In Chia Youyee Vang’s Chapter 2 in “Hmong America: Reconstructing Community in Diaspora”,
she explains the experience of Hmong refugees who started to create new lives in the United States and the new social structure within the community. This chapter brings a great insight to better
understand the real experiences of the Hmong people in America and detail their struggles.
Resettlement wasn’t easy for most of the Hmong people. However, as the years progressed, some people found their ways to acculturate to American society. The Hmong people have been in the process of recreating their identity and one thing that has been keeping the Hmong culture active is the annual Hmong New Year Festivals that each city holds if a Hmong community exists there. During these festivals, thousands of people show up in traditional Hmong attire to participate in courtship and entertainment. Although there has been unison within the Hmong community, there has also been a recent division. Some people do not believe in the values of Hmong New Year Festivals anymore because they feel that it is an "old" event to attend or is the "same thing every year". From personal experience as a regular attendee for almost a decade now, there has been a decline in the attendance of these festivals and I am not sure why. A more current problem is the option of two festivals to attend at Fresno, California: the largest population of the Hmong people. There's been talk about this new festival forming because they believe the non-profit organizations are only hosting the festival for revenue now. I believe it also has to do with sub-clan identification. The full details, however, I do not know, but am interested in seeking out the main meanings behind this division or creation of a new celebration festival.
The Hmong New Year festivals are some of the biggest events that the Hmong community have and participate in together. But what if Hmong New Year Festivals ceases to exist? What else will the Hmong people have in order for them to unite (for at least once a year)? If these festivals stop, what does that mean?