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Hmong Culture Camp draws in dozens of area students

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WESTON, Wis. (WAOW) -- Since it started in 2013 hundreds of students have taken part in the Hmong Culture Camp, learning about the Hmong language, culture, and even dancing.

Organizers say it's an integral part of marathon county and the state of Wisconsin, the Hmong community.

This summer, over 100 kids are taking a deep dive into Hmong culture and tradition over the next few weeks.

A lot of these kids they don't know that stuff anymore, that younger generation. So we just want to preserve that kind of teach them about their own culture as well as those that are not Hmong, to have them learn about the culture as well," said Kia Thao, Program Director, Hmong Culture Camp.

Ever since the Hmong culture camp started eight years ago the numbers have grown, and they show no sign of slowing down.

"Seventy-five back in 2013, all the way to 300 kids back in 2018. So it was a big big huge jump from 75 to 300 kids."

According to the Wausau American Hmong Mutual Association, Hmong Americans consist of approximately 12% of Wausau's residents.

That makes the city of Wausau the highest per capita Hmong population in the state and in the U.S.

For that reason, organizers of the camp are making sure they cover as much as possible.

"One teacher is teaching about the language and culture, one is teaching about the history, one is teaching about sports, one is teaching about the arts, so just the symbols that we use and the purpose of them. So we have different classes for the kids to go to one class to the other," Thao said.

The Hmong Culture Camp started July 19th and will be going through the 30th.

At the end students will put on a performance showing what they learned.

Bobby Falat

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