There are a lot of stereotypes about the Hmong people out there. Ignorant people tend to believe in them and it creates misunderstandings. So this article will be dedicated to breaking those stereotypes and explaining them in deeper depth.
- Teenage Hmong girls get pregnant a lot. It is as inaccurate statement because pregnant teens range from all kinds of race. The point is that it used to be more common and accepted when the Hmong immigrated to the U.S. because young marriage was common in Laos. It’s a cultural thing since Hmong people did not expect to live long in those days. It’s less common in present day since the younger Hmong generations are learning about sex in schools and using protections.
- The Hmong people are an unknown race. Well, if history was recorded and taught truthfully, then there would not be such a thing called the “Secret War”. People would’ve have known about the Hmong much earlier and the war that presumed afterwards the Vietnam War. The Hmong people sided with the U.S. When the U.S. loss and withdrew their troops, the Hmong were targeted and many were killed. It’s a problem of inaccurate information where the Hmong are assumed to be of “some Asian descent”. The Hmong have their own culture and people just like any other race. So outsiders should not rely on heavy media portrayals because they are are false information.
- Hmong people are in gangs. To be precise, it was more common back then because they were a new minority in the U.S. and needed in some ways to be united against others. Although it is less popular now for Hmong people to be involved in gangs since it’s dangerous, gangs still do exists. It shouldn’t be assumed that most Hmong people are involved in gangs because it’s not true.
- The Hmong people are uneducated. Another broad statement that is implied on Hmong people as a whole. The Hmong people are originally farmers who made a living off the land and their produces. Most of those knowledge are focused on farming and there really isn’t a need to be educated’ when most Hmong people lived in the countryside of Laos. Therefore, it takes a longer time for the Hmong people to adapt and adjust to the U.S. It is easier for the younger generation since they are born in the U.S. and go to English speaking schools, but the older generation don’t have those opportunities. It’s not that the Hmong people are uneducated, but limited to how far they can continue their education with legitimate reasons just like any other people.
- Hmong families live in one house and cannot afford to live in another house. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, it is wise to save money by living with your family/parents. It is true for all beginning families who can’t rent/buy a home yet. It doesn’t imply that the Hmong people are poor or anything. It is a financial strategy. The Hmong people don’t see living with their relatives as an issue and they don’t practice trying to force their children out early either. The Hmong culture value family over space and money. It is not seen as an awful burden like how the American culture perceives it.
- Many Hmong families live on welfare. Anyone who is in the lower class tends to rely on government welfare more. Not all Hmong families rely on government help and for those who do, they actually do need it. It is not like Hmong people don’t pay taxes either because they do. Who else is going to help low-income families out of generosity? Not much.
Tags: breaking, culture, discussion, Hmong, ignorant, information, people, race, racism, stereotypes, talk, U.S, unknown, youth
We live in a society where alcohol’s presence is everywhere. There will be moments where other people try to make another person drink through various pressures. Here are some advices to help you avoid being peer pressure into drinking:
- Just say no. If a person walks up to you and offer a drink, don’t say yes automatically. Reject their offer and express that you don’t want to drink, period. Saying no at the beginning will save you rather than saying no later. If people see that you are easy to boss and be pushed around, they’ll make sure that you drink till you’re blacked out.
- Walk away and avoid. The best solution is to avoid drunk people or people who are drinking in general. They’ll think that you’re bored or that you need to ‘drink to have fun’ so it’s best to avoid them.
- Stand your ground and defend if you have to. Some people relentlessly follow you and don’t know when to stop. So make sure you can voice your opinion and reasons so that they won’t walk over you. For example, phrases like : “I will not drink so you need to stop it”, “I’m not here to get drunk”, “Stop trying to peer pressure me”, and “Excuse me, I’m going to use the bathroom”.
- Don’t attend any event with alcohol involved. If you know there will be alcohol involved then just don’t go. You’ll be walking straight into annoying people and being peer pressure. If you didn’t know there was going to be alcohol involved then leave if you have to or find a space where you can avoid it.
- Don’t let people guilt you into anything! If your friend, a relative, or someone close tries to play the guilt card, it’s best to reject them no matter what. Remember just because it’s somebody you know, doesn’t mean they get to influence you into something you don’t want to do.
- Use your brain, have the confidence, and use your voice. If you are not confident in whatever you may say, people aren’t going to get that across. So make sure that you are able to confront people.
- Don’t offer to be that ‘friend who is the sober driver’. It will save you less time for trouble! Besides, do you really want to drive around with a bunch of drunk people in the car?
In conclusion, don’t let other people’s decisions influence yours. No matter if it’s a stranger, friend, family, or relative, they don’t get to walk over you. So just be careful in your situations/decisions and avoid alcohol.
Tags: advice, Alcohol, anti-alcohol, avoid, deal, drinking, help, how, no, party, peer pressure, say no, situation, stop, tip, to, youth
Like many other Asian cultures, respect in the Hmong culture is an important part. If you’re someone who don’t know how or what is considered respectful in the Hmong cultures then it would be harder for you to understand why they do things the way they do. So here’s a list of situations/advices that will help you understand the culture better.
- Respect your elders. This rule applies to most Asian cultures as well because it is perceived that younger people should treat elders respectfully since they are wiser, hold more experiences, and are older. Therefore, if you are seen disrespecting your elder like your mom, your dad, or somebody older then it makes you look shameful and dishonorable. People may lecture you for doing so.
- Single women/men should not talk to married men/women or vice versa. This usually apply to family gatherings or outside social events. It is considered as a form of disrespect in the other partner’s presence, especially for the men. The Hmong people believe it is improper to do so without their partner because rumors may spread. So men will greet other men by shaking hands where the women may say hi or nod her head and she will greet the women.
- In big social events, men eat first followed by women then children. It is rude for women and children to eat before men do in social events. Men eats first because they are from the family line (not the wives’ family side) and the animals are sacrificed to their ancestors.
- A clean/neat house reflect upon the family. Traditionally, the Hmong women (sometimes with their children) do all the chores in cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the family. But now, chores are shared in marriage. If a visitor arrives and enter a dirty home, it reflects badly on the family as rude and lazy. Being able to keep one’s home clean is more respectful because it makes it more comfortable for outsiders.
- It is expected that a wife of a husband of another religion or type of Hmong must covert to their ways in respect of their lifestyle, ancestors, and marriage. This is because the Hmong girl will not belong in her family anymore and will identify herself religiously of her husband’s .
- Firstborn sons are expected to live and take care of his parents. It is really disrespectful for any family to put their parents in retirement home because it is seen as being lazy and uncaring. It is the responsibility that the firstborn son do the job even after he’s married and his parents are expected to share a home with him. It is perceived a right thing to do so because parents have cared for and supported the children since their births.
- When someone related offer gifts such as food or money, it is respectful to accept it. Usually this happen then the offered party may reject it at first for a couple times. But ultimately at the end, it is more respectful to accept it because they are offering something out of kindness.
- It is best for someone of another religion to not talk about their own religion in presence of traditional/Shaman Hmongs. Although a lot of Hmongs have converted to different religions, it is considered rude if they discuss about their religion or try to convert Hmong people in their homes. If a Shaman family accepts people of a different religion into their home, it is expected that they respect them too.
- It is common that when a male/female enters into a another Hmong family’s house, the parents will ask him questions. It is assumed by the parents that a female/male may be a boyfriend/girlfriend/friend of the daughter/son. It is expected that the female/male answers the question. If not, then it would be rude because the parents will want to know. They may ask simple question such as “What’s your last name?”, “What’s your parent’s name?”, “Where do you live?”, and “Where did your family come from?”. It is to determine the female’s/male’s reputation and relationship to their child.
- During a Hmong marriage ceremony, it is supposedly rude, especially for the groom, to reject drinks from elders. That is why the groom/bride have a set of bridesmaid(s)/groomsmen to drink in place for him/her to not disrespect.
Tags: culture, discussuion, elders, expectations, expected, Family, follow, Hmong, how, norms, parents, respect, respectful, rules, talk, to, ways, youth
So when you see or hear about other people eating things out of the ordinary, you may stop to wonder why. Well, each culture eat different things depending on their culture, environment, resources, and etc. So it’s not entirely rare or new to those people since they have ate those things for a long period of time. Here is a list of things that people may enjoy outside of the general U.S. diet.
- Insects/Bug: Yes, this type of food may sound disgusting and scary, but a lot of it are eaten by people in Asia and Africa. Common ones are crickets, spiders, grasshoppers, beetles, silkworms, bees, larvae form of insects/bugs, and more. They are a good source of protein when there isn’t enough meat around.
- Eels: A type of fish that is less popular in the U.S., but commonly found in Asia, and parts of Europe. It is rich in vitamins, protein, and omega-3 content.
- Tongues, ears, feet, head, etc., or whole body: The parts and/or the whole body of animals, which are usually not eaten in the U.S. are consider a delicacy or an essential part to use in cooking. In some cultures, it is important to not waste parts of an animal’s body because there’s a lot to do with it and sometimes, food are scarce.
- Intestines/organs: Usually are of common animals such as pigs and chickens, intestines/organs are perceived as food. For example, the heart, lung, liver, skin, gizzard, tripe, and kidney are eaten. People like to eat it for multiple reasons, some may say its good for your health and others may say they’re delicious parts to enjoy.
- Alive animals: Some people believe that food is best served when it’s freshest and that means eating it when it’s alive. Parts in Asia, such as South Korea and Japan uses raw and live seafood to eat like octopus, fishes, oysters, sea urchins, and more.
- Snake, crocodile, and other reptiles: These food are widely use for protein and the belief of medical benefits. They are eaten in Australia, South America, Asia, and parts of Europe. Snakes can be used in wines and dishes. Crocodile for it’s meat, skin, teeth, and other body parts. Reptiles such as lizards are common source of protein also.
- Fermented Eggs/Fertilized Eggs: They are eggs of chicken and are quite popular in parts of Asia. Fertilized eggs has chicks inside of them, but before hatching, they are boiled. People enjoy eating these for its texture and taste. Fermented eggs are wrapped in material of food that makes it turn brown and grayish black/green in the middle. They are left for days to ferment, but it varies on who makes it. Each are very different and has their own unique taste.
- Frogs: Maybe you’re not a fan of the other foods, ever thought about trying to eat frogs? Their size varies so you can try small ones or bigger ones. In parts of Europe and Asia, frogs are eaten using most of the parts or just the legs. People who tried it before said it taste similarly to chicken meat.
- Bats: In places like Asia, Africa, and parts in Australia, bats can be be a source of protein, but eat at your own risks! Research have found that some bats are not safe to eat for possible diseases that they may carry.
- Blood sausage/pudding: This type of sausage usually have pig’s blood that is mixed with other grains/veggies such as rice, onion, potatoes, and more. It is commonly found in parts of Europe and most of Asia. It has a grainy soft-like texture and can be eaten alone or as a side dish.
- Mice/Guinea Pigs/Rats: There have been reports of people eating mice, rat, and guinea pigs in parts of Asia, Europe, and South America. In Peru, it is normal for families to live with and eat guinea pigs. They are probably one of strangest food to try out of your comfort zone.
- Stingray: Mainly eaten in South Korean, stingrays are considered a delicacy and something challenging to eat. They are often fermented and holds a very strong stinky smell. It is not everyone’s favorite, but some people do like it.
- Turtle: Particularly enjoyed in Asia, this endangered species is another delicacy.
There are probably more food that are not on the list. Hopefully, this will help you understand the different food that people eat all over the world. More of the common ingredients are found in Asian supermarkets and for the unique ones will have to be eaten abroad.
Tags: advices, Bi-cultural, dicussion, diet, discussion, dishes, food, Lifestyle PSAs, open, people, strange, talk, world, youth
From the “Anti-Tobacco on Youth” brochure, here are 10 tips to keep away from tobacco and stop it from spreading.
1. Prevent yourself from secondhand smoking (don’t breath in the same air when smokers are smoking).
2. Avoid being peer pressured from your social groups and society.
3. Stray away from smokers that could possible try to put you in awkward situation.
4. Prevent putting your health at risk by not using tobacco.
5. Help discuss about tobacco use and its risks with younger people.
6. Keep cigarette smokers far from young children and babies when you can.
7. If you’re 18 and over, don’t buy cigarette packs for youths.
8. Don’t use electronic cigarettes in place of tobacco use. It is proven to be harmful as well.
9. Try to cope with your problems/stress in a healthy positive way, rather than turning to tobacco and other dangerous sources as your first resort.
10. Say no to tobacco when offered.
Remember the choice is yours. Think about what you can do and what you would do for yourself and for the sake of others. It’s not about everything else at the end of the day so be smart about your decisions.
Tags: advice, AMA, anti-tobacco, babies, childern, health risk, no, prevent, say, second smoking, spreading, stop, teens, tips, Tobacco, youth
Summer is shortly around the corner and it means there will be no school in session for the next 3 months! What a great relief! Well, now it’s time to start thinking of what you may or can do over the summer. Don’t let three months of warm weather go to waste by watching TV and staying inside. Here is a list of things to make your summer a little brighter!
- Find a summer job. Whether you want to work part-time or full-time, it’s up to you. It is always nice to make your own money and have spending cash.
- Attend, work, or volunteer at a summer camp! If you like being with people and outdoor, being at a summer camp can be a good experience and allow new opportunities. Summer camps’ length vary from programs so it doesn’t have to take up your whole entire summer.
- Go on a summer trip! Either with your family, or if you’re old enough, with your friends, take a summer trip by any given transportations. It could be at a cabin, out of state, or even out of the country!
- Find a new hobby or activity that you can do outdoors. The point of summer is that the weather is finally warm enough for you to be outside so make the most of it! Play sports, go biking, talk a walk along a trail, go swimming, go to a amusement park, have a barbecue, hike uphill, go fishing at lakes, camp outside, and more.
- Spend time with family and friends. More free times means you can hang with them more often and longer. The more memories you make, the better your summer will be.
- Attend festivals and fairs! Summer is the season for people to celebrate and there are so many things too discover. Attractions such as great food, fun entertainment, and sights will keep you accompanied.
- This probably isn’t on top of your list, but if you want to volunteer for your community, a charity, or for a good cause, why not do it? It is good for people once in a while to do something positive. Also, there’s a lot of events that lets you volunteer for hours to days or longer.
Tags: activities, advices, do, fun, plans, programs, schools, summer, teens, tips, to, what, work, youth
Although we all may have been taught differently and have different perspectives, there are just some things we should follow regardless. So here are the general rules that should be followed:
- If it’s not nice, then don’t say it before thinking about it. Everyone is obligated to their own opinions and judgments, but it is not necessary to tell that to everyone, especially if you just meet someone.
- Be respectful. It is way better to respect people and their personal space because not everyone is going to want to be your friend.
- Believing in out of date and strange stereotypes. Stereotypes may or may not be true for groups of people; so it’s better not to assume anything.
- Be polite to others when you can. It is not too much to be nice once in a while or say hello!
- Don’t talk down to strangers or acquaintances. It’s really rude to see yourself higher and act above other people. Although you may have a higher status/reputation, it is still disrespectful.
- It is quite obvious to let elderly and disabled people, and pedestrian go first.
- Putting your personal life and anger on social networks. It is nice to be able to communicate and share exciting news with everyone, but it’s not a personal diary. There is a fine line of what’s appropriate and what should not be viewed by the world.
Tags: advice, common sense, discussion, expectations, expected, general, norms, rules, society, tips, youth