HMONG RESOURCE CENTER OF THE HMONG CULTURAL CENTER, E-MAIL NEWSLETTER, 2003, NO. 2
ABOUT THE HMONG RESOURCE CENTER:
The Hmong Resource Center of the Hmong Cultural Center is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9
AM – 6 PM. Many of the items in the Resource Center may be checked out with a photo i.d. for a period of one
week. A photocopier is also available on site.
The Hmong Resource Center is located in the Hmong Cultural Center’s offices at 995 University Avenue, Suite
214 in Saint Paul. Phone: 651-917-9937. E-Mail: email@example.com
Online Resource Center Catalog: www.hmongcenter.org/
Hmong Resource Center Director: Mark E. Pfeifer, PhD; Hmong Cultural Center Executive Director: Txong Pao
RECENT RESOURCE CENTER VISITORS:
Recent visitors to the Resource Center have included:
Dina Finkel, a volunteer with the Council on Crime and Justice in Minneapolis. Dina was doing some research
related to domestic violence issues in the Hmong community.
Noel Gordon, a student enrolled in a Multicultural Education course at Augsburg College. Noel was collecting
information for a paper pertaining to Hmong educational achievement in Minnesota.
Wade Mann and Amara Forrest-Jones, students at Metropolitan State University, working on a “Hmong Social
Mapping” project for a cultural diversity course.
Maydeu Ly, a PhD student enrolled at Cappella University. Maydeu was compiling resources for her PhD
dissertation which is focused upon the mental health of older Hmong adults.
Mitch Odgen, a PhD student from the University of Minnesota. Mitch was researching the published accounts of
the historic origins of the Hmong people.
Shary Vang, a student at the University of Minnesota working on a paper pertaining to Hmong youth and family
Jessica Johnson, a student at the University of Minnesota researching the history of the Hmong Christian
Missionary Alliance Church.
Helen Subialka, a student at Hamline University working on a paper related to the designs and symbolic meaning
of Hmong Paj Ntaub (Storyblankets).
Bee Lee of the Saint Paul Public Schools. Bee was working on a presentation that he was going to give at the
University of Saint Thomas pertaining to Hmong perspectives on disabilities.
Grit Youngquist of the Ramsey County Health Department. Grit was collecting materials for a staff program
related to cultural diversity in the Twin Cities Community.
About 20 Students from Professor Yueh-Ting Lee’s Ethnic Studies class at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
On a Saturday visit, the students received a tour and a presentation about Hmong culture and history.
Educational orientation activity sessions related to Hmong-related resources and Hmong history and culture are
available for interested groups. To schedule a group visit, please call the Hmong Cultural Center at 651-917-
HMONG CULTURE BOOK COLLECTION:
The Hmong Cultural Center’s Cultural Specialist Tougeu Leepalao has compiled a series of books related to
various aspects of the Hmong culture including the Hmong wedding ceremony, funeral songs, Hmong history, and
Hmong traditional ethics and morals. The books are only available in the Hmong RPA script and the White Hmong
For more information about this series of publications visit the following link:
NEW ENGLISH-WHITE HMONG DICTIONARY AVAILABLE:
An English-White Hmong/White-Hmong English Dictionary compiled by Mark Thompson and Mai Vang of the Saint
Paul Public Schools with the assistance of Txong Pao Lee, Executive Director of the Hmong Cultural Center is
now available from the Hmong Cultural Center.
This newly expanded dictionary includes 2-way English-Hmong translations of about 10,000 Hmong words and
phrases as well as sections related to English and Hmong Sentence Structure and Grammar, common Hmong
Names and a Special Education terminology dictionary.
The dictionary may be ordered from Hmong Cultural Center in hard copy or CD-ROM format. More information
about the dictionary is available at the following link:
UPDATED HMONG BIBLIOGRAPHY:
"Annotated Bibliography of Hmong-Related Works: 1996-2002" is a 50-Page fully annotated bibliography of
Hmong-related works published between 1996 and 2002. This volume is the first annotated bibliography of
Hmong-related works published in more than 5 years and has recently been updated to include additional
published works from 2001 and 2002. Full reference information and descriptive summaries are provided for
nearly 350 Hmong-related academic journal articles, theses and dissertations, books and videos. Works are
organized into topical subcategories including Dictionaries, Bibliographies and Reference Works; Hmong in Asia;
Hmong Culture; The War in Laos and Refugee Resettlement Issues; Hmong Families, Parenting and Gender
Roles; Settlement Patterns and Socioeconomic Incorporation; Cultural Adaptation; Race Relations, The Law, and
Political Incorporation; Literacy and Educational Adaptation; Physical and Mental Health; Personal Narratives of
Hmong Americans; Juvenile Literature and Curriculum Materials for Teachers; Fiction; Videos and Internet
RECENT RESOURCE CENTER ACQUISITIONS:
Lo, Xiong A. (1998). Hmong High School Students’ Attitudes and Aspirations Toward Education. MA Thesis,
University of Wisconsin-Stout. This study examines attitudes toward high school graduation as well as the
aspirations for higher education at the post-secondary level among 60 Hmong high school students at Wausau
(WI) West High School. The researcher assesses the manner in which differences in responses by students
correspond with the variables of gender, academic classification, family socioeconomic status, duration of stay in
the U.S. and level of academic achievement.
Lor, Song. (1998). Parental Influences and Academic Success of Hmong Adolescent Students: Is there a
Relationship? MA Thesis, University of Wisconsin-Stout. This study assesses the relationship between parental
involvement, acculturation level, parent education level and academic success of Hmong adolescent students in
Menominee, WI, Eau Claire, WI and Saint Paul. The author observed a positive correlation between the variables
of parental involvement and academic success and parental education and academic success. The study
concludes with recommendations to help educators improve the academic outcomes of Hmong-origin students.
Vang, See J. (1998). Hmong Perception and Behaviors Regarding Shamanic Practice and Western Medicine. M.
S. Thesis, University of Wisconsin-Stout. This thesis explores the attitudes and behaviors of Hmong residents in
Eau Claire and Menominee, WI toward the use of traditional Hmong shamanic practices and western medicine.
The author assesses whether behaviors and attitudes related to the use of shamanism and western medical
practices are related to length of U.S. residence, gender, level of education, and income.
Vang, Tou K. (1998). Hmong Parent’s Attitudes and Perceptions Toward Hmong Juvenile Delinquency in America.
M.S. Thesis, University of Wisconsin-Stout. This study examines the perceptions of 45 Hmong parents in Eau
Claire, WI related to juvenile delinquency. The author assessed parental beliefs about the effects of 4 sets of
factors upon juvenile delinquency. These factors included length of time the family had been in the United States,
the level of conflict in the relationship between parents and children, the economic condition of the family, and the
maintenance or abandonment of traditional Hmong cultural practices by the family.
Xiong, Youa. (1998). Where They are Now: The Second Follow-Up Study of the 1992 College-Bound Hmong
Graduates. M.S. Thesis, University of Wisconsin-Stout. This thesis consists of a follow-up study of a Hmong
college-bound high school graduation class from a Wisconsin community. Twenty-one of the thirty-two students in
the sample had originally indicated that they planned to go to college right after high school. The purpose of the
author’s research was to determine whether the students had graduated from college and what direction their
educational or occupational careers had taken and why. The study examined whether the students switched
majors, pursued a second major, completed their bachelor’s degree, were working in the field they went to school
for, where their degree had taken them geographically, and the factors that had impacted their educational and
Academic Journal Articles
Helsel, Deborah G. and Marilyn Mochel. (2002). “Afterbirths in the Afterlife: Cultural Meaning of Placental
Disposal in a Hmong American community.” Journal of Transcultural Nursing 13(4): 282-286. The authors of this
study conducted interviews with 94 Hmong Americans in California’s Central Valley to explore attitudes regarding
placental disposition and the cultural values that influence these attitudes. The research showed a persistence of
the traditional belief that placentas should be buried at home after the child’s birth. The placenta is believed to be
essential for travel by the soul of the deceased into the spirit world to rejoin ancestors. The authors’ observed
that older respondents (older than 35 years) and those who practiced traditional Hmong animist religion were
more likely to continue to believe in the necessity of home placental burial. The researchers noted that some of
the informants indicated a reluctance to ask health care providers for permission to take placentas home. They
suggest that incorporating non-Western patients’ traditional health care practices into Western health care
delivery may be enhanced by an awareness of the reluctance of some patients to verbalize their health care
Johnson, Sharon K. (2002). “Hmong Health Beliefs and Experiences in the Western Health Care System.” Journal
of Transcultural Nursing 13(2): 126-132. This ethnographic study discusses Hmong perspectives and beliefs that
influence the Hmong experience in Western medical situations. Hmong perspectives regarding the body as well
as descriptions of Hmong experiences within the American medical system were explored by the researcher using
participant observation and interviews in California over a 2 year time period.
Liamputtong, Pranee. (2002). “Infant Feeding Practices: The Case of Hmong Women in Australia.” Health Care
for Women International 23(1): 33-48. This article discusses infant feeding beliefs and practices among Hmong
women in Melbourne with an emphasis upon changed patterns that have occurred since their movement to
Australia. The author observes that some of the women have switched to bottle-feeding. Reasons provided by
the informants include the need to study English and seek employment, the availability of infant formula, as well
as their concern about the health and well-being of their infants. The author argues that an understanding of
womens’ beliefs and practices related to feeding is imperative for the creation of a successful breastfeeding
campaign among health care professionals.
Cho, Youngtae and Robert A. Hummer. (2001). “Disability Status Differentials Across Fifteen Asian and Pacific
Islander Groups and the Effect of Nativity and Duration of Residence in the U.S.” Social Biology 48(3-4): 171-194.
This study assesses disparities in disability status across 15 Asian and Pacific Islander ethnic subpopulations and
how nativity and duration in the U.S. influence the observed differences. The authors utilize three disability
questions (work limitations, mobility limitations, and self-care limitations) from the 1990 PUMS datasets of the U.S.
census for the purposes of their research. They find that Japanese Americans have the most favorable outcomes
while Hmong, Lao and Cambodians suffer from a high risk of disabilities compared to other Asian and Pacific
Islander groups. The researchers suggest that disparities in disability status across subpopulations are linked to
differences in demographic characteristics and socioeconomic status among these groups.
Foss, Gwendolyn F. (2001). “Maternal Sensitivity, Posttraumatic Stress, and Acculturation in Vietnamese and
Hmong Mothers – Are Depression and Anxiety More Prevalent in Less Acculturated Mothers? How Should this
Influence the Nursing Care We Offer?” MCN, the American Journal of Maternal Nursing 26(5): 257-263. This
article assesses the extent of post-traumatic stress and acculturation in Hmong and Vietnamese mothers who had
lived in the U.S. 2 to 21 years, had healthy children under 30 months and had varied educational and literacy
levels. The author observed that depression and anxiety were highly correlated with posttraumatic stress. Less
acculturated mothers tended to be more anxious and depressed. The researcher posits that nurses should
incorporate screening for depression and anxiety into routine assessments or discharge planning for foreign-born
mothers and refer stressed mothers to appropriate resources.
Tatman, Anthony W. (2001). “Hmong Perceptions of Disability: Implications for Vocational Rehabilitation
Counselors.” Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling 32(3): 22-27. The purpose of this study was to identify
Hmong perceptions and attitudes toward people with disabilities that may affect the vocational rehabilitation
success of Hmong-origin patients. 19 Hmong participants were interviewed for the research. The author
discerned two frequently occurring categories of perspectives among the respondents towards the perceived
causation of disability. The researcher labels these categories of explanations as biological (genetics, illness,
injury) and traditional (sin and punishment). A traditional perspective was observed to influence all of the study
participants, though many did acknowledge the role of biological factors. Factors that affected perceptions and
attitudes about disabilities among the respondents included social status, family involvement, perceived
causation, and ideas that negative treatment may be reciprocated down generational lines in the form of
disability. The researcher concludes the article with a discussion of the implications of his findings for the work of
vocational rehabilitation counselors with Hmong-origin clients.
Werner, Mark A., Knobeloch, Lynda, M., Erbach, Theresa and Henry A. Anderson. (2001). “Use of Imported Folk
Remedies and Medications in the Wisconsin Hmong Community.” Wisconsin Medical Journal 100(7): 32-34.
Working with the Marathon County (WI) Health Department and the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, the
authors of this article evaluated several imported drugs and folk remedies that were being used by two Hmong
families. These included a powdered blend of folk remedies that had been purchased in California and 5 packets
of medication that had been imported from Thailand. The researchers learned that the folk remedy contained
arsenic sulfide as a principal ingredient, while the drug packets contained acetyl aspirin, acetaminophen and
chloramphenicol. The dates of manufacture of the remedies could not be determined. The authors describe a
press release published in a local Hmong community newspaper to discourage the use of folk remedies and
Block, Deryl. (1997). “Child Safety Seat Use in a Midwestern Hmong Community.” MCN, the American Journal of
Maternal Child Nursing 22(6): 304-307. This article examines Child Safety Seat use among 50 Hmong parents in
a Wisconsin community. The parents were observed placing their children in vehicles at a Women, Infants, and
Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program center. After the investigators determined safety seat use and
misuse, parents were asked about awareness of safety seat misuse, current and previous safety seat use,
sources of information about seat use, and future interest in learning more about safety seat use. The author
concludes the article with suggestions to enhance the correct use of Child Safety Seats in Hmong communities.
YOUTH ARTS PROGRAMS UPDATE:
The Hmong Cultural Center is very pleased to announce that it has received a major 2-year grant for its after-
school youth and summer cultural arts programs from the McKnight Foundation. The cultural center thanks
McKnight for its important support of our mission of promoting the personal development of children and youth
through Hmong cultural education programming.
Looking for some traditional Hmong culture to enliven your community event this Spring? The Hmong Cultural
Center’s Qeej (Traditional Hmong Music) and Traditional Dance troupes are available to perform for a fee.
Persons interested in scheduling performances may call Meng Vang (Qeej) or Yer Lo (Dance) at the cultural
The Hmong Cultural Center’s Youth Arts Programs are supported by grants from the McKnight Foundation, the
Best Buy Children’s Foundation, the Grotto Foundation and the COMPAS/Medtronic Community Arts Program
CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM UPDATE:
The Hmong Cultural Center is currently accepting enrollment for its citizenship and functional English classes.
There are openings in the English language Citizenship classes offered Monday through Thursday from 10:00
AM to 12 Noon, the Hmong language Citizenship classes held Tuesday through Thursday 1:00-4:00 P.M. and the
English Language Citizenship Classes held Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 P.M. For more
information call MayTong Chang at the cultural center (651-917-9937).
Need information about the citizenship process, study guides or application forms? Extensive citizenship-related
information is available on the Hmong Cultural Center website at www.hmongcenter.org/ The citizenship section of
the website includes examples of typical citizenship interview questions, as well as 100 sample citizenship exam
questions in both the English and Hmong languages. Up-to-date information is also provided about eligibility and
requirements pertaining to the Hmong Veterans’ Naturalization Act of 2000.
The Hmong Cultural Center’s Citizenship and Functional English Program is a member of the federally and state
funded Saint Paul Community Literacy Consortium (SPCLC). The cultural center’s citizenship program for adult
refugees is also supported by a grant from the New Americans Collaborative of the Wilder Foundation
Funding supporters of the Hmong Resource Center include the New York and Vermont-based Freeman
Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the 3M Foundation, the Pinewood Trust of the HRK Foundation, the Minnesota
Humanities Commission in partnership with the Minnesota State Legislature and the National Endowment for the
Humanities as well as the MAP for Nonprofit’s Technology Partnership Fund supported by the Saint Paul
Companies, Inc. Foundation and the ADC Foundation.