Hmong Poem

The Hmong Women’s Circle Girl Scout troop that meets at Central High School in St. Paul had a ceremony honoring its graduating seniors. Each girl was asked to write a poem or a personal statement expressing their thoughts as they approached graduation. Some talked about being a Girl Scout but most of them talked about being a Hmong girl in Minnesota.

Chia Lor wrote this poem, which rhymes (and retains its meaning) in both Hmong and English.

Kuv Yog Ib Tus Ntxhais Hmoob

Kuv yog ib tus ntxhais Hmoob,
kuv los ntawm lub hauv paus ntawm Hmoob,
los ntawm Suav Teb, thiab txhua teb chaws uas  Hmoob tau nyob toob.

Kuv tsis yog ib tus qhua,
koj cov qaib los koj cov npua,
uas thaum koj xav tau dab tsi ntawm luag
ces koj yuav cias li muab kuv muag.
Kuv yog ib tus ntxhais Hmoob,
kuv lub neej tsis yog nyob pem tsev mov.
Nyob hauv kuv, muaj ntau yam rau ntiaj teb hnov.
Kuv muaj ib lub hlwb xav, thiab ib lub siab hlub lwm tus,
kuv muaj txoj kev xaiv txhua txoj kev uas kuv yuav taug mus.
Yam uas ib tug tub ua tau, kuv yeej ua tau thiab,
yog hias tias koj cia kuv nploog kuv lub siab.

kuv yog ib tus ntxhais hmoob
kuv muaj lub meej mom rau kuv tus keej tuav,
tiss yog muab rau luag lwm tus rhuav.
kuv los ntawm tus dej Naab Koom uas Hmoob tau hla,
tus dej uas ,1975, ib txhiab tawm leej tau poob qab cas.
Kuv pog thiab kuv yawg txoj kev peev xwm ntawm,
yuav nyob hauv kuv roj ntsa mus txog hnub kawg.
Kuv yog ib tus ntxhais Hmoob.


I am a Hmong Girl,
I come from the roots of Hmong,
from China and the other places we have claimed as our own.
I am not a guest,
like your farm animals or the rest….
That when you want something from others,
you end up selling me to make you wealthier.
I am a Hmong Girl
my life is not in the kitchen
inside of me are many things fo the world to listen
I have a brain to think, and a heart to love people.
I have the choice to take whatever path i wish to troddle.
Anything that a boy can do, I can take in part,
as long as you allow me to listen to my heart.
I am a Hmong Girl,
I have a reputation for myself to protect,
not for other poeple to abuse and wreck.
I come from the Mekong River, where the Hmoob have crossed before.
The river where, in 1975, thousands of Hmoob have sunk to seafloor.
That determination that my grandparents hold,
will run within my blood until my story is told.
I am a Hmong Girl.

The Hmong Women’s Circle at Central HS is made up of sophomores, juniors, and seniors. This graduating class of seniors were the girls who were sophomores the very first year the group was formed at the school. The ceremony honoring them included the younger girls, too, so they could hear from their older mentors about their experiences. It was a very cool event.