Hmong Association of Long Beach, Inc.
Hmong arts and culture
The Hmong Association of Long Beach, Inc. was formed to assist Hmong and other Laotian refugee groups with adjustment to American life, to preserve Hmong culture, to educate the general public about Hmong history and culture, and to support cooperation among the Laotian and Southeast Asian refugee groups.
In 2019, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2009, the Hmong Association of Long Beach’s Qeej Not Gangs program was supported with grants from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program. The Queej Not Gangs program is an inter-generational Hmong cultural preservation program which teaches youth and adults a variety of traditional arts practices; many of these practices were disrupted due to the experiences of war, refugee camps, and acculturation to America. Since the program’s conception in 1998, youth have been engaged in learning traditional dance, drumming, and language. Adult classes include learning the qeej (a 6-reed flute, pronounced “ghang”), pan dau (needle work), and mekong (marriage negotiation protocols).
The qeej is played by master musician Nhia Chu Yang. He is a nationally known master who performs for funerals all over California and the United States. Photo: Kutay D. Kugay
The drumming core of the Hmong Association of Long Beach's Qeej not Gangs program, a Living Cultures grantee. The drumming tradition builds spritual and physical strength and harmony. Photo: Kutay Kugay, 2011
ACTA staff, Lily Kharrazi is shown the intricacies of pan dau, a stitching technique of applique and reverse embroidery by a skilled artist of the Long Beach community. Photo: Kutay D. Kugay
Cha Khay, flute player accompanies the drum corps. He is a respected former military leader and the only drumming teacher in the United States. Photo: Kutay D. Kugay