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"Interview with Niam Tais" by Kabao Yang

Kabao Yang was a SEA Roots, Hmong Language student in Fall 2023.

"This project features my maternal grandmother, my niam tais. I am gathering our family origin story, as she came to the United States nearly two decades after my parents. She shares with me her age, when she was born, education, and her journey to the United States and eventually into Minnesota. My personal goal with this project was to be able to communicate with my grandmother. She only communicates to me in Hmong and with my lack of Hmong fluency, we have never been able to truly foster a relationship with each other. I want to have a relationship with my grandmother and learn from her and her experiences. My father has lost both of his biological parents, and so my maternal grandparents are the only biological grandparents we still have, and I know they have so many stories and lessons left to teach us. I also want my maternal grandparents to get to know me better. I have always wanted to learn my grandmother’s story, and am excited to finally have some of the language capacity to do so. This will be the first conversation I’ve ever really had with my grandmother, and I am looking forward to showing her what I’ve learned since taking these Hmong language classes. This is an

individual project." —Kabao Yang

For more information on SEA Roots Language Workshops, check out our program page.


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