The Hmong Culture Essay

This essay has a total of 1147 words and 5 pages.

The Hmong Culture


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.


Facing considerable challenges while adapting to the American Culture, the Hmong have
fought to keep their traditions and culture alive in the United States. Because of the
lack of fluency in English and education, the Hmong have had trouble communicating, which
complicates learning. Though their work skills are poor, some Hmong have had success
starting a their own small businesses such as restaurants and grocery stores. By selling
their beautiful, colorful needlework, some Hmong women make a living. Although some of the
Hmong immigrants have been successful, their children have had more success while
competing in the job market.


The Hmong refugees that fled from such countries as Vietnam, Laos and Thailand had some
trouble adapting to the American culture. An arriving refugee and his family would
probably have sold all of their worldly possessions so they could have enough money to
live off of until the father got a job or the mother was able to produce some textile
goods to sell. In Southeast Asia, The Hmong lived high in the mountains. The Hmong men
tended to be farmers, while the women would stay in the village and tend to the household
needs while also helping with the crops. They grew all of their own food, and had no farm
machinery to aid in the reaping of their crop. There was also no form of transportation
except walking. This was very hard labor, so the Hmong needed a lot of help to grow food,
everyone in the family helped in the household chores and working the land.


The Hmong have a strong tradition in everything they do. The culture is very spiritual and
they believe that all things have spirits. Shamans serve as spiritual advisors and
healers. 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
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