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Hmong Culture Fest Set for March 29 at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: March 6, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — The Hmong Culture Fest at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will run from 1-6 p.m. March 29 in the Council Fire Room of Davies Center. The theme of this year's event is "Hmong Generation Y."

The culture fest is held annually at UW-Eau Claire to offer information about the Hmong culture and provide an opportunity for people from different cultures to meet and socialize, said Sai Vang of UW-Eau Claire's Hmong Student Association.

"The Hmong Student Association works hard to accurately represent the Hmong culture during the fest," Vang said. "Every year, many people congregate to enjoy music, food, and informative and entertaining workshops based on a theme. This year we are focusing on Generation Y, with workshops on communication and technology, gender roles and education."

Sophia Vuelo
Sophia Vuelo

The fest will feature guest speaker Sophia Vuelo, who along with HSA President Seng Vang, will compare and contrast home life and college life for those in Vuelo's generation, known as generation X, and Vang's generation Y.

An attorney, Vuelo was a prosecutor in Rochester, Minn., an advocate for low-income clients as an assistant public defender, and a criminal defense attorney through her private practice. She is past president of the Minnesota Hmong Bar Association and a past member of the board of directors for the Women's Association of Hmong and Lao Inc. in St. Paul, Minn. She also was a member of the Minnesota Hmong Women's delegation to the United Nation's 4th World/NGO Conference on Women in Beijing, China.

Vuelo graduated from Memorial High School in Eau Claire and attended UW-Madison and later the University of Minnesota, where she received a bachelor's degree in history and women's studies in 1995. She earned her law degree from the Hamline University in 1998. She moved back to Eau Claire last summer with her husband, Dr. Muaj Lo, and two young children.

Despite this year's youth oriented theme, the fest is suitable for all ages and will offer many opportunities to enjoy the talents of Hmong students, including art, music, dance and free Hmong cuisine, Vang said.

The schedule of events follows:

  • 1 p.m. — Registration
  • 1:30 p.m. — Welcome
  • 1:45 p.m. — Technology and communication workshop or Hmong education workshop
  • 2:30 p.m. — Workshops repeated
  • 3:15 p.m. — Gender roles workshop
  • 4 p.m. — Dinner and slide show
  • 4:30 p.m. — Entertainment
  • 5:15 p.m. — Keynote speaker Sophia Vuelo with Seng Vang
  • 5:45 p.m. — Closing ceremony

Sponsored by UW-Eau Claire's Office of Multicultural Affairs and HSA, the Hmong Culture Fest is free and open to the public.

To ensure enough complimentary food is available, those planning to attend are asked to R.S.V.P. to Christine Webster at by March 27.

For more information, contact Vang at or 920-265-0266.



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