Mariah | Mark
| Dylan | Pao | Maggie
| Emily | Tim | Nate
| Cristina | Thomas
| Benjamin | Pakou
#1: Does it make a difference to the Hmong
how we represent their culture?
I think it does because if we show their
culture all really good it is a stereotype, and if we show
it all really bad the Hmong probably won’t like it.
And if we show all Christian Hmong the traditional Hmong will
feel left out of their culture, and if we show all traditional
Hmong, the Christian Hmong won’t be happy. So to represent
the Hmong we have to show good things, bad things, Christian
Hmong, and traditional Hmong.
#2: Do you feel responsible to represent the
Hmong in a particular way? Is it important to you how we represent
I feel it’s important to represent
the Hmong in a kind way. I believe this because I have to
respect the Hmong. I should respect them because everybody’s
culture should be respected.
We also don’t want people to leave
the exhibit thinking that the Hmong are weird and different,
so we must show some of the things about Hmong culture that
are the same.
It is important to know about Hmong celebrations.
One such celebration is the New Year, which is always two
days before Thanksgiving. We go to the expo center to sing,
dance, play instruments, eat food, sell candy and toys. After
the New Year, there is a big party, which lasts from 6 pm
to 12 pm.
Yes, I really do feel responsible in
how we represent Hmong culture. I feel that if we do a bad
job, perhaps by leaving important things out and adding untrue
stuff in, or making stereotypes, I’d feel bad and feel
like I was one of those responsible for the big mistakes we
made because I took part in helping to build the exhibit.
. . . However, if it’s an excellent exhibit, I would
feel absolutely lovely, because I helped to make an absolutely
wonderful exhibit in the MCM that everybody loved and I must
have done a bunch of good things for it, and I’d feel
a rainbow in my soul.
I feel responsible to represent the Hmong
culture in the way that is most truthful, with no stereotypes,
nothing that is not true, don’t say anybody’s
better than us, and don’t say anybody’s not as
good as us. We’re all equal.
#3: What have we done to build trust in the
There were several things we did to establish
trust. One, whenever possible, we went to places where we
had some connection. For example, at the Amish farm near Tomah
a student’s grandparents were neighbors. Two, Mr. Wagler
and Anne Pryor or Ruth Olson visited every place by themselves
before the class came. And three, the release form gave them
a chance to say no.
#4: Do the Hmong trust us to be responsible
in the ways we represent their culture? Does trust change
what people tell each other about culture?
I think that the Hmong that
we have met and interviewed will trust us in making an exhibit
about their culture because, first of all, they let us in
their homes, which takes a great deal of trust, and they spoke
openly to us about things that were very hard to talk about.
The only problem I see with being trusted by the Hmong is
that there are thousands of Hmong who might come see this
exhibit, maybe 30 that we interviewed, so everybody except
those thirty people will have no idea who we are, having no
way to trust us.
The most they trusted us on is the
secrets. They have been telling us some of the secrets that
have happened to them. Like escaping refugee camp.
Well maybe the Hmong trust us and I
know nothing of the sort, but just being myself I wouldn’t
really trust a bunch of 4th and 5th graders to go on a couple
of trips and see my culture and have people come and give
#5: Do we have power to affect what people think
about the Hmong? Do we have power to affect Hmong culture?
We probably do have
power over the views of other people. We can’t be sure
their views will change after the exhibit and the website.
But hopefully, if they came in with stereotypes, the exhibit
and website will help get rid of them.
We can’t really change Hmong culture. I mean, Hmong
culture is Hmong culture. We might be able to change one Hmong
person’s culture by getting them to interact more with
European-Americans, but only Hmong people really have the
power to change Hmong culture.
Yes we do have powerful power to [get]
other people to trust us and build a bigger community with
Hmong people by telling them and the Children’s Museum
can help too. The pictures and videos can also help with understanding.