Hmong Culture

Topics: Vietnam War, United States, Vietnam Pages: 2 (400 words) Published: May 1, 2007
Heather Mathews
Extra Credit #4
I attended the lecture, "Hmonglish: Transitions Between the Old & New Culture", which was presented by Bee Lo, Ph.D. I didn't know anything about the Hmong people before this lecture so it was interesting to learn about their history, problems, and culture. They are mostly from northern China, the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, and Syria) and Russia but they don't have a country to call their own. The Hmong people possess many traits unique from the people they live amongst like having lighter skin, pale blue eyes, and narrower faces. The presentation was specifically to inform us of how the Hmong people came to the United States and the struggles they faced with religion, identity, and old heritages as they settled here.

The Hmong people began to come to the United States after the Vietnam War and were confronted with many intercultural communication conflicts. They experienced culture shock when they got to the United States because they were not prepared for the differences in society. They were forced to conform to a new religion, political system, education, language, and monetary system. Identity is created through communication and the Hmong people couldn't even communicate with the Americans so they faced identity issues and a lost connection. The older Hmong people felt they were too old to learn the new customs and so they isolated themselves from American culture and the younger Hmong people are still confused about which culture they fit into, which is how the phrase Hmonglish began.

The Hmong also faced religious and educational concerns in the American way of life. Many of them don't understand our religion in comparison to their own so they refuse to learn it and in return don't practice any religion. There is a disconnect with their ancestors due to not observing religion and only 30% of Hmongs are Christian in the United States. Another struggle they faced was learning the political system because it is...
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