ST. PAUL, MN – In a secret board room somewhere in the depths of the Twin Cities, the Hmong 18 Clans Council unanimously voted to eliminate the “H” from the word Hmong. Citing the long standing issues with the general public mispronouncing the word, they voted to make it easier for the regular person to say the word. Chue Pao Hang, of the Hang clan, was glad that the Council was able to take a giant step towards correct pronunciation, “I have had great difficulty with my name, so it wasn’t easy growing up being asked by teachers if I was ‘Ha-mung’. Or if I was Mongolian. That is not the correct saying of my heritage! We are Mong!”
Critics speak out in protest of the letter dropping decision, but offer no other solution or compromise. “In the Hmong language, the H is critical in helping enunciate the correct word. Otherwise you risk saying another word, like watch or going. These old guys are ruining our language, and there’s nothing we can do about it”, responds Mong Xiong, a Language and Arts student at the University of Minnesota. He also mentions that his name is spelled correctly and does not need an H.
Whether or not this historical decision will help people like Chue Pao or Mong cope with their difficulties in being called the correct thing, it is important to note that our leaders are looking out for our own social acceptance. By eliminating the awkwardness of fumbling with saying our ethnicity, we can now concentrate on communicating clearly on other issues, like who’s hot or who’s not? ■