Download An Introduction to Hmong Culture by Ya Po Cha PDF

By Ya Po Cha

Providing a holistic standpoint of the Hmong lifestyle, this booklet touches on each point of the Hmong tradition, together with an summary in their background and traditions, relationships among Hmong mom and dad and their childrens, the rites and traditions of Hmong marriage ceremony and funeral ceremonies, the get together of the Hmong New 12 months, domestic regulations and different superstitious taboos, arts and politics. The booklet beneficial properties and explains many Hmong phrases, words and proverbs.

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Extra info for An Introduction to Hmong Culture

Example text

Young Hmong people these days say “thank you” all the time. Until recently, however, Hmong used to take the expression “thank you” by itself offensively. That is because there is a proper way to say thank you. The proper way to express one’s appreciation is to say the words “thank you” very subtly, follow with a phrase explaining the circumstances and a humble acceptance of the deed that warrants it. When a person visits relatives that live far away, and they have prepared a meal in his honor, he needs to thank them.

Members of the family depend on and support each other. Without a family, there is no life. That is why Hmong families seem so large. We tend to cluster in large numbers under the same roof, with three or four generations living together. The core of the family, however, centers around parents and child. The bond between the generations keeps the clan alive, but an elderly woman will tell you that the key to making a marriage work is the children. There is a Hmong proverb that says, “We raise crops to await hunger, we raise children to await old age” (ua qoob ua loo los npaj tshaib, tu tub tu kiv los npaj laus).

It is important for Hmong people to retain and maintain our culture and pass it on to our children. At the same time, we need to be aware of the societal norms of the dominant society so that we can avoid conflicts with the law. From experience and observations of teenagers over the years, I believe that it is difficult for children to please their parents and still maintain self confidence in a civilized society. It is also difficult for Hmong parents to teach their children Hmong values and customs and still be supportive of their endeavors.

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