Xavier Paj Ntaub
by Xavier Roberts
Journey To Minnesota: A flower story cloth on how I became connected to the Hmong people.
Nyob Zoo! Kuv lu npe hu ua Xavier Roberts. Hnub no kuv qhia nej txog kuv tsev neeg tau tuaj rau lub teb chaws Amesliskas thiab lub xeev Minnesota. Xyoos dhau los, kuv Yawm Txiv thiab Niam Tais nyob nram Puerto Rico. Lawv tuaj ntawm New York hauv Amesliskas. Lawv yug kuv niam hauv New York. Ces lawv mus nyob nram xeev Florida vim hais tias Florida ze tshaj lawv lub teb chaw yug Puerto Rico.
Kuv Yawg thiab kuv pog nyob nram lub teb chaws Bahamas. Kuv leej txiv yug hauv Bahamas. Lawv tuaj ntawd lub xeev Minnesota hauv Amesliskas thaum kuv txiv muaj kaum peb xyoos. Ces lawv mus nyob nram lub xeev Florida vim hais tias Florida ze tshaj lawv lub teb chaws yug Bahamas. Ces kuv leej Niam thiab kuv leej Txiv ntsib hauv lub tsev teev hauv lub xeev Florida. Kuv niam thiab Txiv sib yuav. Kuv muaj ib tus ti laug thiab muam yau. Kuv nyiam lub xeev Florida tab sis peb pluag heev.
Ces thaum kuv muaj cuaj xyoo, kuv tsev neeg mus nyob hauv xeev Minnesota. Ob xyoo dhau lawm, kuv txiv nstib Pao Vaj ntawm Lub Tsev Teev Ntuj hu ua Eastside Church. Pao cov kwv thiab muam yau los noj zaub mov ntawm kuv txiv lub tsev. Ces hnub ntawd peb ua kev phoojywg. Peb tau ua txhua yam ua ke txhua thaum lub lispiam xaus. Lawv qhia kuv tias lawv yog Hmong thiab lawv tsev neeg loj heev. Ces lawv qhia kuv ua tau ib tus tub Hmoob.
Lawv qhia kuv paub ua teb, yaug zaub, thiab muag zaub ntawm lub tshav puam. Lawv txiv yog ib tus txiv neeb ces kuv pab lawv ua neeb thiab hu plig. Kuv pab tsuav nqaij thaum lawv ua tshoob thiab thaum mus lub tsev txias. Lawv coj kuv mus Noj Peb Caug (Hmong New Year) thiab J4 soccer tournament txhua xyoo.
Lawv niam thiab txiv tsis paub hais kuv lub npe ces lawm hus kuv ua Koob Meej. Peb tau paub ib leeg rau nees nkaum xyoo lawm. Tamsis lawv tsis yog kuv cov ntshav, kuv hlub lawv ib yam li kuv.
Hnub no, kuv kawm lus Hmoob vim hais tias kuv cov phoojywg hais lus hmoob thiab kuv tus hluas nkauj lub tsev neeg hais lus hmoob.
Ib hnub yav tom ntej, kuv xav qhia kuv cov menyuam hais lus Hmoob.
Hello! My name is Xavier Roberts. Today I tell you about my family coming to the United States and Minnesota. Years ago, my Grandparents lived in Puerto Rico. They went to New York in America. My mom was born in New York. Then they moved to Florida because Florida was closer to their home country of Puerto Rico.
Grandpa and Grandmother on my dads side, lived in the Bahamas. My father was born in the Bahamas. They came to the state of Minnesota in America when my father was thirteen. Then they moved to Florida because Florida was closer to their home country of the Bahamas. Then my mom and my dad met at a church in Florida. My parents got married. I have an older brother and sister. I like the state of Florida but we were very poor.
When I was nine years old, my family moved to Minnesota. Two years ago, my father met Pao Vang at Eastside Church. Pao and his younger brothers and sisters eat at my father’s house. We became friends that day. We did everything together every weekend. They tell me they are Hmong and their family is big. Then I was introduced to the Hmong people.
They taught me how to garden, rinse, and market vegetables. Their father was a shaman so I helped them do traditional Hmong ceremonies. I serve chopped meat at their wedding and funerals. They take me to the New Year and the J4 soccer tournament every year.
Their parents did not know how to say my name so they called me Koob Meej. We have known each other for twenty years. Though they are not my blood, I love them as my own family.
Today, I learn Hmong because my friends speak Hmong and my girlfriend’s family speaks Hmong.
One day in the future, I want to teach my kids to speak Hmong.