Saturday, November 24, 2007

Elder Jon Pimentel 11/24/2007

Sent: Saturday, November 24, 2007 10:58 AM
Subject: Zoo siab peb caug!

Happy New Year!

We are going to the new year festival today!We have a goal of talking to at least 60 people there, and we are stocking up on pass-along cards and pamphlets. I don't have Hmong clothes yet, but I'll have some for next year. I got to shop at the flea market, and it was really fun. It's crazy buzy during New Year. There was an old man who is a blacksmith recently come over from Thailand, and he was selling all kinds of tools and weapons he had hand-made. He had sickles, kamas, daggers, many sorts and sizes of swords (yeah...kid in a candy store), Shaman tambourine things, as well as many other Shaman equipment. His prices were fair, and he wasn't willing to barter. Very nice man though.

Okay, it looks like Dad was still a little confused about my name. My first name is [Muaj Yeej], not [Yeej]. We go by our first names instead of our last names because Hmong people never call people by their last names. They never say "Brother Lee" or "Mister Vang", because so many people have the same last name. Therefor we go by our Hmong first names, and our name tags have our Hmong first names. Also, we don't choose our clan, we are adopted into the clan of whomever named us. I was named by [Nplaj Txhoov Muas], so I have been adopted into the [Muas] clan. Thus, [Muas] is my surname, but we never use it unless someone specifically asks us what our clan is. It appears some mail got held up at the office because it was addressed to my Hmong name, and the office Elders don't know our Hmong names. It would probably be best to address things to my Mika name.

I got the package! Thank you so much! Thanksgiving was great by the way. The Hmong carve birds a little differently. More or less they just hack off lots of little chunks and pieces, and you have no idea what part of the bird it is. They throw all the bird chunks (including the head) into a bowl and everyone just takes what they want.

If all goes well, Pa will be baptized on Dec 1st or 2nd. We'll have to see how that goes.

Kuv hlub nej nawj!
-Elder Muaj Yeej

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