Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month: Featuring Mimi Haokip, Senior Stylist with 9 years at Ihloff Salon

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Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month: Featuring Mimi Haokip, Senior Stylist with 9 years at Ihloff Salon


Tell me about your heritage.

I am from an indigenous tribe called thadou Kuki. I’m from the North East region of India state call Manipur. The thadou Kuki’s form one of the largest hill tribe communities (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_tribes_of_Northeast_India) in Northeast India, along with the adjoining regions of Bangladesh (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh) and Myanmar.

 What does Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?

As an Asian American It means a lot to me. I’m grateful to be able to share more about my roots and identity to make known to others and to feel inclusive as an Asian American cause that’s exactly what America is founded upon. (Freedom, equality, rights, liberty, opportunity, and democracy )

 How has your heritage shaped the person you are today?

From my cultural teachings and experiences, my heritage has shaped me to be resilient and thrive despite adversity. 

Does your family have any traditions that are especially important to you?

Every once a year we celebrate a post harvesting festival on Nov 1st commemorating our ancestors way of life and we call it “chavang KUT”. Where they used to gather together and feast, celebrating the fruits of their labor and their hard work, storing food they’ve harvested for the upcoming cold season. Present day, we gather together and celebrate with the few of us in our community to showcase our young generation by presenting a cultural dance, folk songs and other entertainments etc to keep the tradition alive.

What would you want people to know about you and your tribe?

First of all I’m grateful that I’m given this opportunity to speak up about my tribe and what we are facing today. The challenges we faced has been a long history problem since after British colonization of India. We have always been discriminated against by the Meteis as long as I can remember growing up which led up to May 3rd clash between meteis (the majority who reside in the valley’s campaign to drive out the Kukis forcibly from our ancestral land (the hills) to expand. Over 50,000 Kuki people lost their homes and many lost their lives while they were hunted in broad daylight by the mobs of meteis not even sparing women or children. Today we are still struggling to fight for what’s rightfully ours. If you want to know more please visit

https://www.kukiinpi.us  (https://www.kukiinpi.us)