Wellness In Color: 1.5 Generation Immigrant (Vang Xor Xiong)

Welcome to “Wellness in Color,” a podcast series that explores perspectives on mental health to reshape the cultural language of mental illness.

Interview Guest: Vang Xor Xiong (Xorr)

Hosted by: Caroline Ludy

Produced by: NAMI Minnesota (namimn.org)

GUEST BIO:  Being a 1.5 generation immigrant and mental health advocate Vang Xor Xiong (Xorr) has an ability to bridge both worlds in a unique way. Within his role as Partnership Organizer for the Minnesota based Asian American Organizing Project (AAOP), his plans include expanding on his current work to open up opportunity for voices from other marginalized communities such as the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AA/PI) queer population.

Contact Information:

Instagram: Xorr_X

Email: vangxor@aaopmn.org

Asian American Organizing Project (AAOP): A Minnesota based non-partisan, non-profit organization that supports the Asian American and Pacific Island Communities across many social platforms including language access, immigration reform and civic engagement. For more information and resources please visit http://aaopmn.org/.


[i]Soul Calling Ritual: Hmong culture there is the idea that the soul needs to be called if the person is sick or has a broken limb. [ii]The use of herbal medicines or “ khawv koob” (magic formulas) is used to extract the soul form the sick individual. If illness is attributed to a spiritual presence then shamans are used to perform the ritual.

[iii]Secret War (Laotian Civil War): Over a nine-year period, between the years 1964 – 1973, more than 2 million tons of artillery were dropped in Laos by the United States. As a result Laos became the most heavily bombed country in global history. Thousands of Hmong soldiers were recruited to fight the Vietnam War by the U.S. during the Secret War.  As a result of the hundreds of thousands of Hmong refugees were displaced, with many resettling in the United States.

[iv]18 Clans: In Hmong-American culture there are 18 clans that are related by a common ancestor. Family is a sub component of clan culture.

[i] “The Split Horn: The Life of a Hmong Shaman in America”. Public Broadcasting Service.2001. Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/splithorn/shamanism1.html

[ii] “Hmong Traditions Rituals and Ceremonies: Soul Calling”. Hmong And Native Americans.2019. Retrieved from http://www.hmongsandnativeamericans.com/hmong-traditions-rituals-ceremonies-soul-calling/

[iii] “Secret War in Laos”.Legacieis of War: History, Healing,Hope.2019.Retrieved from http://legaciesofwar.org/about-laos/secret-war-laos/

[iv] “Family/Clan Culture”.Ethnogeriatrics: Standford School of Medicine.2019. Retrieved from https://geriatrics.stanford.edu/ethnomed/hmong/introduction/family.html

This episode was recorded on 04/17/2019 in St. Paul, MN.

For more information and resources on mental illness, education and legislative advocacy please visit the NAMI Minnesota website at namimn.org

Efforts related to “Wellness In Color” podcast episodes were supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health Award Number UL1TR002494. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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