By Ya Po Cha

Offering a holistic viewpoint of the Hmong lifestyle, this ebook touches on each element of the Hmong tradition, together with an summary in their background and traditions, relationships among Hmong mom and dad and their teenagers, the rites and traditions of Hmong marriage ceremony and funeral ceremonies, the get together of the Hmong New yr, domestic regulations and different superstitious taboos, arts and politics. The ebook good points and explains many Hmong phrases, words and proverbs.

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All children owe their parents the love and care they were provided when they were young. When the parents become less capable, the roles are reversed. As any elder would say, “Old old become a little child” (laus laus ua mi nyuam yaus). It means when a person becomes old, he or she becomes like a child who needs attention, care and nurturing. The obligation parents and children have for each other is the bond which is the basis of Hmong family values. It is arguable that a daughter can just as well take care of her parents.

These are issues that uninformed parents cannot comprehend. Uneducated Hmong parents are not aware of the complexity of these problems. As such, many families are torn apart by children who get involved in drugs and gang activities. In some cases, parents and grandparents are taken advantage of, if not abused, by their children and grandchildren. This is an issue that is emotionally charged, and there are no easy solutions. Factor in the unbreakable bond between parents, children and grandchildren, and it spells disaster.

At the same time, it is also disheartening to see a culture that has survived for thousands of years disappear in just a matter of decades. We have to take these changes in stride, for I have stared into the eyes of the older generation who seem to have lost everything they value and what they stand for. I have also stared into the eyes of young children who will become the leaders of tomorrow. They have one thing in common and that is hopelessness (due to the fact that they are losing their cultural identity, and there is not much they can do about it as individuals).

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