Who are the Hmong?
The Hmong are an ethnic group of people with specific language and culture. They originally came from the Yellow River in China with over 5,000 years of history. In the early 1800’s, as a result of the land expansion by the Han or Chinese Ethnic group, some Hmong left South China to North Vietnam and North Laos. Then their migration continued progressively toward West to Thailand and Burma.. After the Secret War of Laos which was the extension of the Vietnam War (1960-1975), thousands of Hmong have moved out of Laos to seek asylum in many European and Western countries including Australia, France, Canada, Germany, and the United States. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there were about 260,000 Hmong refugees living in the United States, with the majority living in the states of California, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Why Hmong in the U. S. A. today?
In the early 1960’s, the U.S. CIA went to Laos to equip and finance the Lao, Hmong and other Laotian ethnic groups into Special Guerilla Units (S.G.U.) to fight a “secret war” against the communist Pathet Lao, supported by the communist North Vietnam and China. The Hmong played many critical roles under the leadership of the Royal Lao Army and the directions of the U.S. CIA in defending the Military Region 2 of the Kingdom of Laos against the communist North Vietnamese troops which invaded the Northeastern part of Laos to pass through the Ho Chi Minh Trail in South Laos, providing intelligence on enemy operations, guarding U.S. strategic radar installation, and rescuing down American pilots in Lao territory. As a result of the Secret War and its aftermath, about 35,000 Hmong which constituted of the total Hmong population in Laos died in the battle fields. Hmong history short film
As a result, after the communists took over of Cambodia, South Vietnam in April 1975 and Laos in May 1975, more than 45,000 Lao, Hmong and other Laotian ethnic people were arrested the communist Pathet Laos and sent to the political reeducation camps or labor camps along the border with Vietnam, where the majority of them died of starvation, diseases or persecutions. About 400,000 others, including 150,000 Hmong, were forced to leave their villages or towns and clandestinely escaped through the jungles across the Mekong River to take the road of exile as mentioned above.
Do the Hmong want to integrate into American society?
The majority of the Hmong refugees from Laos migrated to the United States of America. Over the past 40 years in their new home, they have worked very hard to be able to make their difficult transition into the high-tech society of America. They have accomplished great strides since 1975. A significant number of Hmong have graduated from high schools and colleges. Nearly of all Hmong families have become homeowners. In addition, a growing number of Hmong are starting businesses such as grocery stores, restaurants, specialty stores, and small manufacturing companies. For the most part, Hmong children are doing well in schools. An increasing number of Hmong high school graduates have gone on to colleges or universities. Many have graduated from colleges and universities and are returning to the community to work and serve as bridges between the Hmong communities and the mainstream American society. The majority of Hmong have become U.S. citizens. The Hmong-Americans are getting more involved in this multi-cultural American community, and generally doing a variety of social and economic activities that one would expect in any society. In essence, they have become productive and contributing members of the community.
How Hmong living American?
Since 1975 there are more than 600 Hmong who have received their doctoral degrees from American universities. Many of them become lawyers, professors, teachers, school principals, local government officials, business professionals, etc…