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Entering & Leaving the Exhibit

#1 What do people need to know before they enter the museum exhibit?
#2 What frame of mind should they have when they leave the exhibit?

Before people enter they need to open their minds. People need to realize that Hmong culture is different than other cultures. The Hmong have different ceremonies and other things. People who visit need to respect Hmong culture. If they are respectful and have an open mind when they come in they can learn from Hmong culture. Diversity is very important because the world has many different people.

I think that people should know about the war that happened in Laos, and all the hardship and confusion the Hmong people had to go through. They should also know about the beliefs of the traditional Hmong people. They should know that lots of Hmong people have been converted to other religions, like Christian and Catholic for example. They should know that Hmong people are basically the same as them, but their religion and beliefs may be different.

When people come into the exhibit they should be willing to accept all of the material, and be respectful to the area, the structures, and the Hmong culture. They should be prepared to learn lots of new ideas, and come out of the exhibit without a negative feeling about the Hmong people.

First they need to know who the Hmong are. That they aren’t Chinese or Japanese or something like that...

When people enter the exhibit they should be curious and interested to learn a new culture. Because if they try, then it will be easier to understand. If they just walked in without trying, they would just be walking around being bored.

If people don’t know what Hmong means they should learn that first. They should learn what culture means. Without knowing that, you’ve got nothing.

People should also know that rumors are everywhere. They shouldn’t listen to what they hear until they have fully-baked proof.

I would strongly hope that when the people first walk into “Hmong at Heart” they are eager to learn about another culture. I also would hope that when they are in the exhibit they are very curious about the Hmong people. And when they finally exit, they have learned a lot...

People need to know that Hmong is a culture, what the word “Hmong” means, how to spell and pronounce it correctly, and that stereotypes shouldn’t be made in the exhibit. Those seem to be the most important things they need to know before they step through the doors to a whole different world telling the story of a culture that’s new to a lot of people...

I’d like people to have a way of looking at things where they’re really CURIOUS instead of wandering around, complaining to their mom “I’m bored!” and “I’m hungry, Mo-------m!!!! When can we leave?”

I think that if they’re really curious, they’ll learn a lot more. At least half of what we did. If they’re curious, they might walk out, saying, “Wow! I never knew there was Shamanism!” And, “Dad, isn’t it cool and sad, the story of the Hmong?”

People need to know about what does Hmong mean, what’s the history of the Hmong culture, who is Hmong, what can Hmong people do? etc.... People need to know how they do things traditionally, in their own kind of ways. 

People should go to the museum to explore more and more about Hmong culture. When they are done, they will probably understand only a little bit about Hmong culture, but when they grow up a little bit more than they might learn about Hmong culture again, and they will get to know more and more...and that is good for people...

People should have fun and be glad they learned about Hmong culture.

They need to know that the Hmong are not Chinese and that the things they do like Shamanism is not a joke...If people come out of that exhibit and laugh and say Shamanism is funny I will say I failed at my job...

People should know that this exhibit will only scratch the surface of what Hmong culture really is...

Kids should know that everyone has a culture and not just the Hmong...Also, before I was in this class I didn’t know that kids were supposed to learn at the Children’s Museum, so we’re really going to have to work hard if we want kids like me to learn about Hmong culture...
–Sara K.

People should know that the Hmong are regular people with regular jobs...

When they enter, people should be curious, open-minded, calm, interested, and willing to take all the culture shock that will occur...

They should know where the Hmong originated from, the journeys they took, how they are teased because of their culture. They should know why Hmong have been driven out of their homes, and how many have been killed or left behind or got sick and died. They should know the basic story of the Hmong...

I would like people to feel amazed at how strong Hmong culture is, to feel: Wow! It is important, and to know that Hmong people is one of the nice ethnic groups who likes to help...

It’s very important to start out explaining what Hmong culture is, and even what culture is. Because when people first come in they might be thinking “Is Hmong a place? Is Hmong a kind of animal? A game?” We have to make it clear that Hmong is a culture, an ethnicity, a kind of people... And it would be really neat to have one of the Hmong kids in our class—Pakou, Mark, Pao—speak on the video about what it is like to be a Hmong child.

I want people to enter the exhibit with a good feeling about the Hmong. They should know that Hmong people are just like themselves, but also recognize their differences. The people who enter should be curious, and excited about what they are going to see. It would be really bad if we give stereotypes, because they’ll stick in people’s minds and they will probably look at everything from a different point of view since they’re thinking of that stereotype. We’d like visitors to know a fair amount about what Hmong culture is, but we can’t give away too much. If their minds are filled with little bits of exciting things we’ve seen, done, or heard about they’d be curious to find out more.

Here would be a perfect example of how a person’s mind should be: Curious to learn, excited about the Hmong, puzzled about the ways of the culture, a bit angry about the people who forced the Hmong out, and feeling like they’re a part of the culture, being taken away into the world of “Hmong at Heart.”
–Sarah M.