Vendors see low spending at Hmong New Year

FRESNO, California

But younger Hmong are the main customers at a t-shirt booth that features shirts with slogans like, "Love Me I'm Hmong" and "I'm Hmong, not Mongolian". Proprietor James Vang explains. "If I go anywhere else outside of Fresno nobody really knows what Hmong people are and so whenever I'm asked what are you I say Hmong and the response is always like, oh, is that Mongolian, so that's why I made this shirt."

And even non-Hmong, like Laura Semiak of Fresno are finding something to buy. "I like buying Hmong movies, actually, I think they are really interesting. A lot of them are love stories, I've found. They are really interesting to watch."

Locally grown sugar cane is always a big seller. Its ten dollars for a bundle of a few two foot long sticks of cane.

Despite the huge crowds some vendors told us business is a bit slow. Oscar Espinoza of Kerman is having a tough time selling herbal remedies. "There's a lot of people just walking and looking and there's not really a lot of buyers."

One vendor who's not complaining is Roger Vang. He sells Mexican Ice Cream, and Churros. "Hmong people seem to love the Mexican food."

The Hmong International New Year's Celebration continues at the Fresno Fairgrounds through January 1st.

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