006: New Year New Me

In this episode we talk about current events, Mai Na Lee’s book Dreams of the Hmong Kingdom, the missed opportunities of 2015 and in the last 40 years of the Hmong in the U.S., and what we’re looking forward to in 2016.

Below is the list of links for those who want to learn more about the stuff we mentioned and talked about in this episode.

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Illustration for this episode was made by co-host Paj Huab Hawj.



(Intro: Qeej music playing)

Sandy Oh: Hello. Welcome to Hoochim. We are four Hmong women talking about things that matter such as…

All: Everything!

SO: This is episode 6. Uhm and today is new year’s eve. December 31st, 2015. And I’m one of your hosts, Sandy Oh.

Linda Hawj: This is Linda.

Paj Huab Hawj: Hi, I’m Pa.

Mim Xyooj: And this is Mee.

SO: So ladies, what are we gonna talk about at this end-of-the-year podcast.

LH: Well, has it been a year already?

SO: Yeah.

LH: I was gonna ask. When did we record our first podcast?

MX: It was in July.

PHH: Can you guys believe that 2015 is closing? We’re done. After today we’re done.

SO: The world is ending.

LH: Ya’ll have plans?

MX: There’s a fire in Dubai right now.

SO: Oh, damn.

PHH: But that doesn’t matter because they’ve continued their uh new year’s celebration anyways. (laughing)

LH: Are you all gonna go to Myth?
SO: Hell yeah.

LH: I bought a skirt but I didn’t buy a skirt for Myth though. Or uh, what are the other clubs called? Dang, it’s been so long since I’ve been to the club. I mean that’s what happens when you grow up and be an adult. Adulting. Well, actually I don’t go to the straight clubs. I go to the gay clubs. (laughing)

MX: Adults still go to clubs.

PHH: Mm-hm. You just go to–you just go to Stargate.

LH: Wait, what happens at Stargate? Does it stay in Stargate what happens at Stargate.

PHH: No. What happens at Stargate usually leaves Stargate.

SO: It ends–it ends up on Facebook.

PHH: It ends up on Facebook.

MX: Or it ends up in the Hmong newspaper?

PHH: Yes.

LH: No.

PHH: It–in–yes. At the very back of a certain Hmong newspaper.

LH: Does it–does it lead to the Hmong Lake at all?

PHH: I think everything happens before the Hmong–The Hmong Lake is like the prequel to Stargate.

MX: I think everybody drinks in their cars at Hmong Lake before they go to Stargate.

LH: That’s quite a ways to go to Stargate.

PHH: Well the idea is by the time you drive from Hmong Lake to Stargate the alcohol would’ve already entered your bloodstream and you know that ride is going to get you buzzed. (laughing)

LH: (laughing) Get you buzzed.

PHH: Buzzed.

MX: So current buzz.

SO: Ha ha. (laughing)

MX: Have you guys heard about what is that go fund me thing called? Uhm, Her Secret War.

SO: Oh, yes, yes. I have seen it.

LH: What is it about?

PHH: Can I just say that I love the profile picture?

SO: What a tall, buff, Hmong man.

PHH: Do you think Hmong men like that existed in the 1960s?

SO: No, milk wasn’t invented then.

PHH: Okay, but does that guy in the profile picture, doesn’t he look West–doesn’t he look like he’s a Westerner?

SO: Yeah, he does.

PHH: So, Mee, tell us more about this Her Secret War.

MX: So I–I am quickly scanning the uh gofundme page. And I’m not really familiar with this project but apparently it’s going to be some sort of publication. And they are going to publish 10 stories from Hmong women. I believe it’s their personal stories. And I believe this is in response to not seeing women narratives, Hmong women narratives. So I–I don’t know much more than that.

PHH: Do you think that this is the response to the We Are Hmong exhibition or the 40 year exhibition that’s currently taking place right now in California.

SO: I would assume to both right?

LH: Have you all been or seen or heard about the 40 years of Hmong in California version? Is it different from the one in Minnesota?

PHH: So I have a friend. I have a Facebook friend that is part of that committee in California and I can say from like the images that I’ve seen and from what she’s posted that unlike the exhibition here in Minnesota there’s actually a lot of the majority of the people that are involved in making that exhibition happen is majority uh women so–Hmong women. So that’s kinda nice.

LH: Yeah.

PHH: Other than that, uhm I don’t–I haven’t seen the exhibition. I haven’t really seen any like in-depth photographs or you know a walk through of the exhibition, so I can’t speak on what the exhibition is but I can say that the people planning it are all Hmong mostly Hmong women in California and it’d be interesting to see if there is a difference.

MX: That’d be interesting to see.

SO: Yeah. I agree.

LH: Aside from like these exhibit and this fundraiser, Hmong women narrative, I think about this narrative that’s–that have been very male-centric and very traditional where it’s the men that are the protector and the women are the mothers and the household caretaker. I’m so tired of seeing that. I’m so–I’m so tired of seeing narratives where most of the time Hmong men narratives supposedly is the truth telling of what is Hmong culture and history while the women history or narrative are like add on. And even at times in the community where there’s conversations that in the title of the event or the focus is about Hmong women but it never centers about Hmong women. It continues to like add Hmong women voice to like the center of Hmong men or maleness that’s a problem in our community. Decentering. And I think there’s still a lot of conversations and shifting uh thoughts to really validate, affirm the Hmong women experience and narrative and not just between like the straight or heterosexual identity or perspective but beyond–like also lesbian, gay, bi, trans. 40 years of Hmong in America I’m envisioning that we need to move beyond just this typical narrative.

PHH: Yeah, Linda, I–I’m really curious or maybe I don’t know if like curious is like the right word but I’ve always been really intrigued and curious by sort of this idea of needing to sort of romanticize our history. And why Hmong men specifically feel the need to always romanticize that story and you know I don’t know if it’s because it’s the only thing that they feel that they have to hold onto, right. The only thing that is their connection between then and Laos. You know and so I’ve also been like really fascinated by our need as Hmong community–young and old–to keep continuing to romanticize the Vietnam War stories. And then to like continuously talk about this narrative and not talk about the other narratives and to not bring in some of the different voices, right. It just seems to be this one constant voice that gets played over and over again. I don’t know. I don’t know what to make of that. I think it’s something I’m still thinking about. Why does this exist? Why do we continuously do it? Like is it the white men that’s like asking us to do it? Does this one singular narrative define us?

LH: Yeah and I just think that that’s not progress. If we’re telling the same story again and again and again and again. And times have changed and we continue to tell the same narrative of a frozen moment in time then that also shapes our community to not move forward. We need to move beyond this narrative. Often times that narrative is the same repeated narrative that again and again about just the war. Like we’re not complex enough to live outside of that. We’re not complex enough to exist beyond this narrative and it just it boggles my mind that people who are positions to tell experience experience do not reinforce that same narrative and when you look at larger scope, 70s and 80s and 90s and 2000s. You know in 2015 or 2016 we’re still telling the story of oh Hmong people came to America because of the war in Laos, the war in Vietnam. We continue to highlight Hmong men and not even include other voices. How is that progress of 40 years when only certain group of people get heard.

PHH: Maybe this is like our Christopher Columbus story, right. I mean it is it isn’t as dramatic right but in school we all learned that Christopher Columbus sailed the world and found America, right. And with our history we learn really quickly that General Vang Pao is sort of our savior and he was the one who brought us to America, right. And it is because of him that we are able to live freely in America. And then completely disregarding other stories of how he only lifted his closest advisers and leaving the rest behind, promises that he made that he did not fulfill. Or people who were against him and didn’t fight in the war. Like, those stories. Maybe this romanticized story of the war is our Christopher Columbus story.

LH: Pa, what you said said earlier if there weren’t white institutions, organizations, or groups who continues to fund that narrative only, would that have shifted and altered the way that the Hmong narrative or creators in those positions would include more stories, right, broader stories to represent a more complex experience of the Hmong people, right. I’m just thinking about is this marriage between some of these Hmong gatekeepers or uhm this marriage between Hmong people and white supremacy, whiteness that continues to grow and populate the next generation of I’ll say artists, right. But anyways I’m just like fuck that shit. I’m breaking that marriage. When I mean positions to tell narratives about Hmong experiences, specifically raising the experiences of Hmong lesbian, gay, bisexual voices that have existed.

SO: Well, I’m really curious about the uh you know I mean this whole romanticizing the Vietnam War seems to be really U.S.-Hmong centric. You know and I’m wondering how’s it like internationally? Like Hmong in Australia, the Hmong in France, the Hmong in South America. What are their stories and you know like do they also romanticize the Vietnam War? Or do they see it differently?

MX: That’s a good question, Sandy. Going back to the Vietnam War story, I feel like that’s a Hmong American narrative origin story. And it can be very problematic because it’s almost like set in stone, right. Like, you can’t complicate this story, right.

SO: Yeah, I mean what I see like this U.S. story then becomes everyone else’s. Let’s say you’re Hmong and you’re not from the U.S. that–that in itself also takes away from other other Hmong who live in other countries and their experiences and and how they relate themselves to the world.

PHH: Linda, do you remember when you and I first met. We met at MPR and–

LH: Oh, yes.

PHH: –we were on this panel, right. And I remember I’d asked Marianne Combs–

LH: Yeah.

PHH: I’d asked, what is it about–why are media so obsessed with over this like rags to riches story. You know and she was very–she was like you know those stories that sell. I think about the Vietnam War, the success of Hmong people in the 40 years that we’ve like been in the United States. Right like there’s a lot of talk of that and how we become leaders, we’ve become property owners and we’ve had so much success in the short 40 years that we’ve been here and it’s like a rags to riches story that makes white folks comfortable.

MX: The quintessential uhm American pull yourself up by your bootstraps story.

PHH: Yeah.

LH: The model minority myth enforcement.

PHH: Yeah. And–

LH: The Hmong people are the wedge here in that model minority myth in Minnesota.

PHH: Yeah. And we completely I think I don’t know like maybe it’s like human nature for us to want to play into that and to like to not want to be anything else but that. I don’t know. I think about that a lot. I think about the leaders in our community who are constantly telling that story–the rags to riches story right. And like I think like we all at some point in our lives have had to tell that rags to riches story. And I think at some point we just have to stop and say, God, like, there has to be more to the story than like this generic storytelling. You know that it’s generic and you know that’s what people want to hear but like there has to be more to this story. And I think for me that’s what I’m interested in: the story that nobody wants to talk about or the things that nobody are talking about.

SO: Yeah. No, I totally understand. Like, I feel that way too. I think that was one of the reason why I came to Minnesota was because in Rhode Island that was the constant story too–was relating Hmong stories back to the war and I was just like really tired of it because one, uh my parents are refugees and I was born here so I just don’t–it didn’t really relate to me. And I wanted to know what is more to us than the war. And then coming to Minnesota that was still the constant narrative. Hmong people and the war. Hmong people and the war.

LH: That’s what sells. That’s what people buy into and that’s what the Hmong gatekeepers or the Hmong people in those positions continue to tell and that has a direct connection to economic injustice or poverty ‘cause it’s like again Pa that’s your rags to riches story, right. You gotta sell it and you know I do think about that, at what point when do people in those positions say no, fuck this. I wanna tell a story that is more than this cycle eight just for that couple hundred dollars or whatever you’re gonna give me. But you know I would imagine some of those folks justifying things or maybe they gotta make it from day to day and they just tell that sound bite and move on. There’s a deeper problem that’s happening here and it has a lot to do poverty that’s not being addressed in the Hmong community on a larger scope that–I mean like the exhibit, right. There was a lot of people that the curators got paid money. There was money given to them right, to tell a story. And I would imagine like over and over again white institutions that wanna hear about Hmong stories–they’re being paid something and there are requirements and attachments, right. When you come to a space to tell story that–that asks are money. People take that money because they need that money, right.

PHH: Right.

LH: What would it take, though, to break that cycle? Does it mean the people were being asked to tell the story saying no? And protest that? And boycott that? Or does it take the institution to be like, oh, you all are human beings who have complex lives beyond what we desire for you to tell and here we are investing in you to tell a more holistic complete picture of what being Hmong is. But that’s not happening. Really, though. Institutionally, it’s not happening. I do know for myself that I’m not gonna be your sob story and I don’t want your money and go find someone else.

PHH: Yeah, I think you’re right. But you know and so just to go back on like the Vietnam War like I don’t– I don’t want to discredit the Vietnam War and I want I want to say that that’s not an important part of our history and I, it is, right? I read this really beautiful article on the New York Times talking about the 40 year anniversary and where this lady, I forget her name, but she writes really beautifully about how you know we–we didn’t bear witness to the war and we still carry our parents’ trauma. And I think that that’s right to acknowledge. However, I feel like you Linda and Sandy, there has to be more–there is more to our history, right, than this singular narrative that’s been repeated over and over and over again.

LH: And not just that, but when a large part of our larger community continues to just talk about this frozen piece in time story are we not thinking about what’s happening to our children, the next generation’s knowledge are actual story besides this frozen piece in time. That how institutions are trying to ask us to interact in this way and then we also like inter–you know how this marriage with that white institution. Then we continue to also shape, perpetuate the discourse or the experience of future Hmong knowledge to only to be one of a narrow way of looking at Hmong identities and that Hmong identity or experience can’t be complex. And that’s why for me it’s so problematic, the narrow narrative, the singular story. How white institutions continue to exploit, make us define who we are in such a narrow way from money. We need to see ourselves, that we are also impacting how our Hmong history are being shaped right now and are gonna be perceived later.

PHH: Yeah.

SO: Mm-hm.

MX: So, any other missed opportunities of 2015 or the last 40 years?

SO: Hmm. Let me check Craigslist. The missed–the missed connections.

LH: (laughing)

SO: No. I’m just kidding.

LH: We have to read one. I think you might catch one that I wrote forty years ago.

SO: (laughing)

LH: Before I was born. (laughing)

PHH: Is that the one where you ask General Vang Pao to fly back and pick you up?

SO: (laughing) No, no it’s me uh saying I met General Vang Pao and he didn’t take me with him.

LH: It’s the one that says: Hmm. Does Hmong woman exist now?

All: (laughing)

MX: I do want to recommend that everybody read Mai Na Lee’s book–

SO: I’m gonna get that book.

MX: Dreams of a Hmong Kingdom. It’s kind of heavy because it is a history book but you can get it from your local library. And uhm and it actually covers a time period pre-Vietnam War, which not many people have covered.

PHH: It’s 22 dollars on Amazon.

SO: I–I guess people has covered that old time period but it’s all written in a language that–

MX: French?

SO: –in French or in Chinese. Yeah. Because I do feel there’s like Hmong researchers in China doing that kind of work but they write in Chinese and no one cares for it.

PHH: Well, according to uh Lee Pao Xiong, those people in China are not really Hmong.

SO: Oh my god. That’s what the anthropologist–what’s his name?

PHH: That’s what he said too?

SO: Yeah, that’s what he said too when he was talking to me. ‘Cause I interviewed him for a research project and he said yeah, the Hmong people in like China aren’t Hmong. We just loop them altogether. I’m like okay. Thank you. (laughing)

MX: Wow.

SO: Yeah. Thank you, white man, for telling me that about my people.

LH: Oh my goodness. White anthropologists.

SO: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Nicholas something. Tapp.

PHH: Oh that guy from–

LH: Did he happen to find any zaj in China?

SO: That zaj isn’t Hmong. (laughing)

MX: They all just lump all the zaj together.

SO: Yeah. They all just lump all the zaj together.

LH: Mim, tell us a little bit more about Mai Na’s book. Anything interesting that we–beyond the typical narrative that we always hear.

MX: So I–I started reading her book but I did not finish it because I borrowed it from the library and had to return it. But uhm it covers the time period from 1850 to 1960. So it’s pre-Vietnam War uhm and it covers you know when the Hmong were in China and being pushed uhm down into Southeast Asia. I think a lot of it she draws from oral histories. And you know she–she acknowledges that uhm western research is more like documentation based versus oral. And so I thought that was interesting, that a lot of her research was from oral histories and she–she covers like Hmong leadership. And so, I feel like–I feel like some people have covered a lot of Hmong leadership but she does cover that ground again. And I haven’t read enough into it to see what’s different but I–I mean I made note of like–so I didn’t make it far into the book but I did make note of when she talked about like Hmong women in Hmong history. And she talks about Nkauj Ntxuam, which was that uh–was she kind of like a military leader? I can’t remember. And then she also talked about uhm during the Japanese occupation that uhm Hmong women were taken. It’s very shameful. Nobody talks about it and she said that she probably only was able to get that story because she was like their only so they were like I guess okay to share that story.

LH: For me when I think about like missed opportunities 40 years of Hmong in America or in Minnesota is how do we connect our Hmongness outside of ourselves? Because we don’t live in Hmong land or Hmong world, right. We live in America where we exist with like so many different other ethnic, race, cultures. And that when it comes to Hmongess we often tend to live through it with a prideful way or like celebratory way. Still grasping onto not losing who we are to Hmongness or trying to learn or relearn who we are. The missed opportunities is, how do we connect ourselves to for example like Black Lives Matter? How do we connect you know Mim how you have talked about how there were Hmong women who were taken by Japanese military to be comfort women. And then recently South Korea and Japan, men who have made amends of Japanese military violently taking Korean women to be comfort women and sex slaves, right. And I think about, how do we continue to connect ourselves in the world instead of the Secret War in Laos and war in Vietnam where we don’t connect ourselves to any other part in history in a larger scope. Or any current events that are art happening.

SO: I agree. There’s a lack of interconnecting–an interconnectedness with other like parts of history. The Hmong community wants to keep it isolated you so they can tell–own it and not–and distinguish themselves from others. I guess that’s like you know the in group the out group. Oh, our history is our history. It has no connection to other folks when in fact it is connected with other pieces of history.

LH: We know that there were Hmong people in the war that were split, right, to the United States and Laos or Vietnam who sided and who lived there and stayed there. But we don’t get to hear those stories. We only get to hear the privileged first world narrative. Of course, again this marriage with whiteness where you’re being told to tell, to be this soundbite about this relationship with whiteness. The narrative that continues to be told is not told in a relationship–in positively like with Vietnam or Laos or any other countries, right. But when it comes to the United States it’s like so…

SO: So U.S.-centric, yeah. It’s like, oh, thank you the United States government for saving us.

LH: Yes.

SO: Instead of like, you know, the another side too. Let’s hear what folks who sided with the communists say. It’s–it’s just like how in North Korea they have their own propaganda against the U.S. and the U.S. has their own propaganda against North Korea. Like, that kind of narrative.

PHH: But why do you guys think that is? Like, we romanticize the Vietnam War narrative so much. And it’s just like a singular narrative that we keep on repeating over and over again.

SO: I–I think the Hmong people fear being kicked out of the United States if they don’t play up the U.S. for saving them.

LH: Currently, let’s look at the nonprofit sector. And how in Minnesota there are Hmong organizations, groups, positions of power. We see that most of these relationships it’s mostly with whiteness, with white people, white institutions. Do you see a Hmong organization working with another Vietnamese organization or group? Do we see Southeast Asian organizations working collectively? Or do we see more organizations have some sort of separate relationship with whiteness and white institutions? And I think that’s really problematic. It’s really telling of how this the white supremacy military complex and how the state and government still controls how their relationship with each country looks like. The actual countries, right? And then and we can see that happening here locally where each different organizations are not working together collectively in ways. They’re working with whiteness, white people, white institutions. And I think that that’s very telling. When I was young my parent they would say like, don’t hang out with Vietnamese people or kids. Don’t be friends with them because of this history that we’ve had with the violence with the Vietnamese soldiers. But then I’ve had Vietnamese friends and it was not anything like that. Even in our communities ourselves you know we’re not even engaging each other and what does that mean? I think that has a lot of connection back to how the U.S. systems is structured where it has it’s own ways and relationship with each country or people from those country and that it still exists in our local community where we don’t work with each other we just continue to work with whiteness or white government.

SO: I would like to say that in the last 40 years nothing has been mentioned about me and I’m really pissed off because I’m the greatest person ever. I am the one. Like I seriously think I am the one. Just kidding. (laughing)

PHH: I was also really disappointed that in the We Are Hmong exhibition Zeb and Elaine were not mentioned.

MX: Who’s Zeb and Elaine?

PHH: C’mon, Mim, really? Elaine is the Hmong guy that went to Laos and was supposedly caught cheating on Zeb’s wife. Zeb is a Hmong guy.

SO: (laughing)

MX: I thought that happened after the exhibit was opened.

PHH: Probably. But, damn, the Hmong 40 year in California. ‘Cause Elaine is from California.

SO: I read a review for Mai Na Lee’s book. This guy named Freddy Two wrote, gave it 3 stars and said, “Hmong studies has a ways to go. Okay… could have been better. I waited so long to read it and was slightly unimpressed.”

LH: What is his name?

MX: Wow.

PHH: (laughing)

SO: Freddy underscore two.

SO: And uhm he–he’s also commented on hair growth serum.

PHH: On what?

SO: He reviewed a product uh professional hair growth program.

MX: I think he’s not aware that Mai Na’s has like a great reputation. She is a #firsthmong researcher, right. And–

SO: Yeah.

MX: And uhm yeah. She’s at the forefront of you know documenting.

SO: She really. She is. Mm-hm.

PHH: Yeah. I mean I–

LH: Hmong man.

PHH: Yeah, I’m gonna say that I really like Mai Na.I know a lot of her past students that have found her really–that have not been really happy with her. But I think it–uhm, but I also know some of her colleagues are not I don’t know maybe thinks she might come off as too abrasive. But I think that that’s because a lot of her colleagues are men, are Hmong men. And Hmong men have a–they have this tendency to think that Hmong women should be a certain way, they should hold themselves to a certain set of standard that I think Mai Na exceeds. And because she doesn’t fall into these modes that these men want her to fall into like I don’t know I just think she’s really great.

LH: More power to her because Hmong men are not the truth tellers of Hmong history and experiences. And for those Hmong men who are upset, have all these sort of feelings, they’re just–they have some power trip issues that they need to let go. Everything that revolves around Hmong culture, history, does not revolve around then.

SO: Exactly. I agree. It’s just like, oh, you should’ve consulted me first.

MX: And that maybe why they–that maybe why they have these feelings towards her because it doesn’t revolve around Hmong men.

SO: Yup.

PHH: Yeah.

SO: I agree. Or, or like she didn’t consult them.

PHH: Yeah. But I really–I think she’s amazing.

MX: I agree.

LH: Well, that’s what I’m looking forward to in 2016.

SO: Is reading her book?

LH: Yeah. More Hmong women breaking grounds and not giving a shit about hurting Hmong men’s feelings. And sipping all those Hmong man tears.

SO: Oh, yeah. I know.

LH: And paying no mind to them.

SO: Yeah.

PHH: We should start a woman forward.

SO: Oh my god. We should do it, guys. You know.

PHH: Just kidding.

SO: (laughing)

MX: I am also looking forward to in 2016 finishing reading Mai Na’s book. No, I’m really excited about that. In fact, I’ve been tweeting my thoughts and I’ve created the hashtag #hmongkingdom.

SO: I know you have.

MX: If you wanna follow along or if you wanna–

SO: Join in.

MX: –wanna get in the conversation.

LH: You know what, I have a problem with that hashtag. It should be #hmongqueendom, alright, Mim.

MX: That’s true. That’s true. I can add both of them.

SO: Yeah.

LH: Actually, I wanna amend that and say #hmongqueerdom alright. That is the future.

All: (laughing)

LH: Wait, Mim, did she mention any–well, obviously you didn’t finish reading the book. Well, tweet about anything that she mentions about queerness or trans you know.

MX: Okay, I haven’t read anything like that yet.

PHH: Well, guys, in 2016 I’m really looking forward to Mim planning my wedding.

SO: Damn.

LH: Well, what role are Sandy and I gonna play, Pa?

PHH: Well, that’s for Mim to decide.

LH: (gasping) Mim.

SO: Mim, you need to live tweet this. Live tweet the decision.

MX: I will. I will live tweet my planning. I’m very organized.

PHH: She is.

LH: Don’t forget to include your consultant fee. Every time you tweet the decisions you’re making for Pa’s dress, the decision you’re making about the food…

SO: Yeah, all that cost money.

PHH: That’s true.

LH: Two separate tweeting. A Hmong wedding and an American wedding.

SO: Yeah.

PHH: That’s true.

SO: You can’t have one or the other. You have to have both.

LH: And then you have to do a Hmong American wedding too, right. Don’t forget about that one.

SO: Oh, so, three. You have to do a traditional Hmong, traditional white, and then a Hmong American.

LH: Yeah. And then an American Hmong version. That’s gonna be kind of tricky.

PHH: Are any of you guys gonna be travelling? Wanderlusting?

LH: I might be wanderlusting to the Philippines. And then we might jump from there to Laos.

PHH: Wow. Hey, when are you going?

LH: Spring.

PHH: If you’re going in November of next year, there’s a slight possibility I might go.

LH: Oh, wait. Why are you wanderlusting there?

PHH: Hello. Mim’s planning my wedding?

LH: Wait, so you mean I’m gonna spend two times the money for a ticket for a November wedding too?

SO: Can you Skype me in?

MX: You all have a position in wedding.

SO: Can my position be done through Skype?

PHH: And you guys know that only Jesus visits Laos in November.

LH: What the fuck?

MX: I remember we saw him in December.

SO: Remember that’s his birthday. Christmas day is his birthday.

PHH: No, but I’m really looking forward to 2016. I think that this year’s gonna be a good year for all of us. You know it would’ve been the 41st year being in America and you know the 41st is a very important year.

LH: Who’s the 41st Hmong person?

SO: I’m about to Facebook it so I’m going to be the first one. Claimed it.

MX: Nice.

SO: Yeah, that baby that was born. Claimed that already.

LH: Sandy, what are you looking forward to?

SO: 2016? I think it’s gonna be a good year for all of us. I think it’s gonna be a good year for our podcast. I hope that we can build a listener base, strong listener base and really develop our podcast. Take it to the next level.

MX: Yeah.

PHH: Same here.

LH: Can we say, 1-2-3 nyob zoo xyoo tshiab?

MX: Yes, let’s do it. 1-2-3..

All: Nyob zoo xyoo tshiab!

SO: (speaks in Thai)

All: (laughing)

SO: Alright. Thank you for listening to our 6th episode, our new year’s eve episode. So if you have any questions or any comments you want to let us know about, you can reach us via email at hashtag dot hoochim at gmail dot com. Or you can like us on Facebook, hoochim. And you can tweet us at hashtag underscore hoochim.

PHH: Yay…

LHH: Wrap it up. Wrap it up.

SO: Wrap it up.


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