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Minneapolis pledges a new relationship with the Hmong community

Photo: Gee Vue, a North Jr. High School Student, ties a string around Mayor Hodges wrist during a traditional Baci ceremony.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges was honored by the Hmong Community during a Baci ceremony performed on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at Fairview Park in North Minneapolis. The event was organized by Michael Yang, Southeast Asian Community Specialist, for the Neighborhood and Community Relations (NCR) Department, in partnership with Minneapolis Hmong leaders, Houa Vang, Choua Blong Moua, Zongleng Pha, Chairman of the Hmong 18 Council and the Cleveland Neighborhood Association. The Baci ceremony was performed as a first step in the process of building greater trust between the Hmong community and the City of Minneapolis.

The “Baci” is a traditional Hmong ceremony use to welcome and honor individuals, especially those who are in leadership positions. The ceremony cultivates the spirits in the body to withstand all challenges. During the ceremony honoring Mayor Hodges, participants tied white strings around her wrists to provide her strength, courage and blessings. Flowers, fruits, candies and eggs were used to cultivate her spirits in the body.

“The Hmong community has been traditionally left out by City government, and Mayor Betsy is the first Mayor from Minneapolis to come out and listen to the Hmong community elders and leaders. I am grateful that the Mayor values and cares about a trusted relationship with the Hmong community.” Souwan Thao, Thao/Kue Family Representative to the Hmong 18 Council).

To learn more about the work of the Neighborhood and Community Relations (NCR) department, visit

Last updated Nov 20, 2014



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