Being a Hmong-American in the United States was hard. Growing up in a community that was full of Americans, and being in a private school in my early years, (consisting mostly of Americans and little diversity) was difficult. In that kind of environment, I never saw each person differently. The characteristics that I saw were our skin color, and another distinction that I saw was our religious and cultural backgrounds. I started to lose touch of my own culture and identity as a Hmong-American girl. My family told me that in the stages of my toddler years, I used to be good at speaking my native tongue until I started school.
In this documentary, The Split Horn Life of a Hmong Shaman in America focuses on the religious containment of the Hmong people. Their rich history goes back to the time in a village in North East Asia where they believed that the Shaman were the great healers for the sick. The Hmong were living a peaceful life until the Vietnam war broke out and destroyed their village. Many of the Hmong villagers fled their beloved homeland in order to seek refuge form the war. Many were fortunate enough to find shelter in Thailand where they stayed for the majority of the conflict. Some were even lucky enough to get a sponsorship to America. As they slowly came to America the Hmong were worried that they might lose their religious roots to the American customs.
It was very tough for the Hmong’s that were still in Vietnam and Laos after the war. The American armed forces was these people’s only protection and after they just picked up and left for their home shores the Hmong people that were still alive faced severe hardships. They had no food and water and most of their homes were all destroyed. Most of the men and young adult boys were killed in the war and the Vietnamese and Laos soldiers were still pursing the Hmong people because they wanted to terminate the Hmong people. It was also tough for the Hmong people that were left because the American’s had stopped bringing food drops along with medical supplies.
Unfortunately, Vietnamese Americans make up only a small percent of the total American Population today. There are many stereotypes associated with the Vietnamese, but the truth is, we really know very little about their culture. After the Viet Nam War, many Vietnamese citizens immigrated to the United States to escape political Prosecution and poverty. Faced with a variety of obstacles and
The Hmong were well known for being a self-sufficient people producing their own food, making their own weapons, hunting their own game including birds, monkeys, deer, wild pigs, tigers, and more. They fished, gathered fruit, wild vegetables, and honey. These individuals were farmers and have very intimate relationships with the natural world(pg 120). Foua Yang grew up in a mountainous clan such as this. She had revealed that everyone in her village performed the same tasks therefore causing no class system. “Since no one knew how to read no one felt deprived by the lack of literacy.” They believed that anything of importance that the children needed to know could be learned through spoken word or by example. The elders were essential for teaching the younger generation among many things how to hold sacred their ancestors, play the qeej, conduct a funeral, how to court a lover, how to track a deer, and how to build a
This source provided by Coffee House Press has included an interview with Annie Choi and Kao Kalia Yang. Choi has asked about Yang memoir of her well-known book, The Latehomecomer, has started. During the secret war, her Hmong family went through difficult times. Coming to America, Yang had to learn English and it became a challenge. However, she was able to learn it and grew a passion to write more on papers. When writing her book, she ties in how love and Hmong family relationships are like others making it a universal theme. She hopes that the readers would get an understanding of the Hmong culture and state that it will strengthen America as unique. This is important because we get an insight of Kao Kalia Yang inspiration when writing a book of the Hmong culture and tying it together of being an American.
Although Asian Americans comprise only about 5% of the U.S. population, this group is the fastest growing segment of American society. Despite such rapid expansion, Asian Americans are widely underrepresented throughout media, whether in television, cinema, or literature. Moreover, there are different stereotypes associated with Asian Americans. One of the most pervasive stereotypes details how Asian Americans are a “model minority”. In essence, this myth describes how anyone who is Asian American will become a successful individual able to achieve the “American dream”.
The Hmong cultural/religious belief in shamanistic animism claim that wicked spirits are continually searching human souls, mostly those of defenseless or unappreciated children. For Hmong culture, epilepsy is known as qaug dab peg which means, "the spirit catches you and you fall down" in English (Fadiman 1997), which epileptic invasions are seen as affirmation of the epileptic's capability to enter and stay temporarily into the spirit world (unconsciousness). In Hmong
But this division is not inevitable; Pamela Cotant’s article concerning a Hmong Literacy Club in Wisconsin is proof. The literacy club sends home Hmong homework for students to complete with their parents (Cotant), allowing parents the ability to take an active role in their children’s educational lives. No longer useless or inferior, the simple act of a parent and child working on homework together can bridge divides gouged by the American school system. The literacy club also helps Hmong American children connect with their relatives by teaching them their shared language and culture (Cotant). It is obvious that a language barrier can obstruct connection and communication, and that common language and community are essential to success. Due
The Hmongs are an ethnic race, originally migrated from Eurasia and settled in river plains of China. The Chinese hated them, calling them ‘Miao’ or ‘Meo’ meaning barbarians and tried to gain mastery over them but the Hmongs wanting to be left alone began to migrate. By the beginning of the 19th century, half a million Hmongs had migrated to Indo-China. Disliking persecution, some settled in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. They detest being ordered or bullied, do not like to lose, are fighters who would rather die than surrender. Though they never possessed a country of their own, they have marched through the pages of history as free men desiring personal liberty. The Lee family travelled to Merced, California along with other Hmongs who fled to Laos in 1975, when their country became a prey to communism.
The Hmong are a group of people who originally lived in the mountains overlooking Laos, China, Vietnam, and Thailand-- though most have since emigrated to other countries and areas due to political conflict. They have valued self-sufficiency and resisted authority throughout history, as they have constantly been the minority and often seen as the Other and persecuted for being such. Still, many have managed to survive and preserve much of their culture, such as religious beliefs and shamanic healing practices.
The pain and the suffering, the oppression, and the exclusion all describe the history of Asia America. When they arrived to the United States, they become labeled as Asians. These Asians come from Japan, China, Korea, Laos, Thailand, and many other diverse countries in the Eastern hemisphere. These people wanted to escape from their impoverished lives as the West continued to infiltrate their motherland. They saw America as the promise land filled with opportunity to succeed in life. Yet due to the discrimination placed from society and continual unfair
Asians have migrated to and have lived in the Americas since the days of our founding fathers. The first to come from the Eastern Hemisphere were a small group of Filipinos in the early 18th century that settled in present day Louisiana. The first major influx of Asian Americans was Chinese Americans who came in the 1800’s to find financial opportunity during the California gold rush. They settled in the Golden State and eventually spread out all over the United States, creating the now-famous Chinatowns that millions of Americans visit every year. There is a continual migration of well educated South Asians and East Asians for job and education opportunities and their success has formed the basis for the “myth of the model minority” (MMM). This is the idea that all people who are Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are successful both socioeconomically and educationally. This does have a logical basis rooted in statistics—AAPI students are reported to have higher grade point averages, math scores, and overall standardized tests scores on tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the American College Testing Exam (ACT). Other studies often use a racialized rhetoric comparing Asian Americans to white Americans in terms of education and socioeconomic status while contrasting them to the so-called “lazy” and “incapable” Hispanic and African Americans.
Money. A word that captures all peoples attention was scarce among the Asian - American community. The low wages drove both parents into the work force and changed the roles of women in the family. The Asian way of the wife being submissive in all activities and only working at home with the children changed with the move to America. The wife’s working made a more equal standing in the household but also deprived the children of a quality home life. The importance of women in Asia is non-existent. For example: women had to walk behind their husbands in Asian culture but in American culture they rose to equal standing because of their work status.