HMONG RESOURCE CENTER OF THE HMONG CULTURAL CENTER, E-MAIL NEWSLETTER, 2003, NO. 3

ABOUT THE HMONG RESOURCE CENTER:

The Hmong Resource Center of the Hmong Cultural Center is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9
AM – 6 PM. Many of the items in the Resource Center 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 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/

Hmong Resource Center Director: Mark E. Pfeifer, PhD; Hmong Cultural Center Executive Director: Txong Pao Lee

OUR SUPPORTERS:

Funding supporters of the Hmong Resource Center include the New York and Vermont-based Freeman
Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the 3M 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.

RECENT RESOURCE CENTER VISITORS:

207 people visited and used the Hmong Resource Center in March 2003. Recent visitors to the Resource Center
have included:

Cher Xiong, Peng Yang and Mee Xiong, students from Como Park High School in Saint Paul. These students were
working on projects pertaining to Hmong culture. Cher was researching the Hmong New Year, Peng was writing
about Hmong Paj Ntaub and Mee was looking for information on Hmong marriage traditions.

Lor Xiong and Tabyiu Xiong, students from Johnson High School in St. Paul visited to collect information for a
project related to the Hmong role in the War in Laos.

Laura Nicklay, a student from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa visited the Resource Center for a project focusing
on Hmong settlement patterns in the Upper Midwest.

Merry Xiong from the Jane Addams School of Democracy and Grit Youngquist from the Face to Face Program of
the Ramsey County Health Department visited to find video resources related to Hmong culture.

10 Hmong-origin high school students and 3 school staff from the Chisago Lakes School District (Taylor Falls,
MN) visited on a field trip to learn about Hmong culture and history.

Mai Kia Moua, a student at the University of Minnesota, used the Resource Center to find sources for a
persuasive paper related to the development of a culturally sensitive curriculum for the teaching of sex education
in Minnesota school districts.

Kashia Moua of Hmong National Development and Kao Thao of HND’s Hmong Women’s Circle program visited on
a tour to learn about recent research in Hmong Studies.

17 Hmong-origin students and 2 staff from North High School in Minneapolis visited on a field trip to learn about
Hmong culture and history.

Grit Grigolett, a student at the University of Passau in Passau, Germany visited the Resource Center on several
different days to do research on a project related to Hmong adaptation in the United States. Grit was
accompanied to the Resource Center on her first visit by Kim Dettmer of Lao Family Community.

Professor Dia Cha of Saint Cloud State University brought 25 students from her Anthropology of Hmong Culture
class at Saint Cloud State for a field trip. The students learned about the Hmong Resource Center and the
development of Hmong Studies over the past several decades.

Krista Michaelis, a student at Hamline University and a teacher in a Saint Paul public elementary school, used the
Resource Center for a project pertaining to the linguistic characteristics and structure of the Hmong language.

Seng Vang, a student at Bethel College, used the Resource Center collections for a project focusing on the
history of Hmong involvement with fundamentalist Christianity.

Wade Mann, a student at Metropolitan State University, visited to find materials for his project examining relations
between Hmong and other ethnic groups in the Frogtown neighborhood of Saint Paul over the past 2 decades.

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.

RESOURCE CENTER COLLECTIONS FULLY INDEXED ONLINE:

Looking for a book, articles, or research publications related to the Hmong? The Resource Center collections are
fully indexed online by topic and type of resource at www.hmongcenter.org/ in the library catalog section.

The collections include about 300 Hmong-related books and periodicals, 120 Hmong-related theses and
dissertations, about 450 Hmong-related academic journal articles, over 2000 Hmong-related newspaper articles
and around 100 videos.

RESOURCE CENTER CONTRIBUTION TO NEW BOOK PUBLISHED BY UCLA RELATED TO ASIAN-PACIFIC
AMERICAN COMMUNITIES AND DEMOGRAPHY:

The Resource Center’s Director, Mark E. Pfeifer, contributed an article titled “Hmong Americans” to an anthology
titled The New Face of Asian Pacific America newly published by Asian Week magazine and the UCLA Asian
American Studies Center Press. The article discusses Hmong adaptation, residential patterns and demography
across the U.S. from the late 1970s to the present. It is included in a broader Southeast Asian Americans chapter.
The new anthology contains articles by several leading Asian-American Studies scholars pertaining to
contemporary Asian-Pacific American populations in the United States. It is also one of the first publications to
include analyses of detailed 2000 census data for a range of Asian-American ethnic origin populations. More
information about ordering this new publication is available at: www.asianweek.com/census.html

HMONG CULTURAL CENTER 2002 ANNUAL REPORT NOW AVAILABLE:

Hmong Cultural Center’s 2002 Annual Report has recently been printed. An online abridged version of the report
may be viewed at: http://www.hmongcenter.org/20anrep3.html

To receive a hard copy of the full 24 page 2002 Annual Report in the mail please contact Hmong Cultural Center
at 651-917-9937 or resources@hmongcenter.org

HMONG CULTURE BOOK COLLECTION:

The Hmong Cultural Center’s Cultural Specialist Tougeu Leepalao has compiled a series of books related to
various aspects of the Hmong culture including the Hmong wedding ceremony, funeral songs, Hmong history, and
Hmong traditional ethics and morals. The books are only available in the Hmong RPA script and the White Hmong
dialect.

For more information about this series of publications visit the following link:

http://www.hmongcenter.org/hmonculbookc.html

NEW ENGLISH-WHITE HMONG DICTIONARY AVAILABLE:

An English-White Hmong/White-Hmong English Dictionary compiled by Mark Thompson and Mai Vang of the Saint
Paul Public Schools with the assistance of Txong Pao Lee, Executive Director of the Hmong Cultural Center is now
available from the Hmong Cultural Center.

This newly expanded dictionary includes 2-way English-Hmong translations of about 10,000 Hmong words and
phrases as well as sections related to English and Hmong Sentence Structure and Grammar, common Hmong
Names and a Special Education terminology dictionary.

The dictionary may be ordered from Hmong Cultural Center in hard copy or CD-ROM format. More information
about the dictionary is available at the following link:

http://www.hmongcenter.org/orenhmonendi.html

RECENT RESOURCE CENTER ACQUISITIONS:

Theses and Books

Thao, Jeff Yer. (2002). The Voices of Mong Elders: Living, Knowing, Teaching and Learning Within an Oral
Tradition. PhD Dissertation, Claremont Graduate University (California). This PhD ethnographic study focuses on
the ways that 13 Hmong elders born before 1930 and residing in California have worked to preserve their
traditional values, culture and language as well as the challenges that they encounter as they interact with the
institutions of the United States. The research explores in detail the survival among the elders of kinship
organization structures, clan systems, spiritual welfare and values.

Yang, Nou. (2001). The Bicultural Competency of Hmong Adolescent Girls: Negotiating Gender Messages in the
Home Context. MA Thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison. This thesis study explores how Hmong teenage girls
in Madison, WI negotiate their dual bicultural gender roles at home in Hmong society and outside it in mainstream
U.S. society. The author describes how girls negotiate and compartmentalize different ideas of gender roles
depending upon the context. The researcher observed that the degree of difference in gender roles and concepts
varied in relation to the extent of parental support for some “American” gender ideas. In households where such
ideas were not present, concepts of gender and expected behavioral roles were substantively different between
home and the mainstream society (including school settings).

Kong, Blia Her. (1999). Cancer Beliefs of the Hmong, MA Thesis, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. This
descriptive study describes differences in attitudes, knowledge levels of cancer risk factors, and myths as well as
misconceptions about cancer in the Hmong adult population of a Wisconsin community. The author argues that
better instruments need to be developed by the medical community for the purpose of ensuring successful cancer
educational programs and screening methods among the Hmong population.

Vang, Soul Choj. (1999). The Hmong, The American. MA Thesis, California State University, Fresno. This MA
thesis was prepared for a Creative Writing program. It consists of several short stories and poems centered in the
author’s experiences as a Hmong American.

Vang, Pobzeb. (1996). Sino-Lao Relations in World Politics Since 1954: The Theory and Practice of Peaceful
Coexistence. PhD Dissertation, University of Denver. This study investigates China-Lao relations from 1954
through 1995. The author pays particular attention to how the “triangular politics” among the United States, the
former Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China shaped regional politics in Laos, Indochina, and
Southeast Asia over the period in question. The situation of the Hmong in Laos and their exodus as refugees
beginning in the mid-1970s are contextualized within the broader study.

Academic Articles

Hwang, Victor M. (2002). “The Hmong Campaign for Justice: A Practitioner’s Perspective.” Asian Law Journal 9:
83-115. This article describes the Hmong-American campaign against Welfare reform in the 1990s and the Asian
Law Caucus’ advocacy on behalf of the Hmong community, which helped increase public recognition of the Hmong
military service on behalf of the U.S. during the War in Laos in the Vietnam War era and enhance public support
for continued government assistance. The author argues that the Hmong campaign for justice demonstrates that
political and advocacy lawyering is a potentially productive alternative for addressing current minority group
setbacks in the criminal justice system and the public policy arena.

Cohen, James R. (2002). “Building a Bridge: Lessons Learned from Family Mediation Training for the Hmong
Community of Minnesota.” Family Court Review 40(3): 338-349. This article from a law journal examines how
family mediation training of Hmong elders in a joint partnership between the Hamline University School of Law, the
Mediation Center for Dispute Resolution, and the Hmong 18 Clan Council was used to construct a bridge between
cultural and legal norms in an attempt to assist the Hmong community of Minnesota as it struggled with
assimilation challenges.

Smalley, William A. (1995). “Reasons for Writing Hmong.” Speech presented at the Hmong International
Symposium, Minneapolis-St. Paul, August 26-30, 1995. Text of a speech given by the late William A. Smalley, a
professor and missionary who helped developed the Hmong romanized script in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
The 25-page speech describes why the decision was made to use Latin or Romanized letters in the Hmong script,
the motivations for developing the writing system, and some of the factors and considerations that influenced the
form of its development. The Resource Center thanks Linda James for her donation of this important historical
document.

Beniek, Brenda M. (1994). “From Sib Tham to Mediation: The Shaping of a Modus Vivendi.” Hamline Journal of
Public Law and Policy. 16(1): 459-503. This somewhat older work from a law journal explores the issues of
marriage and dispute resolution in Hmong culture and the problems that arise for Hmong under Minnesota’s
marital laws. The author discusses the increasing Hmong abandonment of traditional forums of dispute resolution
and a trend towards turning to help from the courts, attorneys, the police and social service agencies in the
resolving of legal disputes. The researcher posits mediation as a potential practical forum for the resolution of
Hmong disputes and provides information for attorneys pertaining to the common expectations of Hmong clients
regarding the mediation process.

YOUTH ARTS PROGRAMS UPDATE:

The Hmong Cultural Center is very pleased to announce that it has recently received a major grant to be used for
operating support in 2003 from the Saint Paul Companies Inc. Foundation. The cultural center thanks the Saint
Paul Companies Inc. Foundation for its important support of our mission of promoting the personal development
of children and youth through cultural education programming while also providing resources that promote cross-
cultural awareness and understanding among and between Hmong and non-Hmong persons.

Looking for some traditional Hmong culture to enliven your community event this Spring? 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 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 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.

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). The cultural center’s citizenship program for adult
refugees is also supported by a grant from the New Americans Collaborative of the Wilder Foundation