Hmong: I Think Hmong And Native-Americans Are Similar

Tou Ger Vang

Hmong and Native-American

I am Hmong and after reading the book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by _insert author name here_, I think the Hmong and the Native-Americans are similar. They both are losing thier culture and language.

If a Native-American person said he has a lot of siblings, he is not only refering to his siblings born by the same parents but his father’s siblings, his grandfather’s siblings, his great grandfather’s siblings, and so on, basically everyone in his bloodline.

The Hmong people have only eighteen last names. If a person has the last name of another person, those two people will usually call each other family and cousins even if they never met before.

The Native-Amerian culture value and respect thier elderly. The younger generation would have to be “invited” into a conversation with an elderly. If a younger man talked to an elder before the elder had recognized him, it was considered disrespectful.

The Hmong culture also value and respect thier elderly. If an eldery visits, everyone would have to welcome the elder. A typical invite: “Hello, you are here. Come inside. Would you like a glass of water?” If the elder does not feel welcomed by members of the family, that family member would be considered disrespectful.
The Native-American people consist of about 584 tribes, maybe more because some tribes are still unrecognized. Most tribes have their own language, that’s a lot of different languages. If a marriage happened between two different tribes, their children would have to learn both of their languages. Sometimes the two languages blend together and confuses the child. Many of the 584 languages are lost because the newer generation do not learn them, instead they learn English.
The newer generations of the Hmong are also losing the language. I think this is mainly because we live in America and attend public schools. We spend our time learning English at school and informally learn Hmong at home speaking with our parents. In my situation, I believe I have a bigger English vocabulary than Hmong. Sometimes when my parents ask me to do something, I don’t know exactly what they want me to do because I don’t understand some words. I think this is kind of disappointing since I am Hmong and they are my parents.

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