The Hmong Culture Essay

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The Hmong Culture

The Hmong Culture of South Asia is a very interesting ethnic group. Between 300,000 to 600,000 Hmong live in Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. About 8 million more live in the southern provinces of China. Since the Vietnam War ended in 1975, Hmong refugees from Southeast Asia have settled in Australia, France, Canada, and the United States. The largest Hmong refugee community lives in the United States with a population of about 110,000. The U.S. Department of state has tried to spread Hmong refugees out across the country to reduce the impact on any one region. Because Hmong families tend to be large in numbers, the community grows rapidly.
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By erecting alters in homes and placing shrines in fields and along trails, they try to drive away the evil spirits that infect their people. If a treatment from a Shaman does not work, the people do not blame the shaman. Instead, they see that the evil spirits could not be driven from the person’s body. Symbols and patterns were decorating on the clothing that the Hmong women made from hemp. These patterns and symbols were created from dyes that came from vegetables and were used to drive away evil spirits and attract friendly ones.

The Hmong had trouble adapting to American life. With no driver’s license or bank account, they had to make a living doing whatever they could. Not knowing the language in a foreign land doesn’t help either. The Hmong women adapted much more quickly than the men did because of the fact that they interacted more with English-speaking people. While the men were at work, the women were spending time interacting. The Hmong men also refused to change more that the women did. This shift of power caused a lot of changes in Hmong households. What even caused more of a power shift was the fact that the Hmong children learned about the culture easier than the women did. Instead of the father having control over the family like it was back in Southeast Asia, the children now had the upper edge. The children could communicate, interact and even drive with Americans. You could see a 16-year-old Hmong
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