Why Some Hmong Girls Do Not Date Hmong Boys

I know many Hmong women who refuse to date, let alone marry a Hmong man.  Is this normal?  In my opinion, it's as normal as someone choosing to only marry within their race or ethnicity.  I've heard others criticize and patronize Hmong women who have made this choice (although there have been some progress, interracial/inter-ethnic…

I Am A Hmong Woman

“I am a Hmong Woman” by Pang Hang The ground burns like fire as I walk Passing by the trees that speaks to my heart I am making the pathways of my life By holding to my heart with my head held high I know that I have to respect my traditions and cultures I…

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…

Hmong views on domestic violence

The Hmong are very resistant to change.  It’s because of our refusal to change our culture that we were in war with the Chinese for such a long time.  In Asia, the Hmong mainly live in remote regions, so they practice their culture with no interference.  They are slower to assimilate.  In America, we live…

Traditional Hmong weddings and marriages

The Hmong consists of 18 last (sur) names, making up 18 official clans.  It is taboo to marry someone from the same clan.  For instance, someone with the Yang last name cannot marry another Yang.  In some families, it is also taboo to marry someone with the same clan name as your mother's maiden name.…

The Hmong patriarchy and values

The Hmong culture is very patriarchal.  The men make the rules and the women follow them.  The men are the clan leaders.  The men are the head of the families.  The men make all the “big” decisions.  Sons are valuable assets to a family because they are the ones who will carry on the clan…

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States.  I am dedicating this month's blog posts to something that I am very passionate about: Domestic Violence (DV), especially in the Hmong community.  Each blog entry during this month will be a segment of how Hmong traditions/traditional norms set the state for…

My mom: The first feminist who shaped my views

March is Women's History Month in the United States.  This month, we acknowledge and celebrate women who have made extraordinary impacts in the political and social spheres in the past and present.  Feminists. Besides it being Women's History Month, today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, a global holiday celebrating the economic, political,…