Hello, My name is Mai Chia Lee and I am a senior at the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities and I am an Elementary Education Major. As a Hmong woman living in the United State, I see myself as a Hmong American. I merge two culture together and meet both in the middle so that I will not lose my native culture but at the same time able to emerge myself in a different culture.
Often time many people don’t know what Hmong is and where they come from. Many times people mistook me as another ethnicity for example Chinese. But when I told them I am Hmong they looked confused. I have to explain in short of who Hmong people are and where they came from, to learn someone it takes time so I only give them a brief introduction of who Hmong is.
I moved from Thailand to the United States in 2004, and it was when I have to learn who I am and who I want to be as I grow older clash between two culture. But as I grow older I see the beauty in my own culture, how the shaman would guide the spirit home when someone is unwell. How the language I did not pay much attention to can be so beautiful like a poem. I listen to my parent’s story of their life and I found myself captivate more and more to my own culture that I didn’t pay much attention to when I was younger.
In this Journey, I want to experience more culture and look deeper to find more about myself. I am looking forward to learning more about other cultures and ready to merge as one with every culture. But most of all I want to find myself and learn more about myself.