Published January 10, 2007
An active figure in the metro Detroit Hmong community, Lytongpao is the pageant and competition coordinator for the statewide Hmong New Year Festival, held annually in Lansing. She is one of the co-chairs for the Hmong National Development Conference, which celebrates its seventh year this spring with its first Detroit-hosted symposium.
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But events like the Michigan New Year Festival aren't readily available in cities and states with fewer Hmong.
Maipa Vang, who graduated from the University in 2002, lived in mostly white Muncie, Ind. while her father attended Ball State University. Sponsored by a Lutheran organization, Vang and her siblings attended church regularly and went to private school.
"My father felt he should do as (the Americans) are doing - they followed the ways of the Americans," Vang said. "Essentially it was something he wasn't really happy doing."
Before fighting for the C.I.A.'s secret army, or Arm