Hmong Talent Show emphasizes importance of standing together

The Hmong Student Association kicked off Hmong Appreciation month with a talent show to celebrate students and community talents.


LaShayla Moore

Junior and Chair of Hmong Student Association External Public Relations Toumeng Yang shows his musical talent.

Samantha Guevara, Reporter

November is Hmong Appreciation Month and the Hmong Talent Show is the first of many events hosted by the Hmong Student Association (HSA).

The talent show took place in Sundin Music Hall on Nov. 1, proving to be a success with five acts and a chance for the audience to win prizes.

Hamline student’s as well as students from other colleges in the area sang songs or demonstrated their dancing or beatboxing abilities.

Hamline first-year Emily McKenzie went to the talent show to support her friend and fellow-first-year Oliver Sachariason. Sachariason was the first to take the stage, performing “Beautiful Mess ‘by Kristian Kostov.

“These people were adorable, they’re just so talented and I had a blast,” McKenzie said about the talent show.

Padee Vue, president of HSA, emphasized that this year’s theme for Hmong Appreciation Month is “Sawv Ua Ke” which means standing together.

“We as a board chose this theme because we recognize that there were barriers and obstacles in our community here on campus, specifically the Hmong community,” Padee said, “our role here this year is to build a community, an authentic one, so we can really support each other.”

Bert Lee, a graduate of Concordia University, emceed the event, introducing each act with humor.

“First and foremost, he is going to be singing a song he’s been singing since the sixth grade,” Lee said to introduce Sachariason. “So he’s had some time to practice.”

Lee also held audience competitions in between acts which consisted of a dance off, singing a go-to romantic song and competing for having the highest pitched voice or best pick up line.

The talent show ended with a pop quiz to test the audiences’ knowledge of the Hmong Student Association’s theme and events, afterwards asking for a group picture up on stage.

LaShayla Moore
From left, guest host Bert Lee and sophomore Hmong Student Association Historian Yee Thao dance it out for an open mic portion of the talent show.

The Hmong Student Association aims to educate and share Hmong culture with the Hamline community. Every year they host events during Hmong Appreciation Month in honor of their unification.

The association itself has been a part of Hamline University since 1995, starting small and now has built their way up to a seven member board. The association meets on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in East Hall 04 if any are interested in becoming more involved.

To be involved in the celebration of Hmong Appreciation Month, there will be three other events hosted this month.

On Nov. 7 there will be a Sawv Ua Ke Panel in Klas Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event will give insight on issues like involvement in co-curricular activities and inaccessibility of campus resources that have hindered HSA members and highlight ways to navigate those barriers to build community.

On Nov. 14 from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. there will be Wuang’s Game in Anderson Center 111/112. This game was created by Hamline graduate Wuang Yang and has strong haunted house vibes—but will serve a bigger purpose than being scared.

On Nov. 23, the Hmong New Year will be celebrated at the Anderson Forum from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. with performances, activities and food.