HMONG RESOURCE CENTRE OF THE HMONG CULTURAL CENTER, E-MAIL NEWSLETTER, 2002, NO. 8

ABOUT THE HMONG RESOURCE CENTRE:

Located in St. Paul, MN, the Hmong Cultural Center’s Resource Centre is one of the most comprehensive
centralized collections and lending libraries of Hmong-related books, PhD dissertations, indexed articles and
Hmong language literature in the United States. The collection also includes several exhibits of Hmong cultural
artifacts.

The Hmong Resource Centre of the Hmong Cultural Center is open to the public Monday through Friday from
10 AM – 6 PM. Most of the items in the Resource Centre may be checked out with a photo i.d. for a period of
one week. A photocopier is also available on site.

The Hmong Resource Centre is located in the Hmong Cultural Center’s offices at 995 University Avenue, Suite
214 in Saint Paul. Phone: 651-917-9937. E-Mail: hmongcultural@yahoo.com Website: www.hmongcenter.org/

RECENT RESOURCE CENTRE VISITORS:

The Resource Centre has been very privileged over the past few weeks to have Joel Wurl, Curator of the
Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota and newly appointed University of
Minnesota Professor Zha Blong Xiong visit and utilize our collections.

Professor Gail Mason-Chagil also recently visited to help prepare for a course she is teaching at Metro State
University in Saint Paul this fall related to the Hmong-American experience. Educational orientation activity
sessions related to Hmong-related resources and Hmong history and culture are available for interested
groups. To schedule a visit, please call Mark Pfeifer at the Hmong Cultural Center - 651-917-9937.2002

HMONG RESOURCE CENTRE TRAVEL GRANT PROGRAM APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED:

The Hmong Resource Centre of the Hmong Cultural Center in St. Paul, MN has extended the deadline for
applications to its 2002 Research Library Travel Grant program to September 30, 2002.

With the dual goals of promoting scholarship in Hmong Studies and facilitating broader access to its unique
collections, the Resource Centre will be providing travel grants to four (4) students/scholars for the purpose of
conducting research using the Resource Centre’s extensive collections of Hmong-related books, PhD
dissertations, MA Theses, academic and newspaper articles as well as Hmong language literature related to
Hmong culture and history.Two (2) travel grants of $300 to visit the Resource Centre will be provided to
students/scholars who reside greater than 500 miles from Saint Paul, MN. In addition, Two (2) travel grants of
$150 to visit the Resource Centre will be made to Students/Scholars residing more than 100 miles from St. Paul
in the Midwest region in such states as Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, or Iowa. The grants will be made for travel
to visit the Resource Centre prior to Dec. 31, 2002. Selected grant recipients will receive the travel grants
following the presentation of travel receipts after their arrival in St. Paul, MN for research at the Resource
Centre.

Applicants must provide the following: a 500 word research proposal statement about how the Hmong Resource
Centre collection would be useful for their research, a letter of support from a professor at their university of
study/research as well as a curriculum vitae or resume. It is suggested that travel grant applicants visit the
Resource Centre collection catalog on the Hmong Cultural Center website (www.hmongcenter.org) and provide
examples in their research proposal statements of specific books and materials in the collections that would be
useful for their research projects.

Applications should be mailed to Mark E. Pfeifer, PhD, Director, Hmong Resource Centre, Hmong Cultural
Center, 995 University Avenue, Suite 214 Saint Paul, MN 55104 for consideration. For further information
please call 651-917-9937 or e-mail hmongcultural@yahoo.com

HMONG CULTURAL CENTER OPEN HOUSE AUGUST 29, 2002:

The Hmong Cultural Center would like to an invite the community to an open house to be held Thursday, August
29, 2002 from 4 to 6 P.M. The open house will feature refreshments, performances of the cultural center’s youth
Qeej Music and Dance Troupes, and tours of the organization’s remodeled Hmong Resource Centre and
classroom facilities.The Hmong Cultural Center is located above Sunrise Market at 995 University Avenue, Suite
214 in Saint Paul. To learn more about the open house or the Hmong Cultural Center’s programs please call
651-917-9937 or visit the cultural center’s website at www.hmongcenter.org/

The mission of the Hmong Cultural Center is to promote the personal development of children, youth, and
adults through Hmong cultural education while providing resources to enhance cross-cultural understanding
between Hmong and Non-Hmong people. Funding supporters of the Hmong Cultural Center include the St. Paul
Companies Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the Pinewood Trust of the HRK Foundation, the New York and
Vermont-based Freeman Foundation, the 3M Foundation, the Otto Bremer Foundation, Frogtown's Leap
Forward for Children, the Marbrook Foundation, the St. Paul Community Literacy Consortium and the Minnesota
Humanities Commission in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Minnesota State
Legislature.

MOTHEREAD/FATHEREAD HMONG TRANSLATION SERIES WRAP-UP EVENT SEPTEMBER 26:

The Hmong Cultural Center and the Resource Centre will co-sponsor an event celebrating the successful
completion of the Hmong Translation Initiative at the Minnesota Humanities Commission on Thursday,
September 26. At this event, Dia Cha will read from her book Dia’s Story Cloth and copies of all of the children’s
storybooks translated from English into White and Green Hmong as part of the Initiative will be available.

The Hmong Resource Centre has partnered with the Minnesota Humanities Commission to make all of the
translation series books accessible to the community as part of the Resource Centre’s collections. Please
contact Tom Fitzpatrick at the Minnesota Humanities Commission (651-772-4255) for further information about
this upcoming event.

HMONG CENSUS DATA UPDATE:

The Hmong Resource Centre has received many requests pertaining to the availability of detailed
socioeconomic data from the 2000 census for the Hmong origin population. The census has already released
Hmong population enumerations for cities, counties, and states (Summary File 1) as well as Age and
Homeownership Data (Summary File 2). It has been announced that socioeconomic data for many ethnic
groups including the Hmong origin population will be released in Summary File 4 on the census website (www.
census.gov), on a state by state basis in the period extending from November 2002 to April 2003. Please feel
free to contact Mark Pfeifer at the Resource Centre for questions related to the access of census data. Hmong
population and age and homeownership data are available online at http://www.hmongcenter.org/hmoncenin.
html

RECENT RESOURCE CENTRE ACQUISITIONS:

Academic Theses and Dissertations

Vang, Christopher Thao (2001). Histories and academic profiles of successful and unsuccessful Hmong
secondary students, PhD Dissertation, University of California, Davis. This study examined the academic
success or lack of success among Hmong secondary students at McLane High School in Fresno. Data were
collected from the cumulative records of 480 Hmong secondary students and interviews were conducted with
five graduates and five dropouts. Data was analyzed to show how the histories and academic profiles of
successful and unsuccessful Hmong secondary students differed and why some students were successful and
others were not on track to graduate. Academic variables and background variables were examined and results
were used to differentiate successful students from less successful students. Major differences between
successful and unsuccessful Hmong students were observed by the author. The academic variables of grade
point average, number of failing grades, number of absences, English Language Development levels, SAT9
scores, and district writing sample scores were found to distinguish between the two groups. The background
variables of parent employment and parents' first language literacy were also noted to be related to academic
success.

Shi, Li (2001). Hmong Students’ Personal Adjustment in American Culture, Master’s Thesis, University of
Wisconsin-Stout. The objective of this study was to gather information relative to the academic experiences of
Hmong youth in a public school district in Minnesota. The author’s findings suggest that the educators’ teaching
techniques, attitude towards students and knowledge of the students’ culture influenced the students’
adjustment at school as did social support, the students’ sociality, and age at time of arrival in the U.S. English
proficiency and a high level of personal self-esteem were also associated with school performance. The
participating students’ length of residency in the U.S. was not observed to be related to their adjustment.

Thao, Dang (2000). Hmong Parents’ Perceptions Toward their Children’s Education in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Master’s Thesis, University of Wisconsin-Stout. The purpose of this study was to explore Hmong parents’
perception toward their children’s education and their participation in school meetings. The survey participants
were 93 Hmong parents with children in the Minneapolis, Minnesota schools. The author observed that Hmong
fathers had more positive attitudes toward their children’s education compared to Hmong mothers. Conversely,
mothers were more involved in helping their children with schoolwork and participated with school meetings
more than the fathers. The researcher also observed that parents who had lived in the U.S. less than 9 years
had a more positive attitude toward their children’s education compared to parents who had lived in the U.S. a
longer period of time.

Vue, Mana (2000). Perception of Early Marriage and Future Educational Goals Attainment for Hmong Female
Adolescents. Master’s Thesis, University of Wisconsin-Stout. This study correlates perceptions of early marriage
with the future educational goals of 40 Hmong female adolescents interviewed in St. Paul, MN, Eau Claire, WI,
and Menominee, WI. The author observed a relationship between positive perceptions of early marriage and
lower educational goals. No significant relationship was found between the respondents’ educational goals and
the educational level of their parents. No significant difference was observed between the educational goals of
single and married respondents. Higher educational goals were noted among married respondents without
children compared to married respondents with children. The author concludes the study with an assessment of
counseling implications and future research recommendations.

Vang, Frank Chua (1999). The Availability of Adequate Educational Support Programs for Southeast Asians as
English as Second Language Students in Wausau East High School, Master’s Thesis, University of Wisconsin-
Stout. This study examines attitudes toward educational support programs among 113 mostly Hmong ESL
students at Wausau (WI) East High School. The author’s questionnaire inquires about class performance, the
language barrier, the need for additional academic support, and the students’ ability to read and write in
English. The same questions were asked of the faculty/staff. Synthesizing the study’s findings, the author
provides recommendations for improved academic support programs for Southeast Asian origin students.

Vue, Chusee (1999). Hmong Youth Attitudes Toward Early Marriage. Master’s Thesis, University of Wisconsin-
Stout. This study assesses the attitudes of Hmong youth toward early marriage. The subjects for the research
were 50 Hmong youth from Dunn County who attended middle or high school in Menominee, Wisconsin. The
results of the author’s statistical analysis indicated that those students with a broader range of educational and
life experiences were more likely to believe it was important to marry after reaching the age of 18. Those
interviewed students who had been in the United States for a shorter period of time usually had less education
and were likely to express a preference for marriage at a younger age. The author concludes the study with a
series of recommendations for educators and youth outreach workers as well as suggestions for future
research.

Academic Articles

Delang, Claudio O. (2002). “Deforestation in Northern Thailand: The result of Hmong Farming Practices or Thai
Development Strategies?” Society and Resources 15: 483-501. Taking a temporal, historical perspective, this
article explores the social, economic, and political context of deforestation and watershed degradation in the
highlands of Northern Thailand. After the Second World War, the Thai government began promoting the
colonization of the highlands, encouraging lowland landless farmers, agribusinesses, and logging companies to
colonize and deforest the highlands. In the 1980s, the Thai government declared the closure of the frontier and
gave the Royal Forest Department (RFD) the role of protecting the nation’s forests and reforesting the stripped
areas. Based on information gathered in a Hmong village and an RFD station, the author of the article argues
not only that the RFD has been unsuccessful in dealing with the problems, but that its policies have also led to
further deforestation, worsened the water imbalance and resulted in the harassment of the resident Hmong and
other ethnic minorities, who are held responsible for the negative effects.

Lo, Chieng (2002). “The Hmong Traditional New Year.” 26 page manuscript published by the author. A detailed
assessment of several components of the Hmong traditional New Year ceremony. The author discusses the
making of rice cakes, the chicken’s sweeping of the 12 things of sickness (lwm qaib), the calling of spirits to
come home (hu plig), the use of the home altar for sacrificing to the god of the house (txi xwm kab), the ritual
ceremony for the feeding of ancestors (laig dab or hu pog yawg), the schedule of ritual events during the days
of the new year ceremony, taboos associated with the new year, ball tossing and courtship as well as traditional
entertainment at Hmong New Year celebrations. The Resource Centre would like to thank Dr. Chieng Lo of
Stockton, California for his donation of this informative publication to our collections.

Michaud, Jean and Christian Culas (2000). “The Hmong of the Southeast Asia Massif: Their Recent History of
Migration.” In G. Evans, C. Hutton, and K.K. Eng eds. Where China Meets Southeast Asia: Social and Cultural
Change in the Border Regions Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asia Studies, 98-121. This article discusses the
factors that led to the Hmong migration out of China and into the Southeast Asian countries of Thailand,
Vietnam, Laos and Burma in the 18th and 19th centuries. The authors also assess the relations between the
Hmong minority and the governments in these four Southeast Asian countries over time. The work concludes
with an analysis of the future prospects for collective political action among Hmong residing in different
Southeast Asian countries, China and diasporic communities in North America.

Lemoine, Jacques (1996). “The Constitution of a Hmong Shaman’s Powers of Healing and Folk Culture.”
Shaman 4 (1 and 2): 144-165. A detailed conceptual analysis of the Hmong shaman’s tools of healing and the
social role of the shaman in Hmong society. This article will be of considerable utility to those seeking to learn
more about Hmong Shamanism and traditional healing rituals. The Resource Centre extends its gratitude to
Professor Dia Cha for her generous donation of this article to our collections.

Symonds, Patricia V. (1996). “Blessing among the White Hmong of Northern Thailand.” In Merit and Blessing in
Mainland Southeast Asia in Comparative Perspective eds. C. A. Kammerer and N. Tannenbaum, New Haven:
Yale Southeast Asia Studies, 98-115. This article analyzes the transfer of blessing between humans and spirits
and the meaning of these transfers in the local cosmology of the northern Thai White Hmong. The author
focuses particular attention on the objects and language used in ritual ceremonies and the receiving of blessing
in order to explicate the nature and value of what is being transferred and the relationship between the giver
and the receiver in traditional religion as it is practiced by the White Hmong in this region of Thailand.

Chindarsi, Nusit (1983). “Hmong Shamanism.” In Highlanders of Thailand eds. J. McKinnon and W. Bhruksasri.
New York: Oxford University Press, 187-193. An older article that provides an overview of Hmong Shamanism as
it is practiced in Northern Thailand. The author discusses the process of becoming a Hmong shaman, how
Hmong choose a new shaman, the features of the shaman’s ecstatic performances, and the shaman’s rituals
including those associated with diagnosis, and remedial action as well as the effects of Hmong Shamanistic
ritual activity on social cohesion, psychotherapy, disease prevention, social control, village and clan solidarity,
food redistribution and the Hmong diet. The Resource Centre would like to thank Professor Gale Mason-Chagil
for her generous donation of this classic article to our collections.

Videos

Nkauj Kiab and Txiv Nraug Kaus. Txoj Kev Hlub Ces Kawg Rau Koj. Popular 4-part Hmong language video
series featuring Hmong traditional music.

QEEJ MUSIC AND DANCE YOUTH TROUPES PERFORM FOR THE COMMUNITY:

HCC’s Qeej Musicians performed as part of the Hmong Arts Festival held Saturday, August 10 at Western
Sculpture Park in Saint Paul. The Qeej troupe also performed the first week of August as part of a production of
“Cinderella” at a Roseville, MN church. Looking for some traditional Hmong culture to enliven a community event
this Fall? The Hmong Cultural Center’s Qeej (Traditional Hmong Music) and Traditional Dance troupes are also
available to perform at your event for a fee. Persons interested in scheduling performances may call Meng
Vang (Qeej) or Yer Lo (Dance) at the cultural center.

CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM UPDATE:

Need information about the citizenship process, study guides or application forms? Extensive citizenship-related
information is available on the Hmong Cultural Center website at www.hmongcenter.org/ The citizenship section
of the website includes examples of typical citizenship interview questions, as well as 100 sample citizenship
exam questions in both the English and Hmong languages. Up-to-date information is also provided about
eligibility and requirements pertaining to the Hmong Veterans’ Naturalization Act of 2000.

The Hmong Cultural Center is currently accepting enrollment for its citizenship and functional English classes.
There are openings in the English Language Citizenship Classes offered Monday through Thursday from 10:00
AM to 12 Noon and those held Tuesday through Thursday 1:00-4:00 P.M.

The Citizenship/Functional English program recently received new instructional tables and moved to an
expanded space at HCC’s offices. These improvements will allow the program to serve a greater number of
students in the upcoming year as the deadline for the eligibility period under the Hmong Veterans’ Naturalization
Act of 2000 moves closer. Please contact Tong Vang at the Hmong Cultural Center for further information
related to the Citizenship program. Phone: 651-917-9937.