Hmong: Where Is Home?

"Where are you from?" she asked me with great interest when I told her I am Hmong. "It depends on what you're asking." "What do you mean?" "Well, if you're asking where I live, I'm from the US. If you're asking where I was born, that's Thailand. If you ask where my parents came from,…

Currently Away

I've been away for 8-9 months (isn't it obvious?). At first it was because I had too many things on my plate--work, family life, health, and being in a place where there were too much clutter in my brain to make sense of it. Then when I wanted to write something, I found that I…

Post-Election, I Mourn

I couldn't sleep last night. My eyes were glued to the screen of my laptop, watching the United States turn red. I was hopeful, telling my worried sisters that it's still too early to decide a winner. And even after the announcement that Hillary called Trump to concede, I was in denial and became numb.…

When in China, eat McDonald’s

Some years ago, I attended a Mary Kay event with a friend. Said friend was in the process of becoming a Mary Kay consultant and took me along as her guest. There was a guest speaker (probably an executive from a different region) who talked about Mary Kay Ash and the history of Mary Kay,…

I’m Not Dead….

It's been some hectic months, so please excuse the silence on my blog. It also seems as if I've lost my motivation to blog. Maybe it's trying to deal with the seemingly neverending stressors in my personal life. Or maybe it's the fact that my laptop---the sole mechanism I rely on to spill my ramblings---was…

Reflections and Afterthoughts: 16th HND Conference

I spent the first weekend of April in Fresno at the 16th Hmong National Development Conference (HNDC). Two days filled with people (majority of them Hmong) from all over the United States and China. I attended workshops, met many interesting people, had great conversations, and built new friendships. I heard about the conference two years…

Hmong Talk

"White people don't know anything about ethnicity. They think all orientals are either Japanese or Chinese. You see, I'm half Black, and White people do not pick up on that, but Blacks and other people do." She looked at me intently for a few seconds. "I know you're Filipino." I smiled and shook my head.…