Jeremy | Emily
| Gabby | Izzy S.
The Hmong have lived in two worlds ever
since the Hmong were in the refugee camps. This started then
because of the grown-ups with their home life and work life
for only some adults.
This has been the same with the Hmong kids but started a
little later. Living in two worlds started for kids when they
came to America, because they had mainstream school and their
Hmong traditions at home.
Most of the Hmong here in America have
the pressure of living in two worlds. What I mean is that
Hmong kids live in a traditional or Christian HMONG culture,
and when they come to school, they have to fit in with the
mainstream culture. Its as hard for the older people, because
they probably spent most of their life in Laos, and since
that is the culture they have known for so long, it must be
really hard to adjust.
I bet the kids feel kind of pressured. Usually they are the
strongest link to the non-Hmong world. Most of the time when
Mr. Wagler sends an important message home, the kid has to
translate it quickly. Good thing they are bilingual! That
must be a big responsibility for kids.
There are a couple of times where it
proves that the Hmong live in two worlds.
First when adults go out for jobs they have to try to be
as much American as possible, but then when they get home,
they have to change their mindset.
That’s the same with kids and school, at school it
is so different because they speak English and that’s
the culture. At home most of the parents only speak Hmong,
so the kids have to learn how to speak Hmong and English.
Also the food is really different.
Living in two worlds is difficult for everybody,
not just the Hmong. Language is one of the most difficult
things to learn, think about learning. The first comes naturally
but the second is harder. Well, if you had to learn the second
for school or work and you weren’t just doing it for
There are disagreements between kids and grownups about how
much of the new culture should we take in? Other questions
like that. These are questions with no right answers, they
had to make those decisions themselves.