An Introduction to Hmong Culture by Ya Po Cha

By Ya Po Cha

Offering a holistic viewpoint of the Hmong lifestyle, this ebook touches on each element of the Hmong tradition, together with an summary in their historical past and traditions, relationships among Hmong mom and dad and their childrens, the rites and traditions of Hmong marriage ceremony and funeral ceremonies, the get together of the Hmong New yr, domestic regulations and different superstitious taboos, arts and politics. The ebook positive aspects and explains many Hmong phrases, words and proverbs.

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A family that does not have a son is viewed as a burden to the clan and community, because such a family will not contribute much to the community. A family without a male heir will need everybody else to see the parents to the end. From the clan perspective, Hmong people value their sons more than their daughters. ” This is the belief that a looser son will mature and wise up. Then, he will do the right thing and become a productive member of society. A daughter, on the other hand, has to conduct herself properly and it is not in her best interest to be out helping the clan in ceremonial or religious rituals.

Sometimes the women and children start eating before the men are done with their lengthy rituals. Let us examine a shaman ritual to illustrate proper table norms. When the feast is prepared and the table is set, the elders are usually invited to sit at the table first. The head of the table is usually the middle seat against the back wall of the home, and it is here the shaman normally sits during the feasting. This is easily recognizable because the shaman, or suka, altar is placed on the back wall.

So it is not unusual when two strangers meet and the first thing they talk about is how they are related and then they start treating each other like old friends. Before a kinship can be established between two strangers, they can arbitrarily address each other with a presumptuous kinship. For example, if you meet someone with the same last name as you but he looks slightly older than you, you can start by calling him older brother (tij laug). For someone who seems much older than you but younger than your father, you can call him younger father (txiv ntawm).

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