The Beauty of Hmong Dancing


Lykajsiab Jalao, Staff Writer

There are many aspects in Hmong culture, but the dancing brings everyone together every year for New Years and watch each other perform on stage or for general entertainment.

What is Hmong?

Hmong are an ethnic group with specific language and culture. The Hmong’s originated in China for 4,000 years of history but then moved to Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and Burma in the 1800’s. The reason for this act was due to the Chinese government expanding the land. After the Vietnam war, also known as the Secret War, many of the Hmong people moved out of Laos to seek asylum in many European and Western countries including Australia, France, Canada, Germany, and the United States.  According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there were about 260,000 Hmong Americans living in the United States, with the majority living in the states of California, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Hmong dance at different events.

Hmong dancing happens at different events. One time every year, there is an event for all the Hmong community and others who are interested in the culture. This event is called the Hmong New Years. During this event, there are many different performances like hip hop, singing, pageants, and the one event that most people come for, dance competition. The Hmong New Years is the perfect opportunity for many talented dancers to show what they have been working on for a year. There are also Hmong festivals where you can also compete. There are more New Years and festivals in Wisconsin than Minnesota. So many dancers will change their schedules to go compete. There are also general shows, too. General shows are typically for entertainment. Some general show events are for smaller New Years for each Hmong clan (Vang’s, Lees’, Xiong’s, Yang’s, Lor’s, Vue’s, ect.). Dancers can get money from these general shows. Then there are multicultural shows. These shows don’t pay the dancers money for their entertainment because usually schools manage these types of events.

Why is this important?

This topic is important because the Hmong people contribute a lot to the Americans in many ways. I believe that people should learn about the Hmong people and what they have done. The beautiful culture brings people together and brings joy to many. The Hmong culture is small, and I feel like teachers in schools should talk about it more. There are many different cultures like whites and black people engaging in the Hmong culture. It’s beautiful when you see many different cultures come together and interact with one another.