Our chapter now has 16 members. We started our year by touring the exhibit, “Appreciating China: Gifts from Bruce and Ruth Dayton,” an extraordinary exhibit given to the Minneapolis Art Institute. After the tour, we gathered at the Rainbow Chinese Restaurant for dinner and discussion.
An added bonus was the presence of Judy Grodin, our PPSEAWA international representative to the UN. She shared with us information about our association with the UN and her role there.
At another program, Mana Vue, a high school counselor with the St. Paul Schools spoke on trying to balance her life between traditional Hmong culture and American culture. She was born in Laos and came to the US as a small child. She married in high school and had her first child while still in high school. She has a MS in school counseling. Besides working fulltime and raising a family, she is currently studying to be a family therapist. Her goal is to someday work as a family therapist in the St. Paul/Minneapolis Hmong community.
Roseanne Byrne led an excellent discussion of three interesting books:
- The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman - the story of a Hmong family caught in a cultural assimilation web while dealing with the illness of their daughter.
- Women of the Silk, by Gail Tsukiyama, set in pre-war China and portraying the life of a young woman working in a silk factory and choosing new paths for her life.
- Falling Leaves, by AdelineYen Mah, is the author’s memoir of growing up in China and Hong Kong.
At another meeting, we had a wonderful meal of lemon grass chicken, shrimp spring rolls, and homemade chips at a Vietnamese cooking lesson led by Hoa Pham.