HMONG RESOURCE CENTER OF THE HMONG CULTURAL CENTER, E-MAIL NEWSLETTER, 2003, NO. 7

ABOUT THE HMONG RESOURCE CENTER:

The mission of the Hmong Resource Center is to promote cross-cultural awareness and understanding between
Hmong and non-Hmong though multicultural education.

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: resources@hmongcenter.org. Online Resource Center
Catalog: www.hmongcenter.org/ or www.hmongcenter.com/

RECENT RESOURCE CENTER ACQUISITIONS:

Theses and Books

Bryan, Nichol. (2003).Hmong Americans. Abdo Publishing Company, Edina, MN. A newly published children’s book
with basic information about Hmong history, the Hmong experience in the United States, Hmong culture, the Hmong
language and accomplishments of Hmong Americans.

Academic Articles

Jintrawet, Usanee and Harrigan, Rosanne C. (2003). “Beliefs of Mothers in Asian Countries and among Hmong in
the United States about the Causes, Treatments and Outcomes of Acute Illnesses: An Integrated Review of the
Literature.” Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing 26:77-88. The purpose of this literature review article was
to describe the state of academic knowledge about the beliefs of mothers in Asian countries and among the Hmong
in the United States related to the cause of illness, treatment, and outcome of outcome of acute illnesses. The
review covers the period 1990-2000.

Numrich, Charles; Plotnikoff, Gregory; Yang, Deu; Wu Yongyuan Chu; and Phua Xiong. (2003). “Enhanced
Listening Skills: Gifts from the Hmong.” The Journal of Clinical Ethics 13(4): 337-343. This work provides
information about the meanings, beliefs, and interpretations that Hmong patients bring to the experience of illness.
Interviews were conducted with Hmong shamans and Hmong patients in Minnesota. The researchers conclude that
interviewing about and listening carefully to the spiritual thought world of Hmong patients will enhance
understanding with patients and create the therapeutic alliance required in clinical encounters.

Pfeifer, Mark E. (2003). “The Hmong in America.” From The New Face of Asian Pacific America: Numbers, Diversity
and Change in the 21st Century. Editors: Eric Lai and Dennis Arguelles. San Francisco and Los Angeles: Asian
Week and UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press, pp. 96-98. A short article with 2000 census data and maps
related to the Hmong population across the United States. The piece also provides a concise overview of the
Hmong experience in the U.S. since the late 1970s. It is part of a larger volume that includes extensive 2000
census data and information about all of the major Asian and Pacific Islander ethnic groups in the U.S. as well as
descriptions of the Asian and Pacific Islander demographic presence in the various regions of the U.S. as well as
Canada. Comprehensive data from various sources is also provided in thematic chapters related to Asian-
American political involvement, workplace experiences, health, and alternative lifestyles.

Taylor, Janelle S. (2003). “The Story Catches You and You Fall Down: Tragedy, Ethnography, and `Cultural
Competence’”. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 17(2): 159-181. This article offers a critique of the popular book
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, which relates to the experiences of a Hmong family with the health care
system in a California city. The Spirit Catches You is widely used in “cultural competence” curriculum in American
universities. The author of this piece argues that The Spirit Catches You offers only a “static, reified, essentialist”
understanding of culture and that this is why it so effectively grips the reader as a classic tragedy form of
storytelling. Taylor posits that “cultural competence” would be better promoted among professionals if narrative
forms were developed that more effectively conveyed complex understandings of “culture.”

Tomforde, Maren. (2003). “The Global in the Local: Contested Resource-Use Systems of the Karen and Hmong in
Northern Thailand. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 34(2): pp. 347-360. This work provides an overview of
contemporary resource-use system conflicts experienced by the Karen and Hmong in Northern Thailand. The
author observes that the Karen and the Hmong in Thailand have been significantly impacted by global and national
environmentalist discourses. The Karen, who have often traditionally been identified as conservationists have had
to abandon much of their local resource-use knowledge. On the other hand, the author observes that the Hmong,
who have traditionally been stigmatized for their allegedly destructive swidden agricultural practices - have made
significant modifications in their use of resources in recent years.

RECENT RESOURCE CENTER VISITORS:

Recent visitors to the Resource Center have included:

Dr. John E. Magerus, Dean of the College of Liberal Studies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse visited to
collect materials for a course related to the Hmong language that he will be teaching at the university with Dr. Bee
Lo in the fall.

Pa Der Vang from the Wilder Foundation used the Resource Center to put together a literature review of recent
academic work that has been published pertaining to Hmong mental health.

Laurie Witzkowski visited the center to find pictures information related to Hmong Shamanism. Ms. Witzkowski is an
artist who is preparing a work for the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent’s arts festival in August.

Nancy Thao, a student from the University of Minnesota, visited to find materials pertaining to traditional Hmong
courtship and marriage.

Renae Caneday, an ELL teacher and University of Minnesota Master’s Student, used the Resource Center to learn
about the needs and learning styles of Hmong-origin students in the schools.

Educational orientation activity sessions related to Hmong-related resources and Hmong history and culture are
available for interested groups. To schedule a group visit, please call the Hmong Cultural Center at 651-917-9937.

U.S. CENSUS CONTINUES TO RELEASE DETAILED HMONG SOCIOECONOMIC AND DEMOGRAPHIC DATA:

As noted in earlier editions of the newsletter, the U.S. census has begun releasing detailed socioeconomic,
demographic, and educational 2000 census data for Hmong and other Asian-Pacific Islander ethnic groups
(Summary File 4). This is the first time in more than 10 years that updated data on these variables has been
available for specific Asian-origin ethnic groups.

Variables in this release include Labor Force Status, Occupational and Industry Distribution, Median Household
Income, Median Family Income, Poverty Status, Educational Attainment and Income Distribution. Data breakdowns
for most of these variables are available by gender and may be tabulated by geographic area (census tract,
municipality, county, state, etc.)

Of particular interest to Hmong Studies scholars, the detailed Summary File 4 dataset has now been released for
Hmong in all of the states with large Hmong populations including Minnesota Wisconsin, California, Michigan, North
Carolina, Colorado, Oregon and Georgia as well as several states with smaller Hmong populations including
Washington, Massachusetts, Alaska, Texas, South Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania. The data may be
accessed at www.census.gov in the American Factfinder section. Those persons with questions about accessing
this data may contact Mark Pfeifer at the Hmong Resource Center.

CONTEMPORARY SOUTHEAST ASIA COURSE OFFERED AT UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA IN FALL 2003:

The class Understanding Southeast Asia: An Intercultural/Interdisciplinary Policy Perspective is now enrolling at the
University of Minnesota for the Fall 2003 semester. This course will help students develop an in-depth
understanding of contemporary Southeast Asia through a cultural and policy-oriented approach. Case studies and
critical incidents will be used to provide insight into the complexities and diversities of the region. The course will
cover both mainland and island Southeast Asia, including Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos,
Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. There will be a special segment of the
course focusing on Hmong culture and society in Southeast Asia. The course is taught by Dr. Gerald W. Fry, a
member of the Hmong Cultural Center board of directors. For course information, contact Professor Fry at 612-624-
0294, e-mail: gwf@umn.edu

YOUTH ARTS PROGRAMS UPDATE:

Looking for some traditional Hmong culture to enliven your community event this Summer or Fall? The Hmong
Cultural Center’s Qeej (Traditional Hmong Music) and Traditional Dance troupes are available to perform for a fee.
Persons interested in scheduling performances may call Meng Vang (Qeej) or Yer Lo (Dance) at the cultural center.

The Hmong Cultural Center’s Youth Arts Programs are supported by grants from the McKnight Foundation, the
Best Buy Children’s Foundation, the Grotto Foundation, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and the
COMPAS/Medtronic Community Arts Program. Operating grants from the Saint Paul Companies Inc. Foundation
and the General Mills Foundation also help to support the youth programs.

CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM UPDATE:

The Hmong Cultural Center’s Citizenship and Functional English Program is a member of the federally and state
funded Saint Paul Community Literacy Consortium (SPCLC). Hmong Cultural Center is pleased to announce that
its Executive Director, Txong Pao Lee is a member of the Executive Committee of SPCLC.

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, the Hmong language Citizenship classes held Tuesday through Thursday 1:00-4:00 P.M. and the
English Language Citizenship Classes held Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 P.M. For more information
call MayTong Chang at the cultural center (651-917-9937).

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.

OUR SUPPORTERS:

The Marbrook Foundation has recently made a new grant to the Hmong Resource Center. The Hmong Cultural
Center thanks Marbrook for its important continuing support of our educational mission of promoting cross-cultural
awareness and understanding between Hmong and non-Hmong.

Funding supporters of the Hmong Resource Center include the New York and Vermont-based Freeman
Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the 3M Foundation, the Marbrook Foundation, the Pinewood Trust of the HRK
Foundation, the Minnesota Humanities Commission in partnership with the Minnesota State Legislature and the
National Endowment for the Humanities as well as the MAP for Nonprofit’s Technology Partnership Fund supported
by the Saint Paul Companies, Inc. Foundation and the ADC Foundation.


HMONG RESOURCE CENTER OF THE HMONG CULTURAL CENTER NEWSLETTER, VOLUME 7, NO. 2

Special quick update of interest to the Hmong Studies and Asian American Studies Research Community, service
providers and their supporters

The U.S. Census has just released long-awaited national level socioeconomic and educational 2000 census data
for Hmong in the United States (Summary File 4). This is the first new national-level data that has been available
related to these variables in a decade. The following are highlights from this data set. The comparable 1990 figure
is in parentheses. Data used are for “Hmong alone” responses on the census form.

U.S. Hmong Median Family Income 2000 - $32,076 ($14,300)

% U.S. Hmong with Public Assistance Income in 2000 – 30.3% (67%)

% U.S. Hmong Families Below the Poverty Level in 2000 – 34.8% (62%)

% U.S. Hmong Population in Owner Occupied Housing in 2000 – 40.0% (13.0)

Industry Distribution by Percent of U.S. Hmong Population (2000 Figures only)

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining – 0.8

Construction – 1.5

Manufacturing – 38.9

Wholesale trade – 2.9

Retail trade – 9.7

Transportation and warehousing, and utilities – 2.3

Information – 2.2

Finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing – 4.0

Professional, scientific, management, administrative, waste management services – 5.7

Educational, health and social services – 14.6

Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services – 10.7

Other services (except public administration) – 4.6

Public administration – 2.3

Occupational Distribution by Percent of U.S. Hmong Population (2000 Figures only)

Management, professional, and related occupations – 17.1

Service occupations – 15.6

Sales and office occupations – 20.6

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations - 0.4

Construction, extraction, and maintenance occupations – 4.5

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations – 41.7

Educational Attainment of U.S. Hmong Population 25 Years and Over by Percent (2000 Figures only)

Less than 9th grade – 50.7

9th to 12th grade, no diploma – 8.9

High school graduate (includes equivalency) – 16.1

Some college, no degree – 11.0

Associate degree – 5.8

Bachelor's degree – 5.9

Graduate or professional degree – 1.5

Percent high school graduate or higher – 40.4

Percent bachelor's degree or higher – 7.5

Further Questions about accessing this census data may be sent to resources@hmongcenter.org