History of Hmong Southeast Puav Pheej, Inc.
HSP was founded in 1994 by
1. Pa Cha Moua of South Carolina
2. Youa Bee Vang of North Carolina
3. Wa Shoua Yang of Georgia
The above individuals realized the need for this organization due to the preservation of Hmong customs, traditions and culture. The Hmong people have only one main holiday and that is the New Year Celebration. Therefore, to preserve this wonderful event, the only way was to form an organization that would be responsible and coordinate the preservation of the Hmong New Year. This organization would govern North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The organization will have members from all three states that will voluntarily do their part in maintaining the HSP organization and the Hmong New Year.
The very first Hmong New Year was hosted in Abermarle, North Carolina in 1993. This event was held at Albemarle High School. There was an estimated six to seven hundred people in attendance. Events that were present are typical of socializing, ball tossing, singing, various sports tournaments and of last but not least an evening party. Families from South Carolina and Georgia would rent hotels to stay in and some would stay with local family and friends. This wonderful event provides a time for people of all ages. The elders would get to catch up on lost socializing time. The sports minded people would get their chance to show off their talents in the sports tournaments. Boyfriends and girlfriends alike would have the time and place to find their special someone. Hence, this event was popular due to traditional singing leading to marriage because in those special songs, there lies lots of promises and true feelings. The party animals would have their time to dance and enjoy the evening.
During early 1990s, the Hmong population in the southeast was small and scattered throughout the different regions of the three states. It was a difficult task to organize an event such the Hmong New Year for everyone in the three states, but nevertheless, through wisdom and knowledge of the elders, a "Hmong New Year" has occurred each year since 1992 for the whole communities through the east coast coming to participate in the "Hmong New Year Celebration" during the weekend of Thanksgiving Holiday.
One of the most important cultural aspect for the Hmong people is the celebration of the new year. The "Hmong New Year Celebration" is the only celebrated and recognized holiday that the Hmong throughout the world can proudly call part of their heritage. There is no other holiday throughout the year that the Hmong celebrate and proclaim as their own heritage.In addition to just having a "Hmong New Year Celebration" each year, the elders and leaders of the Hmong communities also feel strongly that it is their desire to continue the preservation of the Hmong heritage and identity for future generations. The elders and leaders feel that without a heritage and sense of identity, there have been too many young Hmong who have traveled into the wrong path in this land of opportunity and freedom. For example, more and more young Hmong men and women are participating in gang activities and committing crimes each year. To the elders and leaders, if the young Hmong men and women are to have a heritage and an identity they can be proud of, with a positive image and a positive self-esteem, they would not join gang activities.
In 1997, HSP was formally incorporated into a non-profit organization in the hope of continuing the "Hmong New Year Celebration" and at the same time acts as an agent that will preserve what is left and considered to be a part of Hmong heritage and culture values for its prosperity.
All participants or individuals who work during the "Hmong New Year Celebration" are volunteers. No individual in HSP receive any monetary compensation for his/her works for the organization. At the same times, HSP does not received any kind of grants or fund from the state or the federal level. All funding has been from the generous support of the Hmong communities throughout the three states. After all expenses had been paid, if a small profit has been made, it is then kept and divided between planning for the following "Hmong New Year Celebration" and for the capital fund.
We give many thanks and credits to the Hmong people for their support, dedication, and time. Without the help and unity of the Hmong people, the Hmong Southeast Puavpheej, Inc. would not have been what it is today.
As Hmong people, we must always remember where we came from, our roots, and must never forget who we really are.
As Dr. Yang Dao would put it, "Hmong must love Hmong, if Hmong don't love Hmong, who will love Hmong."
History of HSP Logo
(In a recent interview with artist and designer behind the development of the logo)
I was asked to help Pa Cha Moua of South Carolina to design a New Year brochure in 1994. The New Year was in Albermarle, NC at the time. I brain stormed one evening on what kind of image would best represent the Hmong New Year and the thing that stood out most was the Hmong custom clothing being worn during those celebration times. Ball tossing and finding friends or a sole mate also rambled through my mind. So I started to look through my photo albums to see if there were any pictures I could use. I came across a picture of Chia Neng Lee posing with Cass Vue of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The picture was taken during the 1992 Hmong New Year in Fresno, California. They were both appropriately dressed for the occasion and made a very idealistic image for the New Year. I initially though about scanning the image into the flyer. But wanted it to be more of a symbol than a photograph. Based on that thought, I began to draw the image of the two.
From there on, t-shirts were made (Original T-shirts were made by a vendor from Michigan… I met this guy and was introduced as the artist who drew the picture. So he ended up giving me a couple of free t-shirts. Along the way people made changes to the logo drawing. But not drastic changes to where the symbol would be tarnished. That is my story and no one else knows it better than I do. Hope that wasn't too long of a reply.
–Koua Neng (Nyiaj Kuam) Lee, HSP Logo Artist
Hmong Southeast Puav Pheej Cultural Park
3500 Rocky Ford Rd.
Newton, NC 28658
Hmong Southeast Puav Pheej, Inc.
437 Main Ave SW
Hickory, NC 28602
3500 Rocky Ford Rd.
Newton, NC 28658