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Hmong New Year Celebration set for Nov. 14-15 on campus

RELEASED: Nov. 2, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will co-sponsor the annual Hmong New Year celebration Nov. 14-15 in the McPhee Physical Education Center on upper campus.

Hmong New Year is the most popular holiday celebrated by Hmong people. It is a time to start new lives or new beginnings — a time the Hmong focus on casting away old habits and welcoming new behaviors of life.

Faculty, staff, students and community members are invited to share in the festivities, which will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. both days.

Scheduled events include traditional Hmong ball tossing and cultural shows featuring traditional dance performances, folk songs, crafts and traditionally-prepared food.

The ritual of ball tossing, called Pov Pob, is a form of courtship for Hmong youth. If a participant drops the ball, he or she must give a gift to a partner. Once all possessions have been given away, the participant must sing several songs to get his or her possessions back.

Hmong participants are encouraged to wear traditional Hmong dress.

The cost is $3 per person at the door. No alcohol will be sold at the event.

For more information, contact Charles Vue, Office of Multicultural Affairs, at 715-836-3017 or vuecc@uwec.edu; or the Hmong Mutual Assistance Association at 715-832-8420.

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LB/JB/DW

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