earlier this year, after i had hosted a babyshower game in which the hmong new year planning commitee's master of ceremony was also present, my public speaking skills must've impressed because i was approached and invited to co-emcee the hmong new year in an effort to involve a younger presence in a highly visible role.
now, if you know me personally you'd either think one of 2 [polar opposite] things: either, i'm the perfect candidate for the responsibility or i'm the worse person for the job! haha.
being center stage during the hmong new year is nothing new to me. i was a traditional hmong dancer since i was 8 years old and performed regularly at any and all hmong new years in the area for many years, as well as competed in regional competitions in similar environments. with that experience, i was equipped with a high level working knowledge of the logistics involved in making sure the weekend program ran as smoothly as it could... so in theory, i was pretty confident. but then again, when am i not? ;P jk.
yet, even though i've never had an issue with nerves in regard to public speaking... i am what you call a wallflower. therefore, to be presented as a female emcee within the parameters of a traditionally male-dominated cultural event of this caliber where i couldn't be my naturally dorky self was definitely out of my character, and with that challenge in mind, it tipped the scale and i gracefully accepted. lols!
between emceeing the weekend celebration and trying to minimize the behind the scenes fiascos while keeping my public cool, here are some of the shots i was able to capture. if you've never attended a hmong new year, i'd encourage you to go if the opportunity ever presents itself. they're always open to the public and filled with cultural entertainment, food and shopping. at the very least, you'd be supporting the local threads in the tapestry of your community and acquire another new experience!