“What It Means To Be A Hmong Girl”
By Maly Yang

It means to be a daughter, to become an outsider and a stranger to the family you grew up with
It means to be a wife, bounded for life to your husband and his clan It means to be a mother, to love, laugh, and cry all at the same time
It means to be a daughter-in-law/sister-in-law, you stand, you smile, and you just nod It means you visit everyone, but don’t expect anyone to visit you

It means everybody’s business is your business, but no one cares to know yours
It means you encourage and listen to what everybody has to say, but keep yours bottled inside
It means you take in the advice given, and expect to make no mistakes
It means your presence is expected, but your opinion is not wanted

It means you’re the first guest to a party, and the last one to leave
It means you’re expected in the kitchen all day, but expect to eat last
It means you let everyone pick out what they like, and you take whatever’s leftover
It means you put others before you, and never complain about it

It means you’re the glue that hold everything together in a marriage, so you can’t give up easily
It means you need to succeed in your marriage, so you try to wear the pants in the family
Which means if you dare wear the pants in the family, you’re now everyone’s enemy
Which then means if your marriage fails, the you’ve become an embarrassment

It means no matter what you do, you simply lose in everything because… this is what it means to be a Hmong girl

Posted with permission from the author.

4 thoughts on “What It Means To Be A Hmong Girl

    1. It is what is perceived by the culture and society as what an ideal Hmong female should be. And I did not write this. I am sharing this wonderful poetry by Maly Yang because I, and many other Hmong women, can relate.


      1. Interesting, Mai. It is almost similiar to what an ideal Indian or Chinese girl should be although it is already beginning to change for the past two decades or so. Yes, I can related to that eventhough I am not a Hmong and I can understand where is all that coming from


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