Dr. Sally A. Baas, director of Concordia’s Southeast Asian Teacher, Hmong Culture and Language, English as a Second Language and Special Education programs, recently had her dissertation about Hmong culture in the Twin Cities published by Lambert Academic Publishing.
Titled “What does it mean to be Hmong in the Twin Cities of Minnesota?” the study gives evidence from those chosen to maintain the Hmong culture, including the Hmong 18 Clan Council and associated men and women leaders.
“I am hoping that this book will inspire Hmong to interview the 18 Clan Council to interpret more clearly the innuendos of Hmong cosmology, to deepen the understanding of what needs to be preserved of Hmong culture, and to propel the community to celebrate the language and culture through educational and cultural programming for PK-12 students and adults.” Baas said.
The 18 Clan Council works within the 18 Hmong clans living in the United States to build community, resolve cultural conflicts and increase community resources.
Baas’ work focuses on the following themes: language (to speak, read, and write the Hmong language); culture (to sew and wear traditional Hmong clothes; spiritual life (to understand and participate in Hmong rituals and to play the traditional instruments); to respect one’s family; and to provide leadership to assure the continuation of Hmong practices, “to be Hmong, in the Hmong way”.
Lambert Academic Publishing sought out Baas’ dissertation due to the minimal academic resources about the Hmong culture available around the world. The book has been released to many countries worldwide.