By CARLOS GALLEGO
AAP staff writer
HASTINGS, Minn. (June 23, 2012) — This fifth annual Yang family gathered was held late last month, with more than 300 extended-family attending the celebration at St. Croix Bluff Regional Park.
Previously for nearly 30 years many gathered as part of the Hmong Community United Methodist Church celebration. Hmong Community United Methodist Church located in St. Paul’s Westside is among the oldest Hmong churches in the United States.
Now, as the Yang clan has moved throughout the Twin Cities no longer do all clan members attend at Hmong Community United Methodist Church so clan leaders decided to organize a picnic/annual celebration independent of any specific church.
This year’s celebration was planning committee consisted of Bee Yang, Chair, Tony Yang, Simba Yang and Money Yang. The purpose of the annual gathering is to reconnect all family members and to recognize the accomplishments of some of the clan’s emerging leaders.
Aside from a mix of traditional food dishes as larb and purple sticky rice there were American favorite’s such as burgers, hot dogs and chips.
The organizer’s also coordinated a scholarship awards ceremony. This year’s recipients included in Christian Yang and Angel Yang who will be entering college at St. Cloud State and St. Thomas.
The family recognized its accomplished photographer, Lisa Thao who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Art from the University of Minnesota a Bachelor’s degree. Some of Lisa’s work is currently on display at the prestigious Mill City Museum in downtown Minneapolis (http://mnbhutanese.wordpress.com/2012/02/).
They also held several sporting contests with trophies and medals for the winners. Many competed in volleyball, kickball and croquet, while others chose to try their luck fishing as they caught several bass and walleyes.