In the Facebook era, Hmong stick to traditional courting

Sahan Journal brings you reliable and authentic news about our newest Minnesotans. Sahan Journal tells the stories of Minnesota’s immigrants and refugees that no one else is telling. They can browse the shelves, where instant mashed potatoes and bratwurst buns share space with Thai fish sauce, or help themselves to hot egg rolls stacked in a warmer on the counter. Nearly two decades ago, owner Terry Yang and his brother opened the store to bring familiar foods to what was then a burgeoning Asian American community. In the early s, Yang and other Hmong immigrants flocked to the area, drawn to available farmland, jobs at local factories and the slower pace of small-town life. Yang, who is 63, wanted to retire last year. Most of his 10 kids left Walnut Grove to go to college and have settled with their young families in the Twin Cities, more than three hours away.

It’s Called “Going Out to Play”: A Video Diary Study of Hmong Girls’ Perspectives on Running Away

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With snow swirling outside and temperatures plunging toward zero, the children and grandchildren of Hmong refugees posed in traditional costumes before a scene from a tropical homeland most of them may never see. I got to experience that homeland on a recent trip to Southeast Asia. Traveling in February, my wife and I weathered a temperature swing of degrees, from 25 below in Wisconsin to 95 above in Laos and Vietnam.

The Hmong have endured the same extremes but in reverse, and they didn’t get to fly home when the trip was over. The Hmong are not in Wisconsin by choice. Of all the newcomers who have made their homes in this state — and that includes everyone but Native Americans — few have traveled such a circuitous path to get here, and fewer still endured so much hardship before they arrived. The Hmong story, in fact, is an epic of survival.

Tool for Parents

It’s been 40 years since the Hmong people first began arriving in Minnesota. Today, the state boasts the second-largest Hmong population in the nation. An exhibit opens Saturday at the Minnesota History Center that tells their stories.

maintain Hmong culture and traditions, availability of resources to empower Hmong community not to date black people or other people who are not Hmong.

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. Throughout recorded history, the Hmong have remained identifiable as Hmong because they have maintained the Hmong language , customs, and ways of life while adopting the ways of the country in which they live. After American armed forces pulled out of Vietnam, a communist regime took over in Laos, and ordered the prosecution and re-education of all those who had fought against its cause during the war.

While many Hmong are still left in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and China which houses one of the biggest Hmong populations in the world, 5 million , since many Hmong have fled Laos in fear of persecution. Housed in Thai refugee camps during the s, many have resettled in countries such as the United States , French Guiana , Australia , France , Germany , as well as some who have chosen to stay in Thailand in hope of returning to their own land.

In the United States, new generations of Hmong are gradually assimilating into American society while being taught Hmong culture and history by their elders. Many fear that as the older generations pass on, the knowledge of the Hmong among Hmong Americans will die as well. There are about eighteen Hmong clans that are known in Laos and Thailand. Women become members of their husband’s family upon marriage but will retain their clan name of their father. Members of the same clan consider each other to be kwv tij , translated as “brothers”, “siblings,” and they are expected to offer one another mutual support.

The term kwv tij is regarded as one’s father’s family or in the case of women who are married it refers to her in laws. A related term neej tsa is the wife’s family after marriage. However she regards her birth family to be her kwv tij until she is married. Also many clans even consider each last name as kwv tij Example: Khang, Kue, and Kong are kwv tij because they share a history of helping each other and respect for each other.

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Nina Boys is our guest blogger for the second time. A cloth-covered ball whizzes past my face, just grazing my cheek. Jolted, I spin around to a row of giggling young women wearing dazzling multi-hued outfits and ornate strands of sparkling coins that jangle as they teeter precariously on Crayola-colored heels. Completely absorbed by the festivities all around, I had inadvertently walked into the Hmong matchmaking game of pov pob around which their New Year celebrations revolve.

Participants prepare all year for the multi-day celebrations that begin in individual villages before snowballing into larger parties where normally isolated communities gather to socialize, perform — and perhaps most importantly — court romantic partners outside of their own clans. I beeline for the low plastic stools that all but guarantee a delicious meal in Laos and am not disappointed when a steaming bowl of aromatic noodles laced with lemongrass is ladled from the large metal cauldron simmering atop open flames and passed my way.

Traditional Hmong beliefs and practices include: taking notice of the birth date and time, placing a silver necklace on the newborn, not praising the newborn, not​.

Hmong families are really protective and they tend to live together as extended families. From my experience, we do have an extended family but we don’t live under one roof anymore. The grandparent usually goes and live with one of her sons, but the families ties are still as strong as steel. Hmong marriage in the US is different from marriage back then in Laos. They do still have the negotiating with the Mekong, Pij Las, and bride’s maid of honor. The groom’s side of the family still pays for the bride.

But now many young couple does their wedding in a church. Hmong men back then, usually dated a girl through the night. He would go to the girl’s house during the middle of the night, and wake her up by gently poking her with a stick through the bamboo wall. Then, he will talk with her and blow music through a leaf sending her a message. Or they meet one another through the Hmong New Year. The ball toss game is an activity for the male to meet the female. As of now, if a man likes a girl, he’ll either ask her on a date, or take some time to get acquainted with her.

Some people still do meet a girl through the Hmong New Year, but besides the ball toss game, they would walk around the New Year to get to know one another.

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The Hmong in Laos typically had large families, and the children spent most of their time helping the family with farming and household tasks. However, having a lot of children could also be a burden if there was a year with bad crops, leaving not enough food for all of the family members. Because families often struggled to support everyone, it was common for young people to get married at a very early age compared with the U.

Early marriages do still occur in the U.

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Hmong Americans are organized into an clan structure; all members of a clan recognize that they are related by a common ancestor. For example, the last name Saykaothao indicates that their grandfather was Say Kao Thao and the last name Mouanoutoua indicates their grandfather was Nou Toua Moua. Back to Top. The family is a subcomponent of the clan structure.

To support the clan structure and to receive the support of the clan, the Hmong are concentrated in geographic locations throughout the country, with the largest being in the St. See Figure 1. The family can influence the decisions that are made during every stage of diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, since each clan has its own history, there are specific taboos that are distinctive to each clan. For example, members of the Vang clan are prohibited from eating fruit or even having fruit on the table during a meal, while members of the Yang clan are not allowed to consume the liver and heart of an animal.

It is traditionally believed that if these rules are violated, bad fortune, often in the form of illness, will follow. Elders often retain these traditional beliefs.

Hmong customs and culture

Victoria Vorreiter will highlight the traditional music, ceremonies, and culture of the Hmong of Laos and Thailand through Hmong Songs of Memory, a dynamic presentation enhanced by photographs and recordings, which complements her in-depth book and film of the same name. Trained as a classical violinist, she has performed professionally and taught at universities and music schools around the world. These experiences propelled her to explore and document the cultural importance and primal power of music embedded in all civilizations.

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Family/Clan Structure

Although many Americans would prefer to forget about the Vietnam conflict, many of today’s controversial issues stem from that era. One of these issues is the increased Southeast Asian refugee population in the U. One of the major problems refugees face upon their arrival to this country is conflict with the US medical system. This conflict arises from misunderstanding and mistrust from both health professionals and refugee patients.

With refugee children, misunderstandings can escalate.

A married Hmong woman has no rights, cannot be raped by her I have always believed in traditional, binary romantic love. I don’t date.”.

The parents did not get a penny from the black man. McAvoy, P. Another main soul stays near the grave of traditilns deceased. Drinking is done in a very specific manner and at the request of specific people seated at Hmong dating traditions table. Lee, S. Polygamy is a form of marriage among the Hmong, it has been documented. Where Ruhunu sevaya online dating smile on one hand is cordial, laughter is a sign of being disrespectful.

It’s been 40 years since the Hmong people first began arriving in Minnesota. Famous Couples in History. The family dresses the body in black and white clothing, avoiding colors Hmong dating traditions green and red, that are thought to make the deceased ill. I doubt you would be surprised by my reaction: sad, and incredulous that the bride-napping occurs Hmong dating traditions now among some traditional Hmong overseas …and in the U.

Hmong immigrants helped save this prairie town, but now their children are leaving

This book is the first to balance an account of the traditional life and history of the Hmong as a global people, with a full account of their modern, urban lives. Culture and Customs of the Hmong takes a global approach to understanding the Hmong, a people who have lived in China for more than 4, years. It is the first book to combine an account of the traditional life and history of the Hmong with a full account of their modern, urban lifestyle, balancing traditional lifeways and practices with modern, evolving customs.

The book is unique in dealing, not only with the Hmong in the United States, Australia, and other Western nations, but also with their traditional and changing lives in their Asian homelands of Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and China. This broad international perspective allows readers to look at the Hmong through the complex interplay of the many social, historical, economic, and cultural influences they have been exposed to in their worldwide migration, and at how they manage to maintain their many traditions across national boundaries and great distances.

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the gap between Western values and traditional Hmong values and practices, as marriage is when a boy takes a girl out on date and he keeps her out later.

In the age of Facebook, the ancient Hmong courtship ritual of pov pob — looking for true love by tossing balls with potential mates at Hmong New Year — is making a comeback. The tradition had been losing ground to the likes of friending and picking a match off a computer screen. How can this be stopped? Brenda Lee, 30, a financial advisor who met her boyfriend last year playing pov pob , said modern forms of matchmaking make Hmong singles all the more eager for face-to-face relating.

It makes you hungry for the old traditions. This is a chance to see the person, see if he laughs when he drops the ball. All year, people wait for the new year. They come here from the world over to play pov pob and hope for love. In the Laos and Thailand of old, the balls were made of colorful material and boys and girls courted one another by singing traditional love songs.

Traditional Hmong Wedding – Maya + Daniel