Susan B. Anthony, Elder Creek, Burbank ring in Hmong New Year

e-Connections Post Susan B. Anthony Elder Creek Luther Burbank
Many students wore traditional costumes.Photo by Mickey Yang, Burbank Yearbook

On November 20, Susan B. Anthony Elementary School hosted its first Hmong New Year celebration.

Students took part in a number of culturally significant activities such as making rice cakes, spinning tops and tossing balls. Teachers were on hand to explain the significance of each of the activities to students in both the Hmong Immersion and English-only classrooms.

The campus celebration was followed by participation in the Sacramento Hmong New Year that was held at Cal Expo November 27-30. School staff hosted a booth at the celebration to help spread awareness of Susan B. Anthony and what they have to offer their students in the Hmong Immersion Program.  Additionally, students from our Immersion Program performed on the main stage of the celebration.

Elder Creek Elementary School families, staff and students celebrated the 2015 Hmong New Year with performances that included: the “Qeej” Dance, the history of the Hmong language, traditional  ball tossing and Hmong folk songs such as “Nyob Zoo.”

Ms. Hmong San Diego even showed up to perform a traditional Hmong dance!

Luther Burbank High School’s Hmong students also gathered for a celebration of the Hmong New Year in an annual tradition. Hmong culture, dress and traditional courtship rituals were celebrated.

Burbank teacher Patrick Vang explains the ball toss like this: “For the Westerner or the young Hmong-American, it may be nothing, but for a traditional Hmong, it’s everything.Traditionally, the ball toss is the main event of the New Year.It goes from sunrise to sunset.One of its main purposes is to find a mutual attraction. Through tossing ball, one can keep the other person only focused on him/her in ways such as speaking and expressing  feelings to each other through traditional chanting.This can be the first step to a soul mate relationship.”