The Hmong people are very conservative, to start with. They tend to preserve their cultural identity and language, often avoiding extensive integration in the cultures in which they live. There are many restrictions and rules in their community concerning the accepted etiquette and social status. For example, it was traditionally unacceptable for a stranger to talk to other members of the family before he talked to the family’s head. On the other, the roles within the community are distributed according to the professional or social status within the community. A very important aspect of their culture is the Hmong kinship. They are not individualistically oriented, but tend to self-identify themselves as members of a family, a clan or a community.
The Hmong people share some important values inherently related to family, status and respect. They tend to value humility and modesty, while also celebrating honesty, silence, hard work and patience. Personal and family dignities are very important, and they try to avoid it at any cost. They also tent to treat other people with tolerance and respect, while also expecting other people to treat them and their community accordingly to their worldview.
The ethnic origin of the Hmong people lies in the south-east Asia, so culturally they are expatriates in the US. The adaptability is very difficult for them, and especially for older people who due to their culture spend lives in seclusion and solitude, often without speaking English. Strong family ties and vision of marriage make them outsiders on the continent with very different, more liberated and extroverted beliefs. As it was mentioned in our reading, especially during the Vietnamese war, the Hmong people were frequently confused with the Vietnamese. This fact brought hostility against Hmong among Americans, despite many of the Hmong people fighting on the side of the US.