| Sara K. | Emma
| Gabby | Pakou
Conflict Resolution: Tim
| Jenny | Pakou
| Gabby | Dylan
Hmong marriage is very different from
American marriage, because in our culture we get to choose
who to marry. But in Hmong culture, their elders or someone
in their clan arrange the marriage.
It isn't just two people getting married;
it isn't just two people. It's two families, two villages,
and two clans.
Yia Thao also talked about what you need
at a wedding:
Two marriage negotiators from bride's side
Two marriage negotiators from groom's side
Two parents from each side
Two brothers, by religion
After that, the bride and groom negotiate
about the dowry, and how to treat each other with respect.
Both sides give money, but the son's parents give money to
the bride's parents and it is kind of like buying her. They
gave silver coins in Laos, but here they just give money.
You can't marry your own clan; that's
the law. If you marry a man you become [one of his] clan.
In the regular weddings the man steals the brides to the man's
house. When they get to the man's house, the parents have
to hold a chicken and wave it around the man and bride, and
what I think that means is that the bride is becoming that
clan or a welcome.
You need a mej koob to get married. A mej koob
is a person who helps out with the marriage to make the bride
a new life and to make her part of her new family.
There are two different kinds of ways
to meet to be married:
1. The bride and the groom meet at the Hmong New Year at
the ball toss.
2. The marriage for the bride and groom would be a request
by the relatives of the groom's family, family elders, and
sometimes a request of the bride's family.
In Hmong conflict resolution, there is
no appeals system. If the family elders make a decision, it's
final. They do not appeal it to the next level of community
elder. If the family elders do not make a decision, but the
clan community elder does, the ruling is final and the case
does not go to court.
If the girl doesn't want to get divorced
and the guy does, then the guy would have to pay money for
the girl to go home, and go live with her family again.
Hmong people's clans are Xiong, Thao,
Vang, Yang, Lao, Lee, Cha, Moua, etc. If a woman and a man
are going to divorce in Hmong they need to go to the elders,
parents or family, or relatives come and help you. In Hmong,
you don't go to courts to get a divorce—only for Hmong
Christians—but Hmong go to the people they already know.
The judge is like a stranger to you, and your people are not
a stranger to you, and I think that's why some Hmong people
don't want to go to church and don't know the language.
In the Hmong culture the people who
solve conflicts are the elders. Not every old Hmong can be
an elder. They have to be elected or chosen. In every clan
there are about three to four elders.
If a Hmong person gets in trouble or
has a problem with somebody else, they go to the clan elder.
If the clan elder thinks the problem is important enough,
the person goes to the community elder. Then the community
elder lets them go to court, or makes them go to court.
A question I had is if you are a Hmong
married lady, and you had a problem, and you were going to
your elders, would you go to your new elders (your husband's)
or your original clan elders?
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