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.”



Every odd year or so, some Hmong children are born with blond hair.  Casual observers will wrongly assume these children have albinism.  Though Hmong children can also be born with albinism, in general, Hmong people who are born light-haired are not necessarily albino.

The blond hair of Hmong children will generally fade into a light honey brown as they grow older. However, there are exceptions to the rule, some Hmong children remain blond their entire lives. In this case, some will choose to dye their blond hair black in order to conform to the norm. Unlike people raised in Western culture where blond hair is the highest achievement of beauty and glamour, traditionally, Hmong people prefer black hair and fair skin and do not care much for blond hair.

According to geneticists, there is a particular Hmong blond gene that is a very specific gene only found in the Hmong. This Hmong blond gene has very little to do with the Caucasian blond gene.  It’s completely different from the Caucasian one, thus contrary to assumptions, blond Hmong children are not the result of the mixing of the two groups of people. 

In ancient wars between the Han-Chinese and Hmong people, the blond haired Hmong fighters were easily spotted and picked off to attack. Meanwhile, in Southeast Asia, blond haired Hmong children are coveted by other ethnic groups and often targeted for kidnappings.

In other Asian ethnicities, there are no blond genes, so it is a very unique gene among the Hmong group. If a Hmong individual married a person of Chinese, Vietnamese or Korean ancestry, there is no chance their child would be born with fair hair because throughout history, none of those other Asian groups have ever developed blond genes. However, even if a Hmong individual, let’s say, married a blond Caucasian person, they would not automatically have a child born with blond hair because, as mentioned, the Hmong blond gene and the Caucasian blond gene are utterly different.  Only marriage between two Hmong individuals who both carry the Hmong blond trait would result in a blond haired Hmong child.


Lao movie focuses on homosexuality and the Hmong minority group.

Shoutout to all the amazing immigrants who are in this country illegally. Or any country for that matter. They risk everything for their families. They leave the only place they’ve ever known and start over, for a better future. Not just for them, but for their children and families back home. Shoutout to the immigrants who work their asses off at minimum wage jobs because they can’t work anywhere else due to their legal status. Shoutout to the immigrants who are scared every day that they’ll be sent back to their homes to start over once again. Each one of you has earned my respect over the years and I appreciate everything you have done.