My name means "free";

  • I was born in the wilderness
    Nurtured by the breeze.
    My only mother was Savagery.
    Though temperate and kind, Neighbors neglected me.
    My innocence was robbed and challenged by greed.
    Torn from my homelands, I was left to flee.
  • Like dust in the wind,I dispersed silently.
    New lands accepted me,but for a fee.
    They swallowed my pride and dignity.
    They only served me pain and misery.
    Now little is left of what was me.
    I am one no more,as you can see.

My name means "free";

  • And that was all I longed to be.

A Poem by Shanyia Vang

We Are Hmong

Our roots lie deep in the rich fertile soil of the Loatian hills
Where our soul was one with the spirits of the earth.
Gently, over the years, verdant growth took place
As we created quiet villages
Among whispering brooks
And our self-sufficiency made us strong.

The stalk of our growth was hearty,
Well planted and tended with care.
We were a quiet, peaceful nation...
A nation unto ourselves.

Then came the distant thunder of war.
We awoke to the sounds of crying...
Our babies,
Our wives

A furious band of angry men
Torn down our villages
Raped our women
And killed our children.

We desperately departed our loving roots
Escaping into the night...
Jungles and heat
starvation and brutality.
The Mekong River swallowed our loved ones,
Babies could not cry or they would die,
As we lie hidden in a tangled jungle hideaway,
Our roots dangling weakly behind us.

We stumbled and fell and fought
Our way out.
Only to be hoarded into refugee camps,
Half dead, families torn to shreds...
We waited and waited
For our destiny.

One day, big silver planes
Came gliding into our lifes
As we shipped plane load after
Plane load of our people 
Into the beckoning skies,
Our roots still wrapped around our feet.

Weary and weeping we climbed out of
Our World into Your World.

Great stretches of cement
Replaced our verdant fields;
Our quiet hamlets  supplanted by bustling cities.
Noise assaulted our senses...

Now, our children leave us each day
To enter a different world.
Tov move further away from our culture...
Our roots.

And as our country was taken away,
We felt more pain than ever.
Our culture
Our life
Our homes,
All destroyed.

We hesitate to speak
We try to relate, but...
Our children now grow their roots in foreign soil.
Yet we cannot shake the Laotian soil from our feet.

We want to go home
We want to be left alone.


Innocent victims of a cruel war
Our roots do not grow well here
But we must fertilize it
With new ways
New customs
New traditions...

Yet our souls still return
To the Laos of our birth.

A Poem By Suzanne Strauss 

Phia Vang's Project Page

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