Prior to writing this research paper on the Hmong culture, I did not know anything about their history or beliefs. The only time I had heard of Hmong people was in the movie “Gran Torino.” The movie revolves around a Hmong family living in Michigan and the cultural stereotypes and discrimination they face each day. After reading a few chapters in Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, I felt it was necessary to take a further look into the Hmong culture for a better understanding of their way of life. I. Hmong migration from China to various Southeast Asian countries
The Hmong have not had the easiest or most simple life. After reading many different sources reporting their history, I couldn’t believe how many times they were forced to relocate. The Hmong originated as a culturally unique group from Asia. Their original homeland was Central Siberia which was where most of them lived. The first time the Hmong were forced out of their homeland was in 2500 B.C. The Chinese and other Asian groups conquered Central Siberia and forced its people to flee south into northern China (Moua). Because of this, they resettled and started a new civilization on the banks of the Yellow River. Fortunately, their civilization was prosperous and successful until history repeated itself and the Han Chinese attacked them again for their fertile land along the Yellow River. The Hmong were faced with a decision to either fight or flee. They decided to fight for their land through a series of warfare but were outnumbered and therefore lost their land as well as many men. Consequently, the Hmong were forced to flee yet again. This time, they settled in the southern parts of China in today’s provinces known as Hepeh, Hunan, and Hubei (Xiong). “There are approximately 8 to 12 million Hmong still living in this region of China” (Quincy, 1988). Throughout history, the Hmong people continued to face hardship. During the Qing Dynasty, three major wars...
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