“I’m a blend of American, Hmong and Wisconsinite.”

Photos by Megan Monday

Thong | Wausau, WI

“I want Adam to grow up feeling a part of American society. I want him to grow up knowing he’s fully American. But, in the back of his mind, he also knows that he is Hmong. I want him to know our values. I want him to know his parents’ and his grandparents’ traditions. American and Hmong together.”

Thong and Adam are a great pair. Adam, Thong’s young son, was a little shy and wore a beautiful big necklace of Hmong design. Thong is a community leader in Wausau, and a central passion of his is to bring Hmong community members together and aid in keeping their traditions vibrant. It’s important work. We’re thankful he’s doing it.

“There are 10 or 11 Hmong clans here in town. Some people stick only with their clan. But for me, being a first generation American growing up in two different cultures, I realize that in the big picture, we can’t isolate. As the saying goes, ‘United we stand.’ So I try to go to all the Hmong events, in all the different clans. I want to enhance the Hmong community all together.”

Thong | Wausau, WI

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