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Hmong customs and culture

The Hmong people are an ethnic group currently native to several countries, believed to have come from the Yangtze river basin area in southern China. The Hmong are known in China as the Miao which encompasses all the subgroups of Hmong. There is debate about usage of this term, especially amongst Hmong living in the West, as it is believed by some to be derogatory, although Hmong living in China still call themselves by this name. Chinese scholars have recorded contact with the Miao as early as the 3rd century BCE, and wrote of them that they were a proud and independent people. However, after the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty attempted to impose several new taxation systems and continued expansion of their empire, the Hmong are reported to have rebelled. Many wars were randomly fought, and eventually many Hmong were pushed from China into Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. The history of the Hmong people is difficult to trace; they have an oral tradition, but there are no written records except where other people have encountered them. Hmong history has been passed down through legends and ritual ceremonies from one generation to another as well as through Hmong textile art or story cloths sewn by the women.

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Touching Story Shares a Lot About Hmong Culture

I read this book and loved it. Shares a lot of history of the Hmong people as well as a lot of insight into the experience of trying to live as an immigrant in this country. From Amazon: "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down explores the clash between a small county hospital in California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy. Lia's parents and her doctors both wanted what was best for Lia, but the lack of understanding between them led to tragedy. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest, and the Salon Book Award, Anne Fadiman's compassionate account of this cultural impasse is literary journalism at its finest. The current edition, published for the book's fifteenth anniversary, includes a new afterword by the author that provides updates on the major characters along with reflections on how they have changed Fadiman's life and attitudes."

Contributed by Kathryn Vercillo

This is a very interesting and true facts about Hmong people.

Contributed by Lisa Yang

In the Hmong community there are many factors that are different than other cultures found in America. You may have heard from other friends what is expected from a daughter no matter what their ethnicity is, and it is exactly the same for the Hmong community. We as daughters are expected to be the perfect daughter who wakes up early, cooks for the family, cleans the house, and is in charge of all the extra required chores around the house. The men on the other hand, during their teenage years are not expected to do anything but stay home, do the heavy duty work once and a while and then continue growing up. When they are of age, what they are expected the most is that they will be taking care of their parents, along with their wife who tends the house and does everything that their mother expected them to do back in her teenage years to the family she has been brought to after marriage. The men, especially the oldest is expected to be on top of everything and is the head of the household. This is the lifestyle that every hmong parent dreams about from their kids. Especially comparing the generation now to their generation back in Loas and Thailand a decade ago.

Contributed by PC Vang

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