Saturday, November 5 • 10 am – 5 pm
I can’t stress enough how good Hmong food is. The slightly sweet purple rice, the fulfilling warmth of soup, the spiciest dipping sauces, the meats, the stir fries, the everything. It’s a culture not commonly known here in the US—the last piece of major media I remember where the Hmong are recognized was in the 2008 movie Gran Torino where the inclusion of the culture was totally irrelevant to the plot. Stellar representation! So while there’s a lot of ground to cover, food can be a good start.
The Hmong are nomadic people who maintain their traditions and language despite not having a country of their own, often living close to another nomadic culture, the Iu-Mien. They inhabit the mountains in countries all over southeast Asia, namely Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. As a Mien-American myself, although our cultures are unique and not to be mixed up, it’s hard not to relate to Hmong traditions. The music, the dance, the people, the food, and attending the New Year Celebration is like attending the countless Mien parties I attended as a child.
It’s part of Seattle Center’s Festál series and produced in partnership with the Hmong Association of Washington (HAW). Free and open to all, with plenty of performances, people, and damn good food.