong New Year Celebrated

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Hmong dance group Ntxaihs Qaum Ntuj

Hmong dance group Ntxaihs Qaum Ntuj

Hmong dance group Ntxaihs Qaum Ntuj

Yingyee Xiong, Feature and Online editor

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On the steps of the Greenheck Fieldhouse on Nov. 4 and 5, the first sound that rang in ears are jingle bells. Looking up, the sound of calm bells ringing belong to young men walking into the building, the small bells sewn onto their traditional Hmong outfit that jingle in the chilly air. Elder women and young girls walk with and passed them, their patterned and sewn skirts flowing with their colorful hats to match with it.

For 31 years, the Hmong New Year has been held at Greenheck and the halls of D. C. Everest High School. Many come from all over Wisconsin and Minnesota to compete, reunite with families, and spend time with friends. Talents showcase traditional dance, traditional singing, and raffle drawings are announced in the fieldhouse.

“Traditional dancing is a way to tell a story in a song,” said Suabcua Vang, a Junior at D. C. Everest High School. “Through our dance, we can explain the story and also connect it it to our culture.” Her group, Ntxhais Qaum Ntuj, or in English, “Daughters in Heaven,” competed in the Wausau Hmong New Year 2017 competition.

Along with traditional dance is the outfits that many wear to embrace their Hmong heritage through intricate patterns and colors. Some outfits tell a story. For some, they are a way to show their culture, as sewing has been a part of the Hmong for decades.

“Some people dress casually and non formally while some go all out on the traditional clothing,” said Lee Vang, a Sophomore. “My favourite is when others dress traditionally but they put their own twist to it, for example, they sew it themselves and put their own jewelry on it. Hmong clothes tell a story with all the styles and designs on the clothing. Some of them are based on the Hmong clan they are in too.”

In the halls of D. C. Everest High School, table by table goods are shown to potential customers, featuring necklaces, toys, medicines, and clothes.

Friends chit chat walking through the halls and down to the food court where simple Hmong dishes are served. This year, the First Hmong Missionary Alliance Church signed up to sell food.

“We sold chicken, sausages with sticky rice, papaya, and drinks such as boba tea, nava, soda, and water. It took a lot of preparation, cleaning and cooking over 5,000 chicken leg quarters and cooking 4,000 sausages,” said Mary Thao Junior. “My favorite part was selling food.”

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