My name is Lucy and I am Hmong. “Hmong” some may question and say as most people are not aware of this particular ethnicity. Growing up, I’ve always thought my ethnicity was well known and familiar to people as I grew in a community where people embraced the Hmong culture even if they were another race or ethnicity. However, it wasn’t until I was about 11 or 12 where I realized that outside of small cities like where I’m from, people have never heard of the Hmong culture or even know that it’s a certain ethnicity. I remember a time when my sister who attended UC Davis in Souther California came back home to visit, and she told me that people thought she was lying when she told them she was Hmong. “What? Hmong? What is that?” or “Stop lying. There’s no such thing as Hmong” some people said to her. I also remember a time when I went to a K-pop (Korean pop) concert and I was telling my mother about the concert and how I was able to get close to the male artist, and my brother jokingly blurted out, “They’re obsessed with a guy who’s never even heard of the Hmong people or culture. If you told him you were Hmong, he’d probably be like ‘What is that?’ Why? Because They’ve never heard of us before”
Hmong is an ethnicity that falls into the Asian race, however ethnicities such as Korean, Japanese, and Chinese are really well known whereas Hmong has never been heard of before. As much as I love being Hmong, there are times where I just choose to tell people that I’m Asian and avoid telling them my specific ethnicity as I don’t want the typical “Hmong. What is that?” question to pop up.