Friday, April 23, 2010


This weekend was going to be fun but now it's raining and gloomy.

My mom wanted me to go help out with this funeral. I don't know the girl that well but we have mutual friends. The sad part is her mother passed way earlier this year. I didn't even go to the funeral either. In less than four months later, her dad passed away. Even though, I don't know her that well, my mom has asked me to come since I didn't go to the funeral earlier this year.

She is a Hmoob Hawj. In the Hmong culture, it's good to stick with your clan for support for financial and emotional reasons. I never understood that. I was debating whether or not to go to the funeral tomorrow. My mom wanted me to help out with the food preparations. She said to me, "you need to know all this when we pass away."

I was like, are you kidding me? First of all, we grew up as Christians and you want me to learn the traditional Shaman way? What kind of funeral do you really want?

However, I gave in. I do need to learn more about my culture. What's the use of me trying to educate others about my culture when I am not even going to participate and help out? Why do I even have a blog to keep up with the Hmong news? Action speaks louder than words.

When I was younger, I used to want to deny anything Hmong because I was lost in a world of two cultures. Modernization and Americanizing won. I don't regret my decision. Or my decision to be with a non Hmong man. I love my husband. Without him, I am not who I am today.

With the love and support from him, since he has never asked me not to participate in anything Hmong. I've always continued to go to Hmong events and functions. Even without him. He has never made me go to Cambodian events. My kids think they are more Hmong than Cambodian and even know how to speak more Hmong than their full-blooded cousins!!!

I do fear that one day, the Hmong culture will slowly be dimish, just like the Native-American (heck, we don't even know what to call them, they were killed off!!) culture. The youngers today don't even care much about the culture. They can't even mutter more than two phrases besides "Kuv Hlub Koj" and "Nyob Zoo."

In the end, I can relate to the Hmoob Hawj girl because she doesn't have family in Georgia. Even I don't. Only my immediate family. So in the end, it's all about supporting your clan, doesn't matter if you know the person.

My parents are just very involved in the Hmong community. They've been that way ever since we moved to Georgia in the 1980s.

So basically, yeah, I'm popular, just kidding. I'm only known as Mr. & Mrs. Her's oldest daughter, the really dark one, haha

Everyday, I'm still learning about the Hmong culture. I found this Wikipedia article on the traditional Hmong funeral. I know not everything on Wiki is accurate but this is more than I ever knew!!


cmleigh said...

Very Interesting Nicki. Thanks for sharing.

Maya Magdalena said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Nicki!