Hmong Association


Nyob Zoo!

Welcome to the BYU-Idaho Hmong Association home page!

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President: Cathy Vang
Phone: 559-292-4436

Who are the Hmong?

The Hmong are a people who love freedom, and would fight for it if necessary. Their original homeland was in the heart of China. However, as you trace their history, you would find that they are a people without a homeland since the early 1800s. They were driven southward after they were defeated by the Chinese during the Opium War. They settled in North Vietnam, Laos, Burma, and later in Thailand.

Why are they in America?

The Hmong were US allies in the fight for freedom in South East Asia during the Vietnam War. They were recruited by the CIA to fight against Communist North Vietnam to deter the Ho Chi Minh Trail from North Vietnam to South Vietnam. When Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia fell to Communist control in 1975, the Hmong were targeted for extermination by the Lao Communist regime. The Hmong had no choice but to flee. Since then, the Hmong have scattered all over the world: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, New Zealand, Thailand, and the United States, while leaving families and relatives behind in Laos.

How many Hmong are here in America?  

The current estimate is between 250,000 and 300,000 Hmong people living in America.

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Useful Words

Go ahead, try some of these words, talk to people around campus, and blow them away with your language skills. Have fun!

Useful Words

Nyob Zoo (nall zhong ) Hello
Kuv yog Hmoob ( koo yah hmong ) I am Hmong
Zoo sab ntsib koj (zhong sha jee kaw ) Nice to meet you
Sib ntsib dlua (shee jee dua ) See you again or See you later
Kuv hlub ko (koo lu kaw ) I love you

Fun Facts

  1. There are about eighteen Hmong clans, each of which traces its lineage to a single male ancestor.
  2. Members of the same clan consider each other to be kwv tij, translated as "brothers" or "siblings," and they are expected to offer one another mutual support.
  3. Contemporary Hmong people cannot be characterized as subscribing to single belief system. Missionaries to Southeast Asia converted many Hmong people to Christianity beginning in the 19th-century and many more have become Christian since emmigrating from Southeast Asia to the West.
  4. Many Hmong people, both in Asia and the West, perpetuate traditional spiritual practices that include animism and ancestor worship. According to these beliefs, spirits inhabit animals and other natural objects, but also domestic features, such as doorways. The spirits of deceased ancestors are also thought to influence welfare and health of the living. Individuals perform rituals and supply offerings, including food, and spirit money, to appease the spirits and earn their favor.
  5. The Hmong New Year celebration is a cultural tradition that takes place annually in select areas where large Hmong communities exist, and in a modified form where smaller communities coaggulate. During the New Year celebrations, Hmong dress in traditional clothing and enjoy Hmong traditional foods, dances, music, bull fights, and other forms of entertainment. Hmong New Year celebrations preserve Hmong ethnic traditions and culture, and may also serve to educate those who have interest in Hmong tradition. Hmong New Year celebrations frequently occur in November and December (traditionally at the end of the harvest season when all work is done), serving as a thanksgiving holiday for the Hmong people.