I was inspired to write the story two years ago. I walked into a Hmong-owned insurance office near the school I work for to find it decorated like my grandfather’s den: deer antlers, wildlife photography, and pictures of hunters in blaze orange all along the wall.
In my mind, such outdoor interests were almost exclusively the domain for white Minnesotans. So I began to explore the link between the cold-weather state I live in and this culture all the way from the Southeast Asian tropics. I’d find that the commonalities between the Hmong and Minnesotan culture only grew the more the investigated. Religion, entrepreneurship, agriculture, fishing.
This story about the Hmong in Minnesota is about an uncanny blend of two cultures most wouldn’t have thought would match. It’s about how we have in our state a model for the rest of the world, as humanity continues to integrate and so has the potential to learn and grow so much from one another.
On this snowy day (here in Minnesota anyway), please enjoy the story here: http://www.startribune.com/little-marvel-on-the-prairie-hmong-in-minnesota-exemplify-the-melting-pot/405703276/ Or find it in print in the Opinion section of today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper