All posts tagged: Heritage

Lao heritage and the emerging generation of culture-builders

I remembered Lao School like it was yesterday. Getting frustrated at how my stiff little fingers never bent gracefully during ‘fawning’.¬†Crushing packages of Mama instant noodles for lunch and eating it like chips with my friends during class. Passing time with Lao ‘then yang’ (jump rope game) and always feeling too short to jump high enough. Lao heritage was part of my life growing up. I wanted to fit in being American so badly that I forgot how much I missed paying attention to my elders as a child. Now, I remember more than ever. With every stroke of the Lao alphabet, every turn of my feet on the dance floor, and the intricate textile draped across my shoulders, I felt my grandmother’s aura. Smiling over me in pride. I think of how graceful she must have been as a child. And maybe how much her elders must have scorned her too. My favorite summer memories were created at the Lao Assistance Center of MN, where we lived in the Harrison neighborhood of Northside Minneapolis. …