HMONG RESOURCES NEWSLETTER January/February 2004
ONLINE PUBLICATION OF THE HMONG RESOURCE CENTER OF THE HMONG CULTURAL CENTER
ABOUT THE HMONG RESOURCE CENTER:
The work of the Hmong Resource Center is to provide information to Hmong and non-Hmong for the purpose of
promoting positive race relations, human rights, multicultural education, information about cross-cultural health and
medicine, teacher education, family literacy education and community-based research.
The Hmong Resource Center of the Hmong Cultural Center is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 AM
– 6 PM. The Hmong Resource Center is located in the Hmong Cultural Center’s offices at 995 University Avenue,
Suite 214 in Saint Paul. Phone: 651-917-9937. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Online Resource Center
Catalog: www.hmongcenter.org/ or www.hmongcenter.com/ Walk-ins are welcome and there are many displays to
look at that teach about the Hmong people, their history, their culture and their experience in the U.S. over the past
25 years. Larger group tours and educational sessions may be arranged in advance.
RECENT RESOURCE CENTER ACQUISITIONS:
Theses and Books
Symonds, Patricia V. (2004). Calling in the Soul: Gender and the Cycle of Life in a Hmong Village. Seattle and
London: University of Washington Press. Based on research conducted in a Hmong village in northern Thailand in
the late 1980s, this ethnographic study assesses Hmong cosmological beliefs about the cycle of life as expressed in
practices related to birth, marriage, and death as well as the gender relationships observed in these practices. The
work’s epilogue and appendixes provide a discussion of the impact of HIV and AIDS on the Hmong of Thailand,
cultural factors in HIV transmission and strategies for containment as well as complete Hmong texts and English
translations of “Calling in the Soul” and “Showing the Way”, the chants which guide the soul of the deceased in the
Hmong culture through the land of darkness and back to reincarnation. The appendices also include an account of
Hmong shamanic healing and a discussion of Hmong health care issues in the United States. The Hmong Resource
Center would like to Professor Jeremy Hein of UW-Eau Claire for donating this new work to our collections.
Thao, Toulu Pa-Ge. (2003). A Path Towards Homeownership: Educating the Minority. PhD Dissertation, California
State University, Fresno and University of California, Davis. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative
research methodology and working with a group of housing education leaders and a group of Hmong residents of
Fresno County, this doctoral study identified contributing factors and barriers to homeownership in the Hmong
community, and examined how homebuyer education can help remove some of the obstacles identified and help
expand homeownership rate in this immigrant community.
Schulze, Janet Marie. (2003). Voices of transition: The educational experiences of Hmong high school students. PhD
Dissertation, Harvard University. This qualitative study explores the educational experiences of Hmong high school
students in relation to the structure of the school, teaching and learning, and family and school supports they
receive. Comparisons between two differing groups in terms of level of achievement and between males and females
are discussed by the researcher. The author also examines the implications of the study for researchers interested
in further exploring the Hmong population and its comparison to other Asian immigrant groups and for school leaders
and policy makers making decisions about high school pedagogical reform and its affect on English Language
Lee, Stacey J. (2004). “Hmong American Masculinities: Creating New Identities in the United States.” In Adolescent
Boys: Exploring Diverse Cultures of Boyhood. Editors: Niobe Way and Judy Y. Chu. New York and London: New York
University Press, pp. 13-30. This article examines the ways Hmong American boys construct their masculinities at a
public high school in Wisconsin. Through the use of examples, the author focuses on the various expressions of
masculine identity that Hmong American boys create in response to messages from their ethnic community and the
Potocky-Tripodi, Miriam. (2003). “Refugee Economic Adaptation: Theory, Evidence, and Implications for Policy and
Practice.” Journal of Social Service Research 30(1): 63-91. In this study, a theoretical model of predictors of refugee
economic adaptation was tested using data from a telephone survey of a random sample of Hmong, Somali, and
Russian refugees resettled in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The study examines the relative influence of demographic
characteristics, flight-related characteristics, host-society related characteristics, residency characteristics,
acculturation characteristics and adaptation stresses upon refugees’ employment status and estimated earnings.
Fennelly, Katherine and Nicole Palasz. (2003). “English Language Proficiency of Immigrants and Refugees in the
Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.” International Migration 41(5): 93-125. This study assesses the determinants of
English language ability among four very distinct groups in Minnesota – Hmong, Russians, Somalis and Mexicans.
The researchers found large differences in English language proficiency across the different national origin groups,
even after controlling for background variables. These differences were not attributable to refugee status or to
linguistic distance from English. In this study, being Somali, migrating to the United States at a young age and having
a college diploma were the best predictors of both spoken and written proficiency. Women appear to have benefited
more than men from completing college in terms of spoken English proficiency since the male-female gap narrows
among the highly educated.
Vietnam Hmong: The Art of Attraction (2004). France: Playasound. This newly released DVD provides video clips
and still photos of Hmong in Northern Vietnam playing musical instruments including the Qeej mouth organ, the
fiddle, the lute, the clarinet and the leaf. Chants and orally recited songs are also presented.
RECENT RESOURCE CENTER VISITORS:
Recent visitors to the Hmong Resource Center have included:
Matt McKinney and Joey McLeister, reporter and photographer from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune visited the
Resource Center and Cultural Center over several days to collect language, cultural and historical information to
prepare themselves for their trip to Wat Thamkrabok, Thailand to do feature articles on the Hmong refugees living in
Wat Thamkrabok who might be moving to Minnesota beginning later this year.
26 6th graders from World Culture Magnet School in Saint Paul visited the center to hear a presentation about the
Hmong people, their history and their culture.
9 Hmong-origin middle school students from Marshall (MN) Middle School visited the center to learn about the
Hmong heritage, and achievements of Hmong in Minnesota and the United States
Pang Houa Moua, a student from Brown University in Rhode Island visited the center to conduct research on Hmong
Ka Lo from the Wilder Foundation’s Southeast Asian Adjustment Program used the center to find resources for a
community presentation about the Hmong experience.
Staff of Tolerance Minnesota, a program of the Jewish Community Relation Councils of Minnesota and the Dakotas
visited to learn more about the Resource Center and the Hmong Cultural Center and its diversity awareness
education outreach programs in the community to teach non-Hmong about the Hmong people, their experiences as
refugees, their culture and achievements as Americans.
TOUGEU LYFOUNG BIO IN HMONG HALL OF FAME:
Mai Na M. Lee, a PhD Candidate in History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison has contributed a short
informative biography about Hmong leader Tougeu Lyfoung who passed away in February. The article may be
viewed in the Hmong Hall of Fame on the Hmong Cultural Center’s website at: http://www.hmongcenter.
org/tougeulyfoung.html The Hmong Resource Center and the Hmong Cultural Center thank Mai Na M. Lee for writing
this piece which will help both younger Hmong and non-Hmong learn about an important figure in Hmong history.
UPCOMING SEMINAR ON ACCESSING AND USING HMONG CENSUS DATA:
The Hmong Resource Center will present a hands-on seminar that will teach attendees how to access and retrieve
Hmong-origin census data from Minnesota and elsewhere in the 2000 census related to population, age distribution,
education, income, poverty rates, job distributions, citizenship status, disability status and other important variables
including gender breakdowns in data. This seminar will also be useful to individuals who would like to learn how to
access census data for other ethnic populations. Attendees will learn about the specific Hmong-origin and ethnic
origin data available from the census and will receive specific instructions and training on how to access this data
The seminar will be held Thursday, April 15 from 4-5:30 PM at the Hmong Cultural Center, 995 University Avenue,
Suite 214, Saint Paul.
To register for this seminar, contact Mark Pfeifer at the Hmong Resource Center at 651-917-9937 or
YOUTH PROGRAMS UPDATE:
Looking for some traditional Hmong culture to enliven your community event this Spring? The Hmong Cultural Center’
s Youth Qeej (Traditional Hmong Music) Troupe is available to perform for a fee. Persons interested in scheduling
performances may call Meng Vang or Txong Pao Lee at 651-917-9937.
CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM UPDATE:
Detailed information about resettlement procedures for Hmong refugees in Wat Thamkrabok in Thailand is available
in both Hmong and English at the Hmong Cultural Center offices in Saint Paul.
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.
Hmong Cultural Center is a member of the federal and state funded Saint Paul Community Literacy Consortium
Funding supporters of the Hmong Resource Center include the New York and Vermont-based Freeman Foundation,
the Bush Foundation, the Marbrook Foundation, the 3M Foundation/COMPAS Award for Innovation in the Arts
Program and the Asian Pacific Endowment of the Saint Paul Foundation.