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Bridging the Shores: The Hmong-American Experience

From: Wisconsin Public Radio
Length: 59:00

Sound-rich documentary about Hmong-Americans living in the U.S.

Bridgshores01_small * Winner of the RTNDA-UNITY Award for excellence in diversity coverage, 2009
* Winner of the Wisconsin AP Awards for Best Documentary, 2009
* Winner of the Asian-American Journalists Association for excellence in coverage of Asian-American/Pacific Islander issues (radio), 2009
Winner of the University of Wisconsin Extension/UW Colleges Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Collaboration (Wisconsin Public Radio and the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service)
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More than 30 years since fleeing their native Laos after the Vietnam War, many Hmong still struggle with issues of cultural preservation and identity as they forge new lives in America. Bridging the Shores is a one-hour documentary that explores the challenges - and triumphs - of the Hmong-American community as they strive to assimilate into mainstream society yet preserve their traditions. Sources have been drawn from three states with the largest Hmong populations (Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California) but this program can appeal to any audience with a strong interest in Southeast Asian culture or immigrant communities. Topics covered include the generation gap, modern weddings, Hmong's efforts to incorporate their history into American classrooms, efforts to repatriate disturbed refugee remains in Thailand, spirituality, the career of Minnesota Senator Mee Moua, treating elders with PTSD, and new music forms incorporating traditional Hmong and American hip-hop.

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Piece Description

* Winner of the RTNDA-UNITY Award for excellence in diversity coverage, 2009
* Winner of the Wisconsin AP Awards for Best Documentary, 2009
* Winner of the Asian-American Journalists Association for excellence in coverage of Asian-American/Pacific Islander issues (radio), 2009
Winner of the University of Wisconsin Extension/UW Colleges Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Collaboration (Wisconsin Public Radio and the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service)
===================================

More than 30 years since fleeing their native Laos after the Vietnam War, many Hmong still struggle with issues of cultural preservation and identity as they forge new lives in America. Bridging the Shores is a one-hour documentary that explores the challenges - and triumphs - of the Hmong-American community as they strive to assimilate into mainstream society yet preserve their traditions. Sources have been drawn from three states with the largest Hmong populations (Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California) but this program can appeal to any audience with a strong interest in Southeast Asian culture or immigrant communities. Topics covered include the generation gap, modern weddings, Hmong's efforts to incorporate their history into American classrooms, efforts to repatriate disturbed refugee remains in Thailand, spirituality, the career of Minnesota Senator Mee Moua, treating elders with PTSD, and new music forms incorporating traditional Hmong and American hip-hop.

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Review of Bridging the Shores: The Hmong-American Experience

This is important, thorough and well-produced reportage on the Hmong Community. Long in the background of mainstream America, the Hmong are poised to enter a more prominent presence. Clint Eastwood's soon-to-be new movie is even based on a Hmong storyline. Wisconsin Public Radio is to be praised for showing as many viewpoints and perspectives in this one hour from contemporary hip-hop Hmong to a rising star in the political world to everyday Hmongs making choices about which traditions to keep. The news magazine approach lends itself well to covering such a wide variety of topics. My only criticism is that a couple of the reporters would do well to sound less FM annoucerish and more engaged in the story they're they're telling. But that's a small observation. This is fine work and I urge all stations around the with Hmong populations (and there are many) to air this program. It would help mainstream listeners to understand the complexities and differences of this Asian community.

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Review of Bridging the Shores: The Hmong-American Experience

"Bridging the Shores" is a primer to the Hmong-American experience perfect for public radio listeners. Wisconsin Public Radio Executive Producer Brian Bull says that any one of the stories in this program could have been an hour-long documentary, but that his goal was to give non-Hmong listeners a taste of the many issues faced by these newcomers to the United States. The program dives right into the heart of the immigration conflict, giving voice to the Hmong-American side of the debate through interviews with the first Hmong state senator, community and spiritual leaders, families, and musicians. It also illuminates the rich, rural Hmong culture and how it is being integrated, across the generations, into American life. Five producers contribute stories to the program from the three states with the largest Hmong populations--Minnesota, Wisconsin and California. This hosted, magazine-style program will fit seamlessly into any public radio program schedule, bringing listeners the stories of the nearly 250,000 Hmong refugees who now call the United States home. These kinds of programs provide a key community service for both immigrants and the receiving communities involved in the process of cultural integration. As we hear the voices of everyone in our diverse American communities, including often invisible immigrant experiences, we can gain a better understanding of how to live and work together.

Broadcast History

Debuted on WPR's News and Classical Music Network at 6pm Central time, and on WPR's Ideas Network at 7pm Central time, September 12, 2008.

Transcript

BRIDGING THE SHORES: THE HMONG-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

Open (2:00)

(Music: Gavin Bryar's Allegrasco, from After the Requiem, ECM New Series 1992.)

SGA: "In Madison, Wisconsin, hundreds of Hmong protesters rally outside the capitol building, demanding an end to the persecution of their relatives back in Southeast Asia...

[RALLYCUT: "No more genocide in Laos!" ("No More Genocide in Laos!")]

SGA: "While in Sacramento, California, a more solemn occasion is marked by a Hmong musician, playing a bamboo-reed instrument called the qeej [kheng] at an elder's funeral..."

[QEEJPLAY: HOLD UP FOR A BEAT AND FADE UNDER]

SGA: "And in St. Paul, Minnesota, Mao Vang makes a curious discovery at Concordia College's Hmong Archives....a photo of her just after she escaped into Thailand, by crossing the Mei Kong River...

[MVANG01: "I'm on the front cover of this book! And I was carry...
Read the full transcript

Timing and Cues

No NPR newscast window. Billboard goes for 2 minutes, then straight into "Escape from Laos" feature.

ALL MUSIC BREAKS ARE :29 LONG, AND CAN BE USED FOR LOCAL UNDERWRITING, WEATHER, AND PROMOS...OR JUST ENJOYED AS TRANSITIONAL MUSIC BUTTONS.

1st station break is at 11:26
2nd station break is at 24:41
3rd station break is at 41:19

IF DESIRED, AN "UNOFFICIAL" BREAK IS OFFERED AT 47:14...THIS IS A MUSIC BED BUT THERE IS NO HOST IN AND RETURN WITH IT.

==========================
PROMO COPY IS USED FOR ALL THREE ATTACHED PROMO FILES:

"More than 30 years after the Vietnam War, many Hmong-Americans still struggle to keep their traditions, as their ancestors practiced back in their homeland of Laos..

MLee01: "We came from genocide and we come to America, and we take it for granted. We don't know our parents stories..." (:06)

"Learn about the Hmong's challenges and triumphs, with an original WPR documentary, "Bridging the Shores: The Hmong-American Experience"...

(HOST PROVIDES AIRDATE/TIME AND LOCAL STATION ID HERE OVER MUSIC TAIL)

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Allegrasco Gavin Bryars After the Requiem. ECM New Series 1992 01:30
Allegrasco Gavin Bryars After the Requiem. ECM New Series 1992 :00
Trigun Closing Theme Akima & NEOS n/a. n/a 1998 :24
Ib Txoj Kev Kong & Shu Project Kong & Shu Project. Evolution Records 2007 :29
Exodus Geinoh Yamashirogumi Akira. JVC Musical Industries 1990 :16
Winnie Remembers Phillip Glass Secret Agent. Nonesuch Records 1996 :29
Private Universe Crowded House Best of Crowded House. Capitol Records 1996 :20
Old Tower of Lobenicht Gavin Bryars After the Requiem. ECM New Series 1992 :20
Kuv Leej Muam Kong & Shu Project Kong & Shu Project. Redroom Studio/Evolution Records 2007 :29
Glass, Concrete, and Stone David Byrne Born Backwards. Nonesuch Records 2004 :29
Hakkenden Opening Theme Takashi Kudo n/a. n/a 1993 :06

Additional Files

Related Website

http://www.wiipps.org