||Txerthoj Vang and Family in traditional Hmong Costume.
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||Group photograph of Txerthoj Vang center with family (left to right): Yengleng Van, Chan Vang, Tshajlij Vang, Txerthoj Vang, Kia Thao, Hlee Vang, and Qhnouqou Vang in traditional Hmong Costume at their home in Oshkosh. 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: Number4. That's alive in United States. In Oshkosh here.
J: That was taken in Oshkosh.
T: Yeah. I think in 19 ah, probably, no this one I'm sure is 1999. Because this is in my old house before I moved to the house I bought right now. And I know that this one's 1999.
J: You are in the middle.
T: I am the middle one.
J: Your wife is to your …
T: My wife is to my left hand side. By the pictures. And the next one is my older daughter who was born in Thailand. And the little ones, between them there is my younger daughter who was born in Oshkosh here. And on the right hand of my pictures is my oldest, my oldest son is the one away on the left-hand side. The one next to me is the second one. And the little one down here, that is my youngest son. And my name is Txerthoj. My name is Her Vang when I came to this country but we call the married name. When you're young, your parents gave you a name, the [born?] name. And when you marry, by Hmong culture, you have to change your name or add little word, symbol with your name. That's why mine is, I just keep little word there.
J: So your name before you married was?
T: Like a "her", like a lady. "Her." H E R.
J: And after marriage?
T: After marry I change to Txerthoj. T X E R T H O J. That's what I change it to. And you see, I keep the R. It's still there. So that they know that my original name is still some letters there. And that's the married name.
J: Do women change their name too like that, after they get married?
T: No. Actually they not called their young name like Kia. Usually when she marry, I call Kia. Maybe parents but general people, they say: Mrs. Txerthoj. They call her this. They call mostly.
J: But that would still be her father's family name, her last name.
T: Yes. Family name. And my daughter would be, my youngest daughter's [noo koo] because…
J: Could you spell her name?
T: Yes. Noo koos a little hard here. Q H N O U Q O U. Qhnouqou. That means "star." And because I thought Hlee is the moon and I should name the younger one star so they could get along with each other.
J: And does it work?
T: Yeah. And I think, you read Northwestern newspaper the week before last week. She talking about why name Qhnouqou and why her name is Hlee. You can have that. I have a copy of those too.
J: Your daughter has an article there, I mean a column in the paper.
T: Yes. Because she work in Oshkosh newspaper so Northwestern newspaper and she like it. And my son who is next to me is Yengleng. Y E N G L E N G. Vang, same last name.
And the next one is Chan. We were just talking about that. C H A N. And their little brother there is Charlie but it is still a little different. By Hmong word. So that mean Tshajlij.
J: And it's spelled T S H A J L I J?
T: Yeah. That mean Tshajlij, that means "challenge" you know, smart, do everything good. I like to use it because we can call Tsjajlij Charlie because it's the same pronounce. So it's easy.
J: So it's but is it the same pronunciation for?
T: Same. Charlie.
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Mothers & children
Emigration & immigration
||Txerthoj Vang and Family in traditional Hmong Costume
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009