Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I love my online friends

We all have friends, we meet from childhood to the present.

Whether or not, we actually hang out with them to go shopping or just chit-chat. We have them as a friend for a reason.

My main passion is movies, celebs, music, fashion, something in that nature. I love the entertainment world. I'm not an expert to judge but I put my heart and soul into that.

I grew up watching movies, mostly Bollywood. I devoted a whole blog just for Indian cinema.

Hmong people, in general, watch different types of film industries from Hong Kong, Thai, Korean, to India (Hindi). Probably because we don't have a country of our own.

Even though my Hmong friends do enjoy watching movies, I haven't found one who shared my passion for films, in general. Not even a non Hmong person.

I turned to Yahoo Clubs, then Groups, whatever they are called now to read about the latest news and gossips. Then, I found a message forums, particularly Bollywhat. I love it. Many non Desi from all over the globe uniting together.

Atlanta is one of the few cities in the 90s that had a Bollywood theater. Yet, I have not found a Desi friend to hang out with. I take that back. I found her few years ago when she married and moved to Atlanta. But since then, she moved again. :( I miss her. We met through Bollywhat too.

Finally, I turned to blogging. I wanted to share my passion through pictures and my silly randomness. That was a whole new world. With blogging, I can be who I want to be. I didn't have to go rules from a forum. I could blab nonsense if I wanted to.

With screen caps, I could show people what a film could offer. Share with others my love of films. Write about the soundtrack. I cannot live without music, whenever I cook, I have to have music on.

Some of my "real" life friends think it's silly for me to be in my own world of films. But they don't know how good it feels to escape from reality sometimes.

They don't share or understand the love I have for movies.

Heck, if my hubby and kids understand that is a part of me, I shouldn't care. Right?

But I love my online friends. I love making new friends too. I hope to meet each and everyone of them one day. We connect in a totally different type of world.

That's why I am always willing to share my passion and send out films I enjoy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Less than two months before my Twin Cities vacation


I. Can. Not. Wait!

I am even more excited now that I re-connected with a few of my cousins on Facebook!!!

Not only that, I get to meet some online friends who love Indian cinema as much as I do. Yes, that's more than Bollywood (Hindi)! We're gonna talk about my favorite Telugu hottie, Allu Arjun :D

The main reason why I was going to MN was to see my first cousin (from my mom's side) daughter get married. I've watched her grown up. I just had to go. First of all, she was sweet enough to work out a wedding date for me to just attend. I love her that much!

So no, I am *not* going for the annual Hmong July 4th tournament. I have no reason to go for that. It would be a waste of my time. I am not going to play volleybal. I am not single. So it would be really boring for me.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Experience at the traditional Hmong funeral

This is for those who were curious to know about my thoughts I previous posted about here.

The funeral home is an hour away from where I live. I felt like I was going out of town. I went there solo.

One of my Hmong friends (let's call him C) who know the Hmong tradition very well advised me not to bring my 10-years-old daughter because of possible spirits still flying and have not settled yet. He told me that kids that are 12 and younger shouldn't be at the funeral. One reasons why he doesn't bring his kids. That startled me a bit so I didn't want to take a chance and bring my daughter. Not sure if I totally believe it or not, but since hubby was home, he said he will watch the kids.

My mom mainly wanted me to come there around dinner time to help cook and clean up. Of course, most importantly, "to show face" for them.

Honestly, I felt like a super star there. On my arrival there, everyone was happy to see me there and greeted me. The older Hmoob Hawj ladies told me they appreciated me for coming. I couldn't come earlier since my husband was working but came in time to help set up for dinner.

Even though I am very open-minded to trying many cuisines from all over the world, I am very picky about certain foods and meats. Hmong people eat a lot of pork. At funerals, a cow is sacrifice as an offering. I really don't know the whole meaning behind it. C explained a little about it saying that the cow will bring good luck in the afterlife. He is the most knowledgeable of all the Hmong people my age. His wife and him are the sweetest people I've ever met!! I plan to learn more about the reasons behind the animal sacrifices and blog about it.

My sister and her sister-in-law (from her side) were telling me that I came right on time because they just help finish cooking. They were telling me that the funeral food was yummy. When I looked at it, hmmm, I didn't think so. Again, I am really picky. I don't eat beef and most pork (depending on how it's cook but mostly I don't eat pork). There was no chicken there! So I opted out from eating. But I did find some apples and coconut-flavored sticky rice wrapped in banana. Now, that was yummy!

We were in the "house" with the kitchen area for parties (I guess). At the actual funeral home, the men were playing Hmong instrument called the qeej.

I didn't want to be rude and take pictures there so I found the following pictures online.

Check out this website for more pics!

I found this video on YouTube at a Hmong funeral, the guy is chanting and then someone will play the qeej

If you want, you could watch the video below too. The above video, you couldn't really hear the qeej playing with all the noise. This is just a video I found on YouTube with a Hmong guy playing the qeej, not at a funeral.

The girl who lost her mom earlier this year, and now just lost her dad saw me and talked me. She told me she was very grateful that I came. She is pregnant with twins! Trying to hold back tears, she was telling me that her mom wanted her to have more kids (she has two boys right now). Wanting to surprise her mom with the news that she was pregnant, it was too late to tell her :( Her dad knew about her pregnancy but he passed away not being able to even see them :( She is pregnant now with twin girls!!

All I could do was hug her. This time with tears in her eyes, she tells me that my parents have been there for her through both funerals. She is happy that I came and thinks of me as a sister. Wow, I was so touched, I didn't know what to say. We chatted for a few more minutes. Her husband came by to tell her she is needed in the other building.

From what I see, there is so much work and effort put in the Hmong funeral from everyone. The men takes care of the preparations of the actual funeral. While the women, cook and clean for everyone. They prepared food for everyone. The traditional Hmong funeral (Shaman) is three days long! Many of them stay overnight. It is a 24-hours event!

It's not really  much of an experience for me at the traditional Hmong funeral. It was good to up and not let my parents down. Many of the older Hmong ladies haven't seen me in a long time and told me it was good to see me.

Ever since I stopped playing volleyball, I don't see many Hmong people anymore. Sometimes I miss it. Sometimes I don't. I find that for some reason, many of us don't like to "hang" around people of our own kind to avoid gossip.

Ironically, I hear this from the Hmong girls who are actually married to Hmong men!! At least I have an excuse (or at least I use it), my husband isn't Hmong. I don't hear about all the events or functions. Yes, my parents are very involved in the Hmong community. I know that. They don't tell me everything!

Okay, I'm off topic....

Yes, I am glad I went to the funeral to support my clan. I need to do it more often. Sometimes you don't realize the impact you have on others, even if you think it's very minimal.

Friday, April 23, 2010


This weekend was going to be fun but now it's raining and gloomy.

My mom wanted me to go help out with this funeral. I don't know the girl that well but we have mutual friends. The sad part is her mother passed way earlier this year. I didn't even go to the funeral either. In less than four months later, her dad passed away. Even though, I don't know her that well, my mom has asked me to come since I didn't go to the funeral earlier this year.

She is a Hmoob Hawj. In the Hmong culture, it's good to stick with your clan for support for financial and emotional reasons. I never understood that. I was debating whether or not to go to the funeral tomorrow. My mom wanted me to help out with the food preparations. She said to me, "you need to know all this when we pass away."

I was like, are you kidding me? First of all, we grew up as Christians and you want me to learn the traditional Shaman way? What kind of funeral do you really want?

However, I gave in. I do need to learn more about my culture. What's the use of me trying to educate others about my culture when I am not even going to participate and help out? Why do I even have a blog to keep up with the Hmong news? Action speaks louder than words.

When I was younger, I used to want to deny anything Hmong because I was lost in a world of two cultures. Modernization and Americanizing won. I don't regret my decision. Or my decision to be with a non Hmong man. I love my husband. Without him, I am not who I am today.

With the love and support from him, since he has never asked me not to participate in anything Hmong. I've always continued to go to Hmong events and functions. Even without him. He has never made me go to Cambodian events. My kids think they are more Hmong than Cambodian and even know how to speak more Hmong than their full-blooded cousins!!!

I do fear that one day, the Hmong culture will slowly be dimish, just like the Native-American (heck, we don't even know what to call them, they were killed off!!) culture. The youngers today don't even care much about the culture. They can't even mutter more than two phrases besides "Kuv Hlub Koj" and "Nyob Zoo."

In the end, I can relate to the Hmoob Hawj girl because she doesn't have family in Georgia. Even I don't. Only my immediate family. So in the end, it's all about supporting your clan, doesn't matter if you know the person.

My parents are just very involved in the Hmong community. They've been that way ever since we moved to Georgia in the 1980s.

So basically, yeah, I'm popular, just kidding. I'm only known as Mr. & Mrs. Her's oldest daughter, the really dark one, haha

Everyday, I'm still learning about the Hmong culture. I found this Wikipedia article on the traditional Hmong funeral. I know not everything on Wiki is accurate but this is more than I ever knew!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Interesting Time Zone facts

While time zones are based on lines of longitude, some lines are drawn to avoid populated areas or to follow borders, and some countries have added their own variations because they don't want to be divided into several zones. In a few regions, the time kept is not one of the 24 standard time zones because half-hour or quarter-hour differences are in effect there. Variations also occur because different countries or regions have adopted daylight saving time.

China is the largest country with only one time zone (it should span five). That would be like New York, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles all being in the same time zone. India is the second largest country with only one.

Russia adheres to its standard time zones except the entire country is on permanent daylight saving time and so is an hour ahead of their actual zones.

Australia uses three time zones; the eastern and western zones adhere to their assigned time, but the central zone is a half-hour ahead. In the Middle East and South Asia, several countries also use half-hour time zones.

In South Asia, if you follow a straight line west along the 27ยบ latitude you will move back and forth across time zones: from Pakistan UTC +5 hours, India +5:30, Nepal +5:45, India (Sikkim) +5:30, China +8, Bhutan +6, India (Arunachal Pradesh) +5:30, Myanmar +6:30.
Russia has the most time zones (11), followed by the U.S. with nine (six for states and three for territories), and Canada with six.
You can actually be in three time zones at the same time, at the spot where the borders of Norway/Finland, Norway/Russia, and Russia/Finland meet.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

April's Fool!

Today is April's Fool.

And no, this post is no April's Fool joke.

In the past few months, I've been very depressed. Mainly in myself. I am very hard on myself. I think I can do better with my decisions in life.

I've been really lazy and lacking confidence with everything. Every. Single. Thing. I. Can. Think. Of.

I cannot even blog properly anymore....

Postives in my life right now - hubby & kids

Without my hubby, I am nothing. He always brings a smile to my face. Kids keep me in check.