After 2 cancellations due to weather, cultural night persists Sunday

Two months after the originally scheduled time for the event, Hmong Night 2014 shared its unique culture Sunday with Oregon State University.

The event was set to take place in January, but the power went out in the Memorial Union shortly after it began.

At the time, the coordinators chose to continue with the event, hoping the power would come back on. Roughly 250 guests sat in emergency lighting for 15 minutes before the group decided to continue with the dinner, which was served and eaten quickly before the crowd was evacuated from the building just after 7 p.m.

The event was postponed again following the snowstorm, which took place in February.

"We weren't frustrated," said Mao Thao, the president of the Hmong OSU group. "We were just kind of disappointed. It was more hectic."

Marilynn Cha, the chief marketing officer for the Hmong OSU group, said the postponements were a blessing in disguise.

"We had some problems at first with funding, but we got that covered," Cha said. "The good thing about it is we got more time to practice and more time to make the show a lot better."

When the event was finally able to take place, roughly 100 people gathered in the Memorial Union ballroom to enjoy the cultural festivities. The event was themed around the Hmong Television Network, which framed the skits, performances and presentations as segments of a television network.

The first segment of the evening introduced the audience to the Hmong culture and history. The president of the Hmong OSU group, Mao Thao, gave presentations on the Hmong OSU group, the history of how the Hmong people came to the United States, and an introduction to the Hmong alphabet.

Hmong student Sonny Chang then performed two songs, before Thao took the stage once again to recite a poem written by a fellow student.

Zy Xiong, a 2005 OSU alumna, came to the event to watch her younger brother perform.

"This is the first time I've been back since I graduated," Xiong said. "There's been a lot of changes, but really good. The commercials are definitely entertaining and the way the program is set up is very creative."

The event kept a comedic tone throughout the evening, showcasing several parody advertisements and a humorous reenactments of a Hmong folktale about the story of the rooster.

More students performed vocal performances, including a group of Hmong students performing as a pop music boy band and a duet performed by students Connie Chang and Shoua Vang.

Kaitlyn Kohlenberg

Campus reporter

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