Hmong female student seeks cultural balance

UW-Eau Claire student, Linda Xiong, explains how her Hmong cultural beliefs and traditions impacts her education. © Sydney Purpora 2016

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student Linda Xiong hopes to use her marketing skills and cultural background to accurately portray the Hmong community in the media. © Sydney Purpora 2016

By Sydney Purpora

In the Hmong culture, women are traditionally expected to stay home and care for their family. The role of homemaker conflicts with the desire to get an education.

Linda Xiong, a junior majoring in marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, said straddling two cultures can be difficult. She said keeping the Hmong elements in her life is important because it can impact others and get them to express their own culture, too.

“I still eat the traditional foods and sometimes I’ll talk in Hmong sometimes here and there,” Xiong said. “Keeping those elements is really important because they can travel to other people.”

With more than 300 Hmong students on campus, the university provides an organization, Hmong Student Association, for students to share and learn about the Hmong culture and their role in it.

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