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Hmong Americans

Hmong Americans are Americans of Hmong or Miao people descent from China, Southeast Asia, most notably from Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Hmong Americans are one group of Asian Americans. Many Lao Hmong war refugees resettled in the US following the North Vietnamese invasion of Laos and Laotian Civil War during the Vietnam War. Following the Vietnam People's Army invasion and take over of the Royal Kingdom of Laos, beginning in December 1975, the first Lao Hmong refugees arrived in the US, mainly from refugee camps along the Mekong river in Thailand. Thousands of Lao Hmong fled persecution, human rights violations, military attacks, ethnic cleansing, and religious freedom violations, at the hands of Marxist and communist forces, including those of the Lao People's Army. However, despite the tens of thousands of Hmong people persecuted and killed, only approximately 3,466 were reportedly granted asylum as official refugees at this time under the Refugee Assistance Act of 1975.

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Hmong Americans are the new generation of "Hmong". When I say the "Hmong" I mean the parents of the Hmong Americans because their parents as immigrants came to the United States to get away from all the horror and damages of their hometown so that their kids and future kids would have a better life. But what Hmong Americans don't understand is the reason why they go to school and why they even should keep going. Not many may know, but the Hmong community is the lowest of all populations without a High School diploma. Because of the expectations that parents have for their kids today, there are so many that lack the support and communications that are needed for them to succeed. Your parents and your grand parents and the generations before all died or ran through the jungles of the forests starving and barely alive just to get you or your older brother and sisters to come to the United States so that you wouldn't have to suffer through all the commotion they did, or all the disasters that were happening. So that you could get more educated but still hold the ground of being a hmong daughter or son to their family. Their sacrafices you will never know of, and just the same, the struggles you are going through with school and life and relationships they will never understand either. So let us just make it a fair trade between the two generations. Just be glad that on this day you were able to live and have a better lifestyle than going to the garden everyday, or having to fill up buckets of water back home every week. Hmong Americans get so pressured by their parents to become the ideal son and daughter that they don't know what their future life is going to be like with the lack of support and communication that other rich white kids have now and days. But just like everybody says, you make the best of your life and your experiences. There are tons of resources out there for everybody but because of the lack of money or the lack of support don't make that stop you from going to find your future. Hmong Americans everyday are disobeying their parents because in this Hmong American culture, there is no such thing as having to stay home everyday and dealing with the chores around the house, all there is to do is go out and drink and party and have that American dream that every single culture has in the American society. Hmong Americans today focus more on their freedom and their life rather than their culture and their future. The culture of passing down our Hmong languages to the next generation, but more so of just learning English and letting everything pass and go. The Hmong society is at risk because everyone down grades themselves because their parents are refugees, they lack the communication and support and because they are not financially fit. But it has nothing to do with that, it has to do with what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it.

Contributed by PC Vang

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