Show off your Hmong heritage

Hmong’s Got Talent showcases singing, dancing, and spoken word

Second-place winner Thomas Xiong and P.K. Yang perform “In Case” by Demi Lovato at Hmong’s Got Talent.

Photo by Jessie Tremmel

Second-place winner Thomas Xiong and P.K. Yang perform “In Case” by Demi Lovato at Hmong’s Got Talent.

Story by Jessie Tremmel, Staff writer

To close out Hmong Heritage Month, individuals or groups participated in Hmong’s Got Talent on Tuesday night in Schofield Auditorium.

One of the talent show’s MC’s ChueHue Vang, said events like the talent show help connect attendees with the younger generation. Some local high school students participated in the talent show, with groups singing and dancing.

ChueHue Vang, who is the social coordinator for the Hmong Student Association, a sponsor for the event, said that since the opportunity was there to include local high school students, they took it. He said the main draw of the event is the atmosphere with everyone performing.

 “It’s a safe circle,” ChueHue Vang said. “You get up there and you are performing in front of your peers, you do what you do up there, you’re comfortable up there.”

The crowd of peers was receptive to all of the performers and supportive when one performer choked up while singing a song dedicated to her grandmother as well as when another performer forgot his words. This event was more about the experience than about perfection; the winning duo had just finished the violin part hours prior to the show.

Becky Vang, who performed the song “La La La La,” said the talent show allows those in the community as well as students to show their skills. For her, the show was an opportunity to show the community her vocal talent.

Nancy Yang, who performed a song she wrote in high school, enjoyed performing because the talent show is an opportunity to speak about her personal experiences.

“I think it is a testament, in a sense, that we’re validating the fact that we are Hmong,” Yang said.

Hmong and English were both used on stage in the performances and in the MC dialogue. Yang’s Hmong is not perfect, and she said she sometimes struggles to understand what is being said, but she appreciates events like Hmong’s Got Talent because it challenges people to consider other cultures and languages.

“What’s the context of that? What kind of meaning does it have in your language compared to mine?” Yang said. “I think it’s a really good way to just make you think critically about language.”

In the future, she hopes the Hmong Heritage Month Talent Show can bring in a more diverse crowd of people. She said the majority of the people who attended are either close friends of those performing or already participate in Hmong Heritage Month.