By comparing changes in New Year’s celebrations among Hmong in two diasporic communities in Laos and the U.S., this paper examines the temporal and spatial aspects of cultural authenticity in the context of different nation-states and homelands. While the Hmong community in Laos has experienced considerable reduction and impoverishment of their New Year’s over time, their co-ethnics in the United States have expanded it into an elaborate and commercialized festival. Such modifications of this cultural tradition reflect differing levels of economic development and the multicultural ideologies of these two nation-states. Because both diasporic Hmong communities realize that their New Year’s has dramatically changed from the past, neither claims to have retained the “authentic” tradition. Instead, they produce discourses about imagined authenticity which presume that a more “authentic” version of their New Year’s existed not only temporally in the past, but also continues to be spatially located in distant ethnic or natal homelands.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2022|
- Hmong New Year
- United States
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)