Catawba County News

Hmong Panel Discussion

Hmong Panel Discussion

Published: April 03, 2018

Since February, the Catawba County Library has been involved in a wide-ranging effort to showcase Hmong culture and preserve it digitally for future education and research. In partnership with the Historical Association of Catawba County and the Digital Heritage Center of NC – and through a National Endowment for the Humanities grant – the library has been hard at work collecting personal objects, artifacts, oral histories, photos, and immigration documents.

As part of this preservation campaign, the library is hosting a Hmong panel discussion, which will bring together members of the Hmong community to share their individual experiences and answer questions about history, heritage, and immigration. Residents who will be participating include Mr. Richy Xiong, Dr. May Khang, Mrs. Kay Ying Lo, and Mr. Darren Yang.

While many Catawbans have a general sense of the support the Hmong people provided to American forces during the Vietnam War, the details can often seem incomplete. This panel provides a terrific opportunity for the community to learn more about the Hmong’s post-war struggles, their experiences in refugee camps in Southeast Asia, and their adaptation to western culture, particularly those who have settled in North Carolina.

Today, the Hmong population in the Unifour area is the fourth-largest in the US, and recent generations are eager to preserve the heritage of their ancestors in Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. This panel is intended to deepen that understanding, reinforce community bonds, and highlight those things that all residents of Catawba County share in common.

Please join us for this special forum! We’ll gather in the Newton Library on Thursday, April 12 at 6:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Additionally, all Hmong residents are encouraged to attend our upcoming collection days and bring tools, utensils, artifacts, currency, photos, letters, musical instruments, clothing, jewelry, immigration papers, and more to share with the library. Everything will be photographed and scanned at the time and immediately returned to its original owner. No one will be asked to leave their items or present them publicly to a group.

Upcoming Events

  • Collection day: Saturday, April 21 from 10 am-2 pm at the Conover Branch Library (403 Conover Station SE).
  • Collection day: Saturday, May 19, 10 am-2 pm at True Life Alliance Church (1245 12th St SW, Hickory).
  • Collection day: In development with Hmong Southeast Puav Pheej (date TBA).
  • The library's Adult Summer Reading program, which includes the following selections: The Song Poet and Bamboo Among the Oaks. Reserve a copy at your local branch.
  • A concluding celebration, where we’ll share the history and keeb kwm that we’ve collected through our project (date TBA).