Impact of younger generation seen at Hmong New Year

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hmong New Year has long presented the perfect opportunity for families to share their culture with their kids.

But you can really feel and see the impact of the younger generation when you take a closer look at the modern fashions and listen to their music.

Charles Yang drew a crowd at the Fresno fairgrounds in southeast Fresno. Folks celebrating Hmong New Year enjoyed his fingerstyle method of playing the guitar.

Yang said, "A lot of people come up and tell me that I've never heard anything like this before, and that's what I'm trying to do. Kind of expose to Hmong community to this kind of stuff."

Several musical artists were familiar to the visitors because they watch their videos on YouTube.

It's helpful to artists like Maiyia Vue, who was selling her CDs.

Vue said, "I've met people from all different states, and they come, and they're really supportive. They support all the artists, so it's really great."

Hmong New Year is as colorful a celebration you will find anywhere with all the bright fabrics and shiny coins.

But we noticed the younger generation putting their own fashionable spin on the traditional outfits.

Jennifer Vue explained, "Trying to make it more modern these days, yeah. I say they just want a little difference."

Hmong youth still like to dress up for the New Year celebration, but many of them prefer to show more of their own personality as they blend the old with the new.

Rick Yang of Milwaukee, Wis., said, "Yeah we put our own design on it. It's different now because my clothes, as you can see, is different compared to everyone else's."

Vendors were out to make sure shoppers young and old could find everything they needed to make new outfits.

But they're also here to feed the masses with traditional favorites like papaya salad as well as the "pho-ritto," which blends cultures by incorporating ingredients from pho into a burrito. It is the best of both worlds.
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