"Studying this language has definitely helped me further understand my culture and history. In addition, with the widening gap between the old and new Hmong generations, knowing my Hmong language has allowed me to bridge this gap and address the issues that are separating our community."
Major(s) and Certificate(s): International Studies, Asian Studies
Graduation Year: 2015
Current city: Madison, WI
What have you done since graduating from UW-Madison?
I am currently employed at the Center for Resilient Cities as the Administrative Assistant.
What motivated you to study this/these languages?
I was motivated to study this language because I wanted to reconnect with my Hmong identity.
How have these languages enriched your life?
Studying this language has definitely helped me further understand my culture and history. In addition, with the widening gap between the old and new Hmong generations, knowing my Hmong language has allowed me to bridge this gap and address the issues that are separating our community. I have also had the wonderful opportunity to pass on my skills to Hmong students by teaching them how to read and write Hmong.
What do you remember about your UW language classes? How were they different from other classes you took?
What I remember most about my UW language classes is sitting in a circle with my colleagues and reading Hmong folk stories to one another. The difference about these classes compared to other classes is that I got to share my personal thoughts and experiences with people who are similar to me.
How valuable were your out-of-classroom experiences?
Being part of the study abroad program and student organizations that relate to my language not only gave me the confidence to become a strong leader within the Hmong community but also to become more aware of the cultural differences we have in the world.
How have you maintained or improved your language(s) since graduation?
I have definitely maintained my language since graduation by volunteering with the Madison Hmong community and being involved with Hmong youth programs. I continuously seek opportunities where I can put my language skills to the test.
What advice do you have for current language students?
Having the ability to know more than one language gives you an opportunity to positively change the lives of many people around the world.
What is your favorite word or phrase in a language you know?
Peb Haiv Neeg —”Our People”