Catawba Valley Community College was packed with Hmong flavor on Friday.
Students and residents representing the Hmong culture flocked to CVCC’s Student Center on Friday to dance, sing and perform for area citizens.
The Hmong — an ethnic group from southern China, Laos and Vietnam — has its third largest American population in the Greater Hickory area.
The Hmong “New Year Celebration,” held annually around the American Thanksgiving holiday, was the theme of CVCC’s Multicultural Series on Friday.
While the region’s Hmong population held its official New Year Celebration last week in Newton, Hmong students and residents gave a large CVCC audience a brief view of the annual event on Friday.
“This is all about different cultures and different regions coming together,” said Jerry Vang, a Hmong CVCC student. “There is a large population of Hmong students here, and we are trying to teach people about our culture.”
In addition to a cultural dance from Challenger Early College High School’s Hmong Dance Troupe, the celebration also included Hmong story tellers, musical interludes, a fashion show and guest speaker Kay Ying Lo.
Friday’s Hmong celebration is one of five multicultural events held at CVCC each year, said Steve Hunt, executive director of CVCC’s Office of Multicultural Affairs.
“One-third of the population is minority at CVCC,” Hunt said, adding that CVCC is the only community college in North Carolina to house an office for multicultural affairs.
In addition to the Hmong celebration on Friday, the college's multicultural series has also featured the Native American and Hispanic cultures. Next year, the series will highlight Black History Month and a day of international understanding.
For more information on CVCC’s multicultural series, visit www.cvcc.edu/About_Us/Multicultural_Office.