My Name is Hmoob: Call Me “Freedom”

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My name is not “Exotic…”

My name is Freedom

My people are worth more than eye

Candy and shallow praise,

My people have no home, no country

We are from stolen territory

We are now sojourners in foreign lands

But we will not fit in the palm of a hand

To be controlled,

We live in resistance.

Die in resistance

We are offspring of Genocide

Survivors of imposed assimilations

Our legacy is the blood that streams through my veins,

Through large arteries

Pumping stories of forgotten people,

 *Hmong*

Kuv lub npe yog Ani Siab Yaj

(My name is Jonathan Shia Yaj)

Kuv Pog hu kuv Ani vim hais tias kuv yoj Vajtswv tu khoom plig

(My Grandma calls me Jonathan, because I am a “Gift from God”)

Kuv yah Shia vim hais tias kuv muaj siab, kuv lub siab siab tshaj

(I am Shia [heart] because I have life, my heart is the highest)

Lawv hais thia kuv paug hlub

(People say that I know how to love)

….Kuv lub peb yog Shia

(My name is Shia)

….Kuv lub peb yog kuv tsev neeg

(My name is my family)

….Kuv lub peb yog HMOOB

(My name is Hmong)

* “Hmong” means free

* “Shia/Siab” means heart, tall/high, life

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