Elk Grove-South County Democratic Club Host EG Council Member Ly, Hmong Community Leaders

By Dan Schmitt, President, Elk Grove-South County Democratic Club | Special to Elk Grove News | July 18, 2015 | As part of our on...

By Dan Schmitt, President, Elk Grove-South County Democratic Club | Special to Elk Grove News |
July 18, 2015 |

As part of our on-going project of, “learning about and appreciating local ethnic diversity,” last Tuesday night's monthly meeting of the Elk Grove-South County Democratic Club meeting was devoted to learning about Elk Grove and Sacramento's growing and dynamic Hmong community.  

In May, members of the local Sikh community presented and at last month's meeting members of the local Muslim community shared their history and culture.  

Elk Grove City Councilmember Steve Ly, one of the few Hmong in our area actually born in Laos, shared information about the Hmong’s participation in the Vietnam War on the U.S. side. Ly’s father fought for the United States in the war.  

Ly explained that shortly after the United States left Vietnam, the lives of Hmong who fought against the Communist North Vietnam were in danger and began immigrating to the United States, especially Wisconsin, Minnesota and California. Just about all Hmong people in the Elk Grove area are a product of that immigration.

In addition to Ly’s presentation, two coordinators from the Elk Grove Unified School District’s Time of Remembrance (TOR) Oral Histories Project, Gail Desler and Kathleen Watt, provided information and slides covering the impact of the Vietnam War on the Hmong people in Laos.

Additionally, numerous Hmong adults and children, most dressed in traditional clothing, also attended the meeting.  Ly shared his belief that the Hmong children are extremely fortunate to be living in a country like the United States with such freedom and opportunity.  

Ly also discussed how many children attend a local Hmong school on Saturdays to learn the Hmong history and language. The children sang two beautiful Hmong songs for the club members.

The meeting was topped with club members and the Hmong guests enjoying traditional Hmong food and drink.

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