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Jenjee Txujci Sengkhammee, M.S. Pre-doctoral Psychology Intern Illinois State University Presentation to AsiaConnect May 24, 2013 HMONG IN BRIEF: HISTORY,

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Presentation on theme: "Jenjee Txujci Sengkhammee, M.S. Pre-doctoral Psychology Intern Illinois State University Presentation to AsiaConnect May 24, 2013 HMONG IN BRIEF: HISTORY,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Jenjee Txujci Sengkhammee, M.S. Pre-doctoral Psychology Intern Illinois State University Presentation to AsiaConnect May 24, 2013 HMONG IN BRIEF: HISTORY, CULTURE, AND THE U.S.

2 H MONG M EANS F REE Distinct ethnic/cultural group Ancestrally Southern Chinese who migrated south due to religious persecution Primitive life with limited contact with industrialized cultures Populated Laos, North Vietnam, Burma, China and Thailand… Not Lao citizens; lived peacefully in the mountainsides

3 H MONG C ULTURE Diversity within the Hmong White, Blue/Green, Striped, Suav Traditional religion “Shamanism” Spirit Calling Organized religion Christians Catholics Photo from UC Davis

4 H MONG C ULTURE Live in Clans - 12 Original Example: Yang, Lee, Her Demonstrate lineage of relationship Traditional roles of men and women Men head of household Women caretakers Children caretakers Sons versus daughters

5 H MONG L ANGUAGE Two dialects White Hmong (majority) Blue or Green Hmong (minority) Written Language developed in Father Yves Betrais, Dr. Lindwood Barney, & Dr. William A. Smalley Romanized Popular Alphabet (RPA) Tonal Language, 7 tones and 13 vowels Example: Nyob Zoo - Hello or Hi Chao-Fa (Hmong rebel group) Similar to Thai and Lao written language Photo from UW Madison

6 T HE S ECRET W AR IN L AOS Covert Operations with U.S. CIA involvement in ’s Late General Vang Pao – Hmong leader Soldiers Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos Blockage of army supplies Medics & Rescuing soldiers Plane mechanics Interpreters & Guides Est. 30,000 killed (Hutchinson, 1997)

7 E SCAPE FROM L AOS & R EFUGEE S TATUS Perceived as traitors to the Pathet Lao government Air-lifted by U.S. Military Escape crossing the Mekong River Refugee Camps in Thailand Poor living conditions = Hepatitis B Ban Vinai Chieng Kham or (Kong) Nong Khai Last Wave ( ) Wat Tham Krabok Refugees moved to Australia, France, Canada, French Guyana, United States 1970’s refugee status in the U.S. First Generation

8 H MONG IN THE H OMELAND Hmong-Thai Refugees repatriated to Laos Live as Thai people Controversial - Hmong are missing Lao government denies persecution No international involvement or observation (HRW, UNHCR) Hmong in Laos Live as Lao people Living in the jungles Considered rebels by Lao PDR Controversial - Hmong persecution Lao government denies persecution No international involvement Hunted Like Animals

9 H MONG IN THE U NITED S TATES (2010 Census) Hmong Population United States - 260,076 (.08% of the U.S. population) California - 91,224 Minnesota - 66,181 Wisconsin - 49,240 Illinois – 651 Birth and Citizenship Status 148,499 U.S. born 102,792 Foreign born 65,060 Foreign born – Naturalized US citizen 37,732 Foreign born – Not US citizen

10 H MONG IN THE U NITED S TATES (2010 Census) Entry into the U.S. 20.5% 2000 or later 28.9% % Before 1990 Hmong Educational Attainment (25 years and older-104,031) Trends show increases in educational attainment 35.5% Less than a H.S. diploma 27.9% Some college or Associate’s Degree 13% Bachelor’s Degree 2.6% Graduate or Professional Degree

11 H MONG IN THE U NITED S TATES (2010 Census) Language spoken at Home (Age 5 and older) 90.3% Speak language other than English at home Household Income (48,607 households) $46,500 Median family income Poverty Rates 21.3% Living in poverty Photo from

12 R ESOURCES Shamanism and Medicine The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman The Split Horn, PBS Video Involvement in the War Tragic Mountains, Dr. Jane Hamilton Hmong in Laos Hunted Like Animals, Sommerfield Films Hmong Human Rights Watch


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