Embracing Culture

By Kavy Lenon –

The Laotian community in the Holland/Zeeland area has grown in the past several years.  Most migrated to Michigan in the early 1980’s with the generosity of various local churches which sponsored families.   My family was one of the many who were fortunate and blessed to find a second home in the United States.

These past few years, I’ve been working to connect with my roots and have engaged with various organizations to help me understand my heritage and culture.  I’ve been working very closely with the Holland Lao Christian Reformed Church to better understand how they are cultivating our language, history, and art.

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Every week, Erica Monasack, one of the deacons for the church works closely with the children to share God’s words and also train the students to dance to Christian songs that are in Laotian, which is a creative way to embrace the culture and praise the Lord.  I’ve brought students to perform at various events like the mutlicultural event, Taste of Asia Festival and Asian Culture Night in Grand Rapids.  I believe it’s important to be a part of the community and to share the performance as a symbol of our culture and art.

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It’s beautiful to see the students, ages from 4 to 8, perform and carry out their mother’s legacy.

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