Geography of Home

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Excerpts from “Geography of Home”

….At the same time I learned to write English I also learned to write Hmong.  If we have the heart to learn, we can learn.  But if you keep putting yourself down and saying that you won’t be able to do it, then you never will be able to do it.  You have to believe in yourself and say that you can do it, because you have a heart like anybody else...

Sy Vang Mouacheupao  (from Hmong)

…  I tried to take some different dance lessons, and the one I liked the most was African dance with Bousara.  The participants of that class were black and white, large and small, men and women.  It was wonderful to be together with so many different kinds of people.  When I did not dance I went to the Native American Institute to learn how to bead earrings.  In Sweden, people are all the same.  That’s why I decided in 1986 to come back to Minneapolis and settle down there.  I’ve lived here 19 years now….

Sigbritt Johnson “Sibban”  (from Swedish)

I have many vivid memories of the old Italian neighborhood in northeast Minneapolis….The feast day was a time of celebration not only of faith, but of nationality and unity in a lost neighborhood and a lost age now displaced by a freeway. 

Joseph P. Spano, Jr. (English)

My ancestors were the former inhabitants of this area before they became nomadic.  Now I’m living here because of economic reasons and historically we were the first inhabitants of this area. 

I need to give something to the world.  I’m giving children the language so that in the future the language doesn’t die out.

Willy Malebear Sr. (from Dakota)

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