Milwaukee's Asian American population began with immigrants from China at the turn of the last century and grew modestly until the 1970s when the devastation of the Vietnam War brought a surge of Hmong families from Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand to start a new life in the Midwest. Milwaukee is also a thriving college town, and a number of international students choose to make their home here after graduation. The result is a multifaceted Asian American experience in our city and a population numbering over 20,000 strong as of the 2010 census. In addition to the growing Hmong community, we are fortunate to have many Asian cultures represented in Milwaukee, including Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino and Indian.
Culture and Religion
The Cricket Academy of Chinese Language and Culture helps families connect to Chinese culture through language instruction, folktales, art, and song. The Milwaukee Chinese Community Center hosts annual Chinese New Year's celebrations, as well as the Dragon Boat Festival in August. In addition to the races, the festival showcases a variety of Chinese traditions through traditional dance, folk music, and martial arts with hands-on opportunities for visitors to experience Chinese culture.
Discover the customs and traditions of the Hmong culture at the Hmong American Friendship Association Museum. The museum displays an art collection and offers seminars on a variety of topics including Hmong needle artwork, clothing, music and dance.
The Islamic Society of Milwaukee is a dynamic center serving the religious, educational and social needs of the Muslim community, promoting good citizenship and building relations with other communities. It is the largest Islamic society in Wisconsin and operates three area facilities: ISM Brookfield (Masjid Al-Noor), ISM Main Center and ISM University.
There are several other houses of worship throughout Milwaukee, including the Phuoc-Hau Buddhist Temple, Chinese Christian Church, the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, and the Hindu Temple of Wisconsin.