Check out this amazing Hmong textile documentary called Stories in Thread.
Learn more about Hmong history, culture and identity though Hmong textiles.
Created by: Tamara Maxey, William Nitzky, Dayne Gradone, Karsten Kaufmann, Andew Mattison, Jackie Coon, Dan Bruns, Brian Brazeal
Cast: Maihoua Lor, Jonathan Xiong, Mai Xiong, Dia Xiong, Maly Xiong, Mai Her, Bee Lor, Salen Lor, Dr. Chao Vang, MK, Chao Vang, Jenifer yang, Yeng Thao, See Vang
I been thinking about the importance of documentary lately. Documentary is history and cultural education. It is a powerful tool to preserve and record precious moments in our lives. I remember seeing very old black and white pictures of cousins and relatives in Hmong clothes in the refugee camps on the walls of my grandmother’s room, and I really appreciated these material so much. I had a strong response to it because it showed truth of the past. I was able to visualized the roots of my parents, grandparents, and ancestors. It was a small understanding of their culture, history, and life, something that I will never truly understand as the first generation born in America. They speak very little about their past lives and culturally taught us by showing and observing. It was only a few times, when my father told us stories of Hmong folklore and stories in Thailand and Laos. He was not a great story teller but I enjoyed the quality family time and stories.
When I first shared my stories to others, there was a great relief because it helped me sort out a few things and it felt good to tell others who I was. Sharing stories has become very important in my life as I realized the power of stories. I remember a specific moment when the few Hmong women staffs of my campus shared their stories, I felt a connection to them as they told their stories. These Hmong women have broke walls and fought battles to get where they are now. I was not alone. I understands their struggle and they understands mine. I was inspired and empowered seeing someone with a similar background up on the stage. They have set a path for me. They are role models in our small Hmong community in Chico.
I am an artist that work better in visual narrations like visual storytelling and writing. But I think having a voice is very important. The power to tell stories are crucial for growth, relationships and so much more. It is like a piece of you, are now carried with those you shared with because stories can change, move, save someone’s life. Even if they forget your story, they will remember their emotion or that moment of vulnerability. When I studied aboard in Thailand in the fall of 2015, there was a student who opened up to a friend and I as we ate dinner. I will never forget that moment because it was so powerful. Because of that moment, we became close friends and are still in contact even after coming back to the United States.
And so when I was asked to be interviewed, to share a little bit about me regarding Hmong textile, I said yes. It is always great to have more documentaries and having people interested in the Hmong people. My first interviewed turn out to be nerve wrecking and it showed in my face and voice. Even though I had only a few parts of me in the Stories in Thread documentary, I am happy with the results. Big round of applaud to the Stories in Thread team and contributors.