March 24, 2014
The Northwest Language Cultural Center presents “Stories of the Iu Mienh” in the “Language of Food Series” on Saturday, April 5. Early reservations are recommended; call 360-321-2101.
The tentative general schedule for “Stories of the Iu Mienh” is
2 – 5 p.m. Cooking class on traditional Mienh cuisine
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Social hour
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Mien Feast (buffet style)
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Music, performances, dance, story telling
The Iu Mien have been described as “slow-motion nomads.” They are the indigenous hill-tribes of Laos and Thailand. Their complicated story began several thousand years ago in the hilly provinces of what is now China and brought them, through many ordeals, to the Pacific coast of the U.S. as late as the 1980s.
Like many refugees who arrived before them, they faced the immediate challenges brought on by the new language and cultural norms. Unlike the Lao, Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees who resettled during the same period, the Iu Mien arrived with no written language, no exposure to formal education and little experience with wage labor.
Though their former self-sufficiency has been tested in the technically advanced economy of urban America, the Iu Mien have retained and nurtured an important aspect of their culture: collective or group-oriented action. Major events including births, weddings, funerals and New Year’s celebrations provide opportunity for Iu Mien community to meet. The growing of herbs and vegetables is important for the older generation of Iu Mien seeking to utilize their skills and knowledge in a land that emphasizes youth and modernity.
The event will be held at 5023 Langley Road, Langley.
Come and hear the stories of this remarkable group of people!