How Racism Looks Like for a Child

My evening conversations with my children consist of the usual: How was your day? How are you doing? A few weeks ago, while we're sitting on my bed, Little Mermaid told me that Aiden made fun of her at school. "Mommy, Aiden called me Chinese today," she broke into tears. "I told him that I'm…

Say What?! Feminism is Veganism

Being feminist means being vegan. You can't be a true feminist if you're eating meat. I read this comment on Facebook and it hit a nerve with me. My first reaction was, "Why should people be telling others what to eat and what not to eat?" The more I thought about it, the more it bothered me for…

I’ll Be Seeing You

"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living." -- Marcus Tullius Cicero My maternal grandmother passed away on April 1, 2015. She was 75 years old. When I received my aunt's phone call that morning at work, I thought, "This must be a joke. It's not funny." When I called…

Children and Children

Mini Mermaid told me the other day that she wants to get married in the future but does not want to have any children. This isn't the first time she has informed me of her choice to be child-free. She is going to marry at age 29 to the person she loves and likes. She…

Thirty Life Lessons

I turned 30. When I was younger, I used to think that 30 was old. Being a teenager or fresh out of high school, I could not fathom being 30. Thirty is old! So old! I'm so old! My life has ended.... (<---sarcasm). I am no sage, but I have learned many things while trekking…

What’s in a Name?

My name is MaiBao. The Hmong RPA spelling of MaiBao is Maiv Npauj. Maiv means "girl," "miss," or "little girl." (Maiv can be used by itself to call someone significantly younger than you. For example, an elderly woman can call a young Hmong woman, "Maiv" without having to use her name). Npauj means "moth." MaiBao or Maiv Npauj is pronounced…

BOF Day of Action: Sacramento, CA

Hello, everyone! I've already posted this on my Facebook Page, but I'll post it here for those who do not have a Facebook account. The Building Our Future Sacramento Team has been working very hard at organizing our upcoming BOF event. If you are in the Sacramento area, I would like to invite you to…

Building Our Future: Champions Against Abusive International Marriages

The first time I heard about abusive international marriages (AIM) was at the Hmong National Development Conference in Fresno, CA in April 2013. Presented by Kabzuag Vaj (Freedom Inc), Nancy Xiong (George Mason University), and Pa Vang (University of Wisconsin), "Abusive International Marriage - Transnational Domestic Violence" was a workshop to present a report about AIM…

“Girls Will Be Happy If They Get Married Crying.”

Warning: Very emotionally tense videos ahead. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=459987150789877&set=vb.100003357884515&type=2&theater This is a video of a group of Black Hmong in Sapa, Vietnam. The young girl is being dragged by men who are practicing what we call zij poj niam---in other words, bride-napping. I first saw this video circulating the social network sites at the end of last year.…

Refugees of War

Before bed one night, I read The Whispering Cloth, by Pegi Deitz Shea, to my children. It is a story about a little Hmong girl, named Mai, who lives with her grandmother in a refugee camp in Thailand. This story takes place after the Vietnam War. Mai learns to embroider her own story cloth while watching…