Ramblings

Hmong Talk

“White people don’t know anything about ethnicity. They think all orientals are either Japanese or Chinese. You see, I’m half Black, and White people do not pick up on that, but Blacks and other people do.”

She looked at me intently for a few seconds.

“I know you’re Filipino.”

I smiled and shook my head.

“You’re not? You must be Japanese,” she sat back and smiled.

“No,” I replied.

She sat up in shock. “Chinese?”

I shook my head.

“You do look Filipino.”

“I get that a lot, but I’m not.”

“Well, are you mix?”

“No.”

“No?! You’re 100% whatever it is you are?”

“Yes.”

“Well then, what are you?”

“I’m Hmong.”

“Oh, you’re Hmong! I know what Hmong is.”

I didn’t respond. I wanted to hear where she had heard of the Hmong. Probably Gran Torino.

“Do you know that Hmong are mix?”

I gave her a confused look.

“Hmong are part Mongolian,” she continued.

I shook my head.

“Yes, you are. You are mix. I learned that in history class.”

I didn’t even bother correcting her and continued to smile and nod during our short conversation about ethnicity.

6 thoughts on “Hmong Talk

  1. I’ve gotten that too. A lot of the Asians here who know of the Hmong people always tell me that we’re not truly Hmong, and I get that some Hmong people are mixed. But that doesn’t always mean that Hmong people are mixed with other races.

  2. LOL! Interesting conversation. I’ve been mistaken for Hawaiian and Native American. One guy asked me, “What tribe?” At first I thought he was referring to the Hmong “tribes” but then realized he meant Indian tribes.

  3. LOL. I love how people think they can just define your culture for you when they have have never lived it.

  4. I’ve been living and working in Korea for a few years now and many Koreans, at first encounter, are always trying to convince me that my family is of Korean descent. I just chuckle and inform them politely that I’m Hmong and my grandparents and their parents are from the mountains of Laos. They’re quick to understand and want to learn more. However, I’ve had my share of ethnic ignorance, but sadly they’re mostly from other foreigners in Korea. Many are quick to jump on the topic and to try and educate me about myself. I’ve learned to just listen closely to the closed-minded Westerners who believe to know-all.

  5. The average human is mixed so that leaves that out. Chinese? depends if you want Hmong people to count under that category. The term Chinese is not a single race but is made up of 56 nationalities. Most of Hmong ancestry are located in southern China. Koreans, Miao-tzu/Hmong, and other were once under the leadership of the Nine Li Kins of Heaven. Their leader was the all powerful and righteous King Chiyou. When we were defeated by the yellow emporer our people split apart. One ran south which led by the eldest son and they became Mein, Hmongs, and other Miao people. The others ran north which led by Chiyou’s middle son joined another tribe and became Koreans. The last was led by the youngest son of Chiyou he stayed and led his people to join the Han people.

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