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Pao's Family Culture

Hi my name is Pao Vang. I will be telling you about celebrations, stories, traditional games, toys, ceremonies, foodways, and traditional music. I have a big family - six boys and seven girls.

On Hmong New Years, my family always goes there and watches people dance and sing. We also videotape the people that dance and sing. There is also a lot of food. The Hmong New Year is at Alliant Energy Center on November 24 and 25. A lot of Hmong people go to the Hmong New Year.

On a clan party, there is a lot of beer. The kind of beers they have are Budweiser, Miller Light, Bud Light and Colt 45. Whoever goes to a clan party and they fight, they get kicked out. A clan party is when a Vang or a Yang makes a Vang or a Yang party. The clan party is at La Follette high school and VFW bar in November or December.

On Thanksgiving my family always cooks turkey, chicken, rice, sticky rice, egg rolls, spring rolls, mashed potato and gravy, stuffing, eggs, and hot'n'spicy beans. Thanksgiving is on November 22. We celebrate Thanksgiving because it is fun.

Stories and Story-telling
My grandpa is a story teller in my family. He is very old and can still tell better stories than me. The kind of stories my grandpa tells are scary and funny. He tells stories to scare us and make us laugh. My grandpa only tells stories when he has time. My dad also tells stories. He tells funny and sad stories.

Traditional Games and Toys
Traditional games in my culture is the top and the ball game.

The top has a stick, a string, and a wooden top. You throw the top on the ground to make it work, but it is hard. When you throw the top, you have to pull back. A top game is when you throw a top on the ground.

The ball game is another traditional game. A ball game is when you find a boy or girl to play with you. Throw the ball to start the game. The ball game is only played on Hmong New Years. The ball is green and black. It also has designs on it.

The first topic is funerals. During funerals we go to a cemetery. I only go to a funeral if my mom tells me to go. A funeral is when somebody passed away and mostly everybody cries and cries and cries.

Second topic is marriage. When somebody gets married in my family, we drink lots and lots of beer, not get drunk, but to give good luck to the bride and the groom. The kind of beer they drink are BudLight, Miller Light, Budweiser, Red Dog, and Colt 45. They also drink liquor.

My mom and dad cook at the kitchen while my brother is busy cutting the meat. The kind of food my mom and dad cook is chicken egg and rice together, egg rolls, spring rolls, meat with lettuce, and a lot of other foods.

The egg roll looks like a spring roll but a little bit fatter and little bit shorter and has a different color. A spring roll is white and an egg roll is orange.

Traditional Music
A k'eng is a traditional instrument in my culture. A k'eng is made out of bamboo, and has a cover over it. It sounds loud and smooth. The k'eng could only be made by masters.

A flute is another traditional instrument in my culture. There are two different kinds of flutes - taj blaj and I forgot what the other one is called.

The jar harp is another traditional music in my culture. The jar harp is only made by masters. The jar harp sounds like a k'eng, but the jar harp is smaller. The jar harp is used to find a girl friend in Laos and Thailand.

The most important cultural expression in my family is ceremonies, foodways, and story telling.