Homemade Chicken Soup – Mom, Hmong Heritage, Minnesota, Home, – by Nancy H. Thao. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports
After staying up in Duluth for three years, there is one homemade dish I will always be craving for at least once throughout the school year and that is chicken soup. I especially love it when there are herbs in my chicken soup! It is the most delicious dish when it is made with fresh chicken and herbs. In the picture, it is the chicken soup I made with my mother’s freshly picked herbs. If my mother had told me to go picked herbs from the garden for the soup, it would have been a tremendous failure on my part.
When my mom was coming up to visit me, I constantly reminded her to bring me chicken and some herbs. She jokingly asked me, “Why? Are you pregnant?”. Why would she ask me this? Well, usually women who have just given birth will go on what is called “the chicken diet” in the Hmong culture. It is when the women will eat only herbal chicken soup with rice for every meal for a whole month. It has been a part of the Hmong cultural tradition for many centuries. I remember how a lot of my cousins were excited to go on this chicken diet when they had their first child, but after a while they could not wait until it was over. Based on what I have seen and heard, traditionally the women did not eat anything else beside the chicken soup. This mean no fruits, vegetables or junk food. The purpose of this chicken diet is to help cleanse the body and to rejuvenate it. At times, the chicken diet doesn’t always work for everyone. When my cousin had her child, she said the chicken diet was giving her heartburn, so instead she replaced the chicken with quail instead. Like the unexpected changes in our lifestyle, so does the traditions we carry on changes with the choices we make. My aunt told me that her sister would have one apple pie per day, but still stick to the herbal chicken diet. It is hard to preserve a tradition without changing it a little to accommodate to our likings.
Nancy serves as an editor for The North Star Reports.
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The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm
Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.
(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu