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Cultural New Year's Party in the Park

January 03, 1991

Colorful native costumes, particularly for the women and girls, helped turn part of Long Beach into a little bit of Laos as Hmong residents celebrated the new year. For four days ending Tuesday, the Hmong people gathered for games, food and entertainment in a section of El Dorado Park. Normally their new year is celebrated over 10 days of group activities, but this was an abbreviated festival sponsored by the Hmong Assn. of Long Beach. The city has perhaps 1,000 of the immigrants from a rural, mountainous region of Southeast Asia. Their festive garments, like the headdress and jewelry worn by Houa Lee, 15, left, are reserved for special occasions such as New Year's and weddings. The ball-toss game played above is a traditional way for boys and girls to meet and talk socially.

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