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November 2009

CityLink Seattle

Hmong New Year Celebration, Nov. 7

Participate in the Lunar New Year through storytelling, dance, embroidery, music and the customary courtship ritual of ball tossing at Safeco Insurance Festál:  Hmong New Year Celebration, Nov. 7, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., at Center House. 

The Lunar New Year is a time for the Hmong people to reflect on the past year and look ahead to new beginnings. The celebration at Seattle Center, the final Festál event of the year, helps preserve the unique Southeast Asian highland culture that originates in the mountains of China, Laos and Thailand.

A celebrated singer in the Hmong culture, Mai Xiong, will travel from Minnesota to perform at the Celebration, along with local artists in the Seattle Hmong community.

The festival offers flower clothe (“paj ntaub” in Hmong) sewing sessions and demonstrations on sewing flower patterns, and the Harrison Gallery features a large exhibit of Hmong flower clothes.

Did you know?  Tou Ger Xiong, born in Laos in 1973, is the first Hmong rap artist, storyteller and comedian. His shows use explosive energy, humor, folklore, dance, and rap music to educate people about cultural diversity and stereotypes – a Hmong version of Chris Rock, Jim Carrey, and Snoop Dogg all rolled into one. His family fled to the United States in 1975, and Xiong grew up in public housing projects. During college, he created Project Respectism, an educational service project that uses comedy, storytelling and rap to bridge cultures. Over the past six year, he has given over 800 presentations nationwide.

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