Bride Price vs Dowry

I've seen and heard many Hmong people use bride price and dowry interchangeably, however their meanings are very different.  Merriam Webster defines bride price as "a payment given by or in behalf of a prospective husband to the bride's family...."  So, basically, it is money or goods that the groom gives to the bride's family for…

Working Again

I was laid off in 2007, just like many others have experienced in this rough economy.  It was announced a couple of months ahead of time that the center would be closing and almost everyone would be laid off.  So, when they asked for volunteers to go first, I didn't hesitate to sign up.  In…

I Hated Being Hmong

There was a time when I refused to have anything to do with the Hmong culture. I hated that no one knew what Hmong is. That I had to explain where my ancestors came from.  That I was mistaken for Chinese (or another Asian ethnicity) all the time. Sometimes, I even wished I was Chinese…