The Hmong are an Ethnic group native to Asia, specifically Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, specifically the northern, mountainous areas. They are believed to have existed as a group for at least 7,000 years. Most left those areas in the late 60's through the late 70's, after America pulled out of the Vietnam War. During the early 1960's, when Communist forces first began to infiltrate Laos and Vietnam, the Hmong, being closest to the border, were among the first to be affected—Communist armies marching through forced the Hmong villages to pack up and move so that they could camp there.
[...] According to one study in 2000, most Hmong high school students were more worried about their futures than their present. This attitude helps many Hmong overcome the significant challenges their culture gives them. Like most ethnic groups, particularly those of Asian base, the main difficulty for most Hmong is language and literacy. Virtually all Hmong speak their native language, also called Hmong, at home. However, very few know how to write it, since schools were rare in Hmong areas prior to their arrival to the US. [...]
[...] Minnesota has the largest Hmong population at roughly 42,000, with California in second place at 38,000 Hmong citizens. Census-wise, Hmong are considered part of the Asian group. Approximately 1.6 percent of the U.S Asian population is of Hmong descent. According to Butte College's Student Ethnicity survey for 2005-2006, there were 303 Asian students. Assuming the national average, that means that in the 2005- 2006 school year there were between 4 and 5 Hmong students at Butte last year. Hmong immigrants are generally split into three generational groups; first generation generation, and second generation. [...]
[...] These factors are magnified immeasurably by the fact that by culture, Hmong do not tend to speak out in class or voice academic problems. Hmong tend to feel that authority figures, including teachers, should not be bothered, or that asking for help means admitting failure. Admitting failure, in turn, brings shame and humiliation to their entire family. It is important to note that in Hmong culture, the family is the quintessential social and economic unit; most Hmong villages in Asia are or were formed of extended family units. [...]
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