Drawing – Happy New Year
The earth quake that hit home here the other night was definitely something thing! It was so big that it shifted the whole country and it was felt throughout the whole country. Around midnight last night, the moon was at it’s biggest and shined so bright. I was a little shaken and have never experienced something like this before. Even my husband who has been here throughout his whole life has never felt something so strong in this region. We’re both doing well and we’re safe. However, for the many who were hit, I hope that at least you’re all safe.
On another note, nyob zoo xyoo tshiab! That means, happy new year in Hmong. Every year around November/ December it will be time to ‘noj tsiab,’ meaning celebrate/ eat/feast for the new year. Unlike the Chinese new year in which they celebrate the spring festival/ or new moon, the Hmong new year falls at the end of the harvesting season. This follows the harvest season in Laos/Thailand. This new year is to celebrate everyone’s hard work in the fields. Every clan will hold their own ceremonies throughout these months. However, the festivities are held as a community. In the United States, the Hmong new year lasts up to 3 days, however, in Thailand, Laos, and China it may last over a month long as different villages celebrate the new year. My family’s ceremony was held a week ago or so, but I didn’t get to partake in it. Hopefully next year or so I hope to join in again and share the experience with my husband.If you’re interested in Hmong people, feel free to google Hmong, or Hmong new year. There’s plenty of other information there that will take too long for me to explain them all to you.
Living in New Zealand I’m not able to join in for the Hmong New Year. Although there is a community of Hmong people in Australia, and I could go there to celebrate! But it just wouldn’t be the same since I won’t have my traditional attire. Being Hmong and living in New Zealand where there’s no Hmong community here, it’s always hard for me to explain to people what Hmong is. Every time I get asked the typical question “Where are you from?” I always say the States, but being Asian, this answer is never enough.. So I tell them I’m Hmong. And the next question is always, “What’s that?”
They’re always confused and I understand that it’s because our community is of the minority. Unless you live in the United States, or live in the countries where a big population of Hmong community thrives, such as Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, bits of Australia, France, Canada, Argentina & Germany. It may be small communities that live there, but I don’t know for sure..
Sometimes it’s great that I get to educate strangers about my cultural background and history. However, over time it gets a little disheartening because, no matter how great it feels to teach others it just makes me realise how alone I am in this country. And no matter how many times you explain to one person, the next one will always assume you’re Chinese, or of another Asian race. The stereotypes just keeps going. I guess that’s where it pisses me off sometimes being aboard… But you can only explain, and teach, and hope that your conversation with them will make them want to research and learn more. You can only hope.
It’s great that I do have my husband with me, but it’s a bit lonely when you can’t have someone who can relate with you & no matter how many friends you have, it just doesn’t feel the same. It’s a bit complicated to explain but it’s something you’ll have to experience yourself to know what I’m talking about. It’s great that I’m living a new life, and I do enjoy it, don’t get me wrong! But it’s just every once in a while, that homesickness just kicks in, and it really brings you down. Slowly, it’s getting better, but at the end of the day, I’m just making the most of everyday.
Anyways, in my contribution to celebrating the Hmong New Year, noj peb caug ‘eat 30’ I drew a picture of a Hmong girl sewing ‘paj ntaub’ meaning flower embroidery, flower cloth – in translation it’s like cross-stitching. Our traditional outfits consists of silver jewellery, skirts/ or pants, blouse, and hat. Depending on where your clan is from, the outfits are different.
The photos are of the different types of necklaces, and hats that Hmong outfits are like for the women.
I love drawing in black and white, but I decided to try coloring again. I put the two together so you can judge. I’m still trying to figure out which version I like. Which do you prefer??
Much love, xo.
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These photos and drawings are originals by Nalee Bailey – DreamDrawLove (Nov 2016). Please do not claim them as your own. If you wish to share, you may provide a link to my blog www.dreamdrawlove.com. Thank you for being respectful!