PIONEERS AND IMMIGRANTS
Txerthoj Vang, Kia Thao, Hlee, and Chan Vang in traditional Hmong Costume.

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Record 200/261
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Collection Txerthoj Vang
Copyright Vang, Txerthoj
Description Txerthoj Vang, Kia Thao, Hlee, and Chan Vang in traditional Hmong Costume.

Year Range from 1981
Film Size 35 mm
Year range to 1981
Medium Photographic Paper
Neg # 22670
Notes Group photograph of Txerthoj Vang, Kia Thao, Hlee, and Chan Vang in traditional Hmong Costume at Beinvenai Refugee Camp, Thailand. Txerthoj Vang was born in Hatai, Laos on September 15, 1956, of Hmong ancestory. His mother's name is Mai Xiong. During the Vietnam War, his brother and Uncle fought for the CIA against the Communist. Txerthoj became a soldier in 1969 at the age of thirteen. In 1978 he escaped from Laos to Thailand and was a refugee with his family at Beinvenai Refuggee Camp. He worked at the American Embessy in Bangkok. In 1979 he married Kia Thao. The couple had three children born there: daughter Hlee (1980) and sons Chan (1981) and Yengleng (circa 1983). In 1987 they immigrated to the United States and settled in Oshkosh, WI. The couple had two more children, born in Oshkosh: daughter Qhnoqou (1991) and son Tehajlij (1993). Txerthoj has worked for the Hmong, Laos Association and since 1997 has been a biligual Teaching Assistant for the Oshkosh Public Schools. He has returned to Laos three times to vist his family members. From the oral history interview with Txerthoj:

T: Number three. After we married for I think one years…

J: Two years.

T: Oh, two years. Then we have two kids. The oldest sister that my hand, that my wife's holding, and this is my second kid, or the oldest son. That's the oldest son. And because my name is Txerthoj and my wife's name is Kia, Kia Thao…

J: You're gonna have to spell that please.

T: K I A and Thao, T H A O. Yeah. And my daughter is Hlee. H L E E. That means "moon."

J: That means moon?

T: Yeah. Moon.

J: And your son?

T: My son Chan, C H A N. Because he was born on Monday. So Monday, Thai word they say [mon chan]. That's why I call, her name is Chan, er, his name is Chan. So Chan for Monday in Thai word.

J: So in Thai again, Monday is?

T: Chan. So Chan can be moon too. But Thai words are Chan, is it Chan, is moon. In Hmong, moon is Hlee. And so that's why I use, my son's name is Chan. So Chan.

J: Well, when did you learn how to speak Thai?

T: Just when I came to Thailand. So I started to learn Thai. I learned Thai very fast too. I teach Thai and, in Ban Vinai camp. And also teach Lao too. Because I studied Lao from Laos. And I came to Thailand and studied Thai and I know their both language.

J: And Hmong is its own language.

T: Yes. Hmong its own language.

J: So at this time, you knew three languages.

T: Yeah. I knew three languages.

J: And just, so very interesting. And then you chose a Thai word to name your son because you were in Thailand.

T: I chose a Hmong name, moon for my oldest daughter and I choose Thai word for moon for my son.

J: And I just wanted to point out, talk a little about the costumes you and your wife are wearing, all of you actually.

T: This one you see a little stripe because the stripe Hmong. This is from north part of the Laos, we call [Whoa Pon] province. We use a little stripe, you can see there that you can recognize the stripe. And the other one looks different. These kind of dress we can wear it all time. Because this one is not traditional but this is the way Hmong people wear in Laos. So we can wear like this any time.
Object ID P2003.52.3
Object Name Print, Photographic
People Vang, Txerthoj
Thao, Kia
Vang, Hlee
Vang, Chan
Place Beinvenai Refugee Camp, Thailand
Print size 3 1/2" x 4"
Subjects Group photographs
Mothers & children
Hmong
Laosians
Refugee camps
Refugees
Families
Costumes
Title Txerthoj Vang, Kia Thao, Hlee, and Chan Vang in traditional Hmong Costume.
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009