WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL BLOG for La Pétanque Marinière in San Rafael, California. LPM has been an active Marin pétanque club since 1972 and affiliated with the Fédération of Pétanque USA, since 1975. We welcome people of all abilities, ages and nationalities to come and enjoy pétanque with us.

The Pierre Joske Courts are located on Civic Center drive in San Rafael. (click for directions). Casual games are played every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from about 1 pm. Tournament play is usually held on the second Sunday of every month.

Please consult the links on the sidebar to the right for more information on clubs in the bay area, nationally and world wide.

If you would like to play but haven't any boules, please contact our President, Christine Cragg, or Ken Lee. They can bring some for you to use, as well as introduce you to the basic skills and techniques of pétanque. In addition, if you are looking to purchase boules but are unsure as to which size and weight are right for you, we have a range of different examples from which to choose.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fresno Hmong take World

As you may have heard by now, the trio of fine youngsters from Fresno, have won the World Qualifier Competition and are headed next year to the Junior World Championships. What was interesting to see during the competition was the extreme sportsmanship on both sides of the battle. Congratulations on winning shots or points could be heard from one team across the court to the other. A breath of fresh air to be sure when in some competitions, the fact that a game is being played seems to be lost amongst those competing. It could be said that their quality of sportsmanship and playing ethics is due in large part to their parents and other elder relatives. Fine, hard-working, dedicated people teaching their youngsters how to be the best while retaining dignity and respect for their adversaries.

It also comes from their Hmong, or Mong heritage. The terms Hmong (IPA:[m̥ɔ̃ŋ]) and Mong ([mɔ̃ŋ]) both refer to an Asian ethnic group in the mountainous regions of southern China. There, they remain one of the largest sub-groups in the Miao (Chinese:苗族) minzu (nationality) along with other related ethnic minorities. Beginning in the eighteenth century, conflict with Han Chinese settlers migrating to the south caused Hmong groups began a gradual mass migration to Southeast Asia. As a result, Hmong currently live in several countries in Southeast Asia, including northern Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. Traditionally, the Hmong practice subsistence agriculture and the harvesting of timber.

During the last century, the Hmong have been caught up in the political instability which affected Southeast Asian nations. Many Hmong people in Laos fought against the communist-nationalist Pathet Lao during the Secret War. When the Pathet Lao took over the government in 1975, Hmong people were singled out for retribution, and a large number fled to Thailand. Many were resettled in Western countries, including the United States, Australia, France, French Guiana, and Canada. Others were returned to Laos under United Nations-sponsored repatriation programs. Around 8,000 Hmong refugees remain in Thailand.

Today, approximately 270,000 Hmong/Mong people reside in the United States, the majority of whom live in CaliforniaMinnesota (41,800), and Wisconsin (33,791). (65,095 according to the 2000 U.S. census), Fresno, Merced, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, and Wausau, Wisconsin have especially high concentrations of Hmong/Mong people. There are also smaller Hmong/Mong populations scattered across the country, including Western North Carolina (Hickory, Morganton, Charlotte), Linda Vista, California, Sacramento, California, Stockton, California, Winooski, Vermont, and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, centered around the towns of Ephrata, Pennsylvania and Denver, Pennsylvania. There is also a small community of several thousand Hmong who migrated to French Guyana in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

La Pétanque Marinière would like to congratulate Kenny, Hai & Pengsue in winning the Junior World Qualifier and wish them all the best in their travels abroad and in the actual competition. Carley Stasak from Eugene. Oregon will accompany the team as an alternate

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