HMONG RESOURCES NEWSLETTER May/June 2004
ONLINE PUBLICATION OF THE HMONG RESOURCE CENTER OF THE HMONG CULTURAL CENTER
ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION: The Hmong Resources Newsletter provides up-to-date information about new works
in Hmong Studies and Hmong-related research resources. To access back issues of this unique online publication
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.
The Hmong Cultural Center and its Resource Center serves as the Hmong representative organization on the
Council of Advisors of Tolerance Minnesota.
RECENT RESOURCE CENTER ACQUISITIONS IN HMONG STUDIES:
Theses and Books
Detzner, Daniel F. (2004). Elder Voices: Southeast Asian Families in the United States. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira
Press. This new work examines the family life of Hmong, Cambodian, Lao and Vietnamese families in the United
States from the perspective of the oldest generation. As a result of their age and the language barrier, many
Southeast Asian elders have trouble making their voices heard. The author presents the life histories of forty
Southeast Asian American elders as a series of complex family narratives with the goal of helping the reader better
understand the ways in which the migration and resettlement processes are experienced. The Hmong Resource
Center thanks Dr. Daniel F. Detzner of the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota,
Saint Paul for his generous donation of this important new work to our collections.
Saint Paul Public Schools English Language Learner Programs. (2004). Traditional Hmong Ways and Hmong
Marriage Ritual: Course Handbook (Hmong Language Version). This handbook was developed as part of the
curriculum of a seminar class that Hmong Cultural Center presented earlier this year along with the ELL program
of the Saint Paul Public Schools to teach professional educators the traditional Hmong marriage ceremony so that
they could more effectively communicate and work with Hmong families. The primarily Hmong language work
describes the rituals, song and procedures of the marriage ceremony.
Tapp, Nicholas; Michaud, Jean; Culas, Christian; and Gary Yia Lee. (2004). Hmong/Miao in Asia. Chiang Mai:
Silkworm Books. This volume represents an important new compilation of recent scholarship pertaining to Hmong
in East and Southeast Asia. The work begins with a substantive bibliographic essay by Nicholas Tapp assessing
the “State of Hmong Studies” research. The focus of this chapter is Hmong-related research in Asia though older
work in Hmong American Studies is also discussed. Tapp’s essay is a very useful primer to students and scholars
as a temporal overview of the wide variety of scholarship in Hmong Studies in Asia. The volume as a whole
includes articles organized into four categories – History, Language, Identity and Current Issues in Vietnam,
Thailand and Laos.
In addition to Tapp’s essay, articles included in the above work include: “From Culture Circle to Cultural Ecology:
The Hmong/Miao as reflected in German and Austrian Anthropology” by Christian Postert, “A Contribution to the
Study of Hmong (Miao) Migrations and History by Christian Culas and Jean Michaud, “Innovation and Tradition in
Rituals and Cosmology: Hmong Messianism and Shamanism in Southeast Asian” by Christian Culas, “Pa-hng and
the Classification of the Hmong-Mien Languages” by Barbara Niederer, “Vocabulary of Environment and
Subsistence in the Hmong-Mien Protolanguage” by Martha Ratliff, “A Note on the Ethno-Semantics of Proverb
Usages in Mong Njua (Green Hmong) by Thomas Amis Lyman, “Problems in the Interpretation of Hmong
Surnames” by Kao-Ly Yang, “The A Hmao in Northeast Yunnan and Northwest Guizhou Provinces: Perspectives
on the Encounter with the A Hmao from some Western Protestant Missionaries” by R. Alison Lewis, “Miao Identity
in Western Guizhou: China during the Republican Period” by Cheung Siu-Woo, “Hmong/Miao Transnationality:
Identity beyond Culture” by Louisa Schein, “Hmong and the Land Question in Vietnam: National Policy and Local
Concepts of the Environment” by Claes Corlin, “The Hmong and Forest Management in Northern Vietnam’s
Mountainous Areas” by Vuong Duy Quang, “Ntoo Xeeb: Cultural Redefinition for Forest Conservation among the
Hmong in Thailand” by Prasit Leepreecha, “Following Hmong Cultural Pathways for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS:
Notes from the Field” by Patricia V. Symonds, “Hmong Marriage Patterns in Thailand in Relation to Social Change”
by Peter Kundstadter, “Rape: Perceptions and Processes of Hmong Customary Law” by Robert Cooper,
“Transnational Adaptation: An Overview of the Hmong of Laos” by Gary Yia Lee, “The Hmong and Development in
the Lao People’s Democratic Republic” by Jan Oveson and “Hmong Refugees from Laos: The Challenge of Social
Change” by Yang Dao. The Hmong Resource Center thanks Professor Gerald Fry of the Department of
Educational Policy and Administration of the University of Minnesota for purchasing this important new volume in
Bangkok, Thailand and donating it to our collections prior to its American release later in 2004.
Hales, Susan. (2003). The Resilience of Seven Hmong Refugee Women as Told in Stories and Paj Ntaub Story
Cloth. PhD Dissertation, Gonzaga University. The purpose of this ethnographic research study was to gain an
understanding of the meaning of resilience and the supports that foster resilience from the perspectives of Hmong
refugee women in resettlement. “Helping each other,” or reciprocity and interdependence, was identified by one
woman in the study as the source of strength in family and community, an assertion that also came out in the other’
s life history interviews. In particular, telling stories verbally and in paj ntaub story cloth artwork emerged as a
personal strength of these Hmong women.
Lor, Kevin C. (2003). Factors Leading Hmong Youth to Join Gangs. M.A. Thesis, University of Wisconsin-Stout.
The author of this MA study distributed questionnaires to Hmong youth residing in two Midwest states with the
purpose of assessing some of the life and peer group factors that lead to gang participation. This thesis may also
be accessed online at: http://www.uwstout.edu/lib/thesis/2003/2003lorc.pdf
Vujongyia, Krystal Maiheu. (1997). Hmong Women’s Education. M.S. Paper in Educational Leadership, University
of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. This study examines the attitudes of 96 Hmong women and men of various ages to
education for Hmong girls and women. The Hmong Resource Center thanks the author for donating this item to
RECENT RESOURCE CENTER VISITORS:
Several groups have received tours and participated in multicultural education presentations about the Hmong at
the Hmong Resource Center and the cultural center over the past several weeks. These groups have included:
Best Buy Corporation Diversity Committee which included 45 Best Buy staff from around the United States
University of North Texas School of Library and Information Science Minnesota Cohort Graduate Students
Teachers enrolled in a multicultural education class in the Department of Educational Policy and Administration at
the University of Minnesota
Students from a Cross-cultural communication class at Metropolitan State University
Members of Flushing United Methodist Church from Flushing, Michigan
Multicultural education presentations about the Hmong were also recently given to staff at the U.S. Department of
Agriculture office in Saint Paul.
HMONG RESOURCE CENTER NOW AN AFFILIATE OF THE MN STATE DATA CENTER AND THE U.S. CENSUS
The Hmong Resource Center has recently become an affiliate of the Minnesota State Data Center and the U.S.
Census Bureau. The goal of this partnership is to make U.S. census products more accessible to the Hmong and
Southeast Asian American population. The Resource Center is home to the Southeast Asian American Census
Information Center. The Southeast Asian American Census Information Center at our Saint Paul offices provides
quick access to researchers of population, socioeconomic, education, and demographic 2000 census data for
Hmong, Cambodian, Lao and Vietnamese in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Minneapolis, St. Paul, suburban communities,
the entire Twin Cities metropolitan area and the U.S. as a whole.
The Resource Center has also recently posted a step-by-step tutorial for accessing Hmong census data online:
The Resource Center’s comprehensive Hmong census report and scholarly analysis compiled in partnership with
Hmong National Development and 5 scholars will be released in early July 2004.
HMONG STUDIES JOURNAL:
The Hmong Resource Center is a sponsor of the online Hmong Studies Journal which is the only peer reviewed
academic journal related to the growing discipline of Hmong Studies. The journal will be putting out its fifth volume
in the Fall of 2004. All articles from the four previous volumes of the journal are now available at: http:
The fourth volume (2003-2004) of the Hmong Studies Journal will also be available in a special hard copy printing
by July 1, 2004. This printing was made possible by a grant from the Asian Pacific Community Endowment of the
Saint Paul Foundation.
NEW BUILDING BRIDGES: TEACHING ABOUT THE HMONG IN OUR COMMUNITIES MULTICULTURAL
EDUCATION OUTREACH PROGRAM:
Building Bridges - Teaching about the Hmong in our Communities Program
To respond to the need for community education about the Hmong refugee experience, Hmong refugees from Wat
Thamkrabok and Hmong contributions to Minnesota, the Hmong Cultural Center's Hmong Resource Center has
started a new program that provides comprehensive 1 hour multicultural education presentations about the Hmong
to groups in the Twin Cities community and Greater Minnesota.
Common topics of the interactive presentations in the Building Bridges program include Hmong History, Hmong
Role in the Secret U.S. War in Laos 1963-1975, Why the Hmong fled Laos as Refugees, Hmong resettlement to
the U.S. 1976-1995, Early Experiences of Hmong in Saint Paul and Minnesota, Important leaders in 20th century
Hmong history, Hmong contributions to Minnesota, Prominent and Successful Hmong-Minnesotans, Hmong Culture
(clans, music, agriculture, clothing), the Hmong Language, Hmong beliefs about Health and Medicine, Working with
Hmong-origin students and their Families, Hmong refugees in Wat Thamkrabok and their resettlement in the U.S.
Curriculum of presentations can be adjusted to meet the needs of particular groups. Presentations to health
professionals and educators also focus on the topics of cultural awareness training for work with clients of Hmong-
Arranged Presentations at the Cultural Center in Saint Paul are free of charge but optional donations are
requested by groups with institutional affiliations. Presentations at schools or organizations are available for a
standard fee. Diversity awareness presentations can also be given at corporations and other workplaces for a fee.
Please call 651-917-9937 and ask for Mark Pfeifer or Txong Pao Lee to discuss arranging a presentation at the
center or at your school or organization.
HMONG LANGUAGE CLASSES AT HMONG RESOURCE CENTER THIS SUMMER:
The Hmong Resource Center of the Hmong Cultural Center in Saint Paul will be starting two Hmong language
classes the week of July 12.
Basic Introduction to the Hmong Language: This class primarily intended for persons with no previous knowledge
whatsoever of the Hmong language will provide an introduction to the Hmong language (Romanized alphabet,
pronunciation, grammar), key phrases in Hmong and cultural orientation information about working with traditional
Hmong families. This class will meet on Monday nights for 10 weeks until early September from 6 to 7 PM.
Introduction to Reading and Writing in Hmong: This class is primarily intended for persons fluent in spoken Hmong
but who do not know how to read and write Hmong. The Romanized Hmong alphabet and writing system will be
taught. Students will practice reading and writing as well as pronouncing written Hmong. This class will meet on
Wednesday nights for 10 weeks until early September from 6 to 7 PM.
Fees: Class fees are $60 for the 10 week semester. The class fee includes a copy of the course textbook and
To enroll in either class stop by the Hmong Cultural Center at 995 University Avenue, Suite 214, Saint Paul, MN
(Sunrise Market Building). Location info is at: www.hmongcenter.org. For more info call Mark Pfeifer at 651-917-
HMONG LITERACY FAIR AT HUMBOLDT HIGH SCHOOL, THURSDAY, JUNE 22:
A literacy fair with free books will be held at Humboldt Senior High School, June 22 from 7 to 9 PM. This event is
sponsored by the Saint Paul Early Language and Literacy (SPELL) Collaborative and various West Side
organizations and community members including Hmong Cultural Center committed to improving the early literacy
of our children. Humboldt Senior School is located at 30 E. Baker in Saint Paul. For more information about this
event or to arrange transportation for a family call See Moua at 612-626-4699 or Choua Her at 651-789-2523
HMONG COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS BULLETIN BOARD:
A continually updated and comprehensive listing of events and other announcements relevant to the Hmong
community in Minnesota and beyond is available at:
Please feel free to send us your upcoming announcements for prompt posting on the Bulletin Board page.
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.