All posts filed under: Community Events

The goings-on within the Laotian community

SEAD to release book of Southeast Asian-authored narratives

The Southeast Asian Diaspora (SEAD) Project is celebrating Minnesota’s first-ever Southeast Asian-authored anthology Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center in St. Paul.  “Planting SEADs: Southeast Asian Diaspora Stories” will feature stories, poetry and artwork from Hmong, Khmer, Lao and Vietnamese Minnesotans, whose narratives reflect the entirety of the refugee experience. Trauma is often intertwined with our shared backgrounds as Southeast Asians, and the experiences that come along with that can be scattered, disjointed or simply not talked about. Through this collection of 20 stories, art and poetry, we can begin to connect the histories that link our diaspora cultures together. “More than 100,000 Hmong, Khmer, Lao, and Viet diaspora call Minnesota home,” Chanida Phaendara Potter, executive director of SEAD, said. “Storytelling is necessary to make sense of who we are as a people and the living and breathing memories we share as Southeast Asians. We hope fellow Minnesotans find hope, understanding and see their neighbors in these beautiful stories.” The book launch and signing will take place from 1-4 p.m. Saturday …

She/They

Written by: Janit Von Saechao In pristine-white Portland, I am seen as progressive for being a person with brown skin yet privy to this piece of my identity. What they don’t know is that when I say, “My name is Janit Saechao and my pronouns are she/they.” I mean She, as in We We, the ones assigned women while given no words for otherwise. We, as in all the non-men who have wondered which is the better way to survive– to silence ourselves for centuries of tradition or to speak our truths and risk our lives. They, as in Us They, as in those who came before me. They, as in all my ancestors who listened to Their own hearts and trusted Their own beings. They are my chain smoking Khmu aunties in Laos who puff tobacco through hand rolled cigarettes, laughing on the sides of dusty Luang Prabang roads at the colonizers with cameras who won’t leave Them alone. They are my single Mien femmes in America making more money than all the men …