Farmers in Laos, U.S. allies during the Vietnam War, refugees in Thailand, settlers in the Western world--the stories of the Hmong have been told in detail through books and articles and oral histories over the past several decades. Like any immigrant group, the first generation may yearn for the past as they watch their children and grandchildren find their way in the dominant culture of their new home. For Hmong people born and educated in the United States, a definition of self often includes traditional practices and tight-knit family groups but also a fully Americanized point of view. How do these members of the "1.5" and the second generation of American Hmong negotiate the expectations of these two cultures? How can their classmates and neighbors better understand what it means to be both Hmong and American? In this collection of essays, historians, sociologists, teachers, counselors, and artists explore the concepts of war, refugee status, resettlement, and assimilation, weaving their own stories into their depictions of a community that continues to develop complex identities, both abundantly shared and deeply personal.
This 260-paged paperback is edited by Vincent K. Her and Mary Louise Buley-Meissner.