hmong

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Minoritized languages moodboard: Hmong

Hmong or Mong (lus Hmoob / lug Moob / lol Hmongb) is the language of the Hmong peole, who live in of southern central China, northern Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

For anon

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Lao movie focuses on homosexuality and the Hmong minority group.

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, there are fifteen million Asian-Pacific Americans who make up forty-three different ethnic groups and who originally came from twenty-eight Asian countries and fifteen Pacific islands. The “model minority” myth disregards the social and economic hardships faced by recently arrived Southeast Asian refugees, particularly the Hmong. In the 1990s, high school graduation rates were about 35 percent for Cambodian Americans, 36 percent for Lao Americans, and 58 percent for Vietnamese Americans— and all of these numbers are well below the overall average of 82 percent for Asian Americans as a whole. Due to the “model minority” myth, public schools do not even bother to record Asian-Pacific American student dropout rates; yet, at the time of the study, about half of Hmong female students dropped out of school before graduation (Walker-Moffat 1995; Xiong and Tatum 1999). A Hmong woman comments, “As Asian Americans, we face the ‘model minority’ myth that hurts so many Hmong because we have so many challenges.” In addition, since Hmong and other Asian Americans are perceived in American society as “strangers from a different shore,” the validity of their professional decision making is often put on trial. As a Hmong American female attorney attests, “As a prosecutor of color, people presumed I held a bias in favor of other people of color and could not prosecute a case neutrally without regard to race.”
—  “Women in the Hmong Diaspora” by Dia Cha in Diversity in Diaspora: Hmong Americans in the Twenty-First Century (2013)

As tone languages go, Mandarin is by no means the most complicated. The Hmong language, spoken in China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand, can have seven or even eight tones. It’s dazzling, really. If you say paw like a statement, it means “female.” Say it like a question and it means “to throw.” Say it up high in an impatient way and you’re saying “ball.” Say it down low as if you ran into someone in a basement and didn’t want anyone upstairs to know you were down there, and it means “thorn.” Say it in a tone between the impatient high and the down-low and it means “pancreas.” If you say paw in a creaky way—kind of like the way one might imitate an elderly person’s voice—then it means “to see,” while if you say it in a breathy, amazed way as if you were seeing a horsey in the clouds, then it means “paternal grandmother.”

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