Hmong Culture

1326 words 6 pages
Hmong Culture - Food, Eating and Cooking
Diverse Cultures in America - Soc 240
Upper Iowa University

The Hmong people are originally from rural mountainous areas in Laos and they still inhabit that country to this day. Laos is a country that is located in Southeast Asia. Hmong people are divided into clans or tribes that share the same paternal ancestry. The Hmong people inhabited all parts of Laos but all carried pretty much the same cultures and livelihood with them as many immigrated to the United States in the past few decades (Ohio State University, 2005).

One of the important parts of Hmong culture is their food. The Hmong staple food is white rice. Their diets consist of a variety of vegetables, fish, meat and traditional
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This is evident in many of the ways as Hmong are becoming more Americanized. Like the English, Irish, Italians and Germans, the Hmong brought their own ingredients and recipes to the American tables, only now to find the recipes collecting dust as many Hmong embrace the American cuisines.

But along with Hmong bringing changes to their eating habits, they also have brought changes to Americans eating habits. With over 75,000 Hmong alone between Wisconsin and Minnesota, many Americans are beginning to embrace Hmong foods. Americans are going to farmers markets to buy native Hmong vegetables and spices to supplement their Hmong recipes. With becoming Americanized Hmong of course will find it harder to carry on their traditional diets and find cooking as they did in Laos, difficult to maintain. As Hmong youth discover the convenience of fast food, obesity is being found to be significant and growing factor among the Hmong population. Not only is obesity a problem but Hmong elders feel the youth have forgotten what they were taught about the native foods and the youth want to learn more about American dishes. But there are still many young Hmongs like Yimeen Vu, a 25-year old from Minnesota, who was born as an American Hmong but his parents are originally from Laos. He embraces Hmong food and its culture and eats meals with his parents at home. After a chicken dinner, the final treat is to boil the chicken feet and eat them. Yimeen Vu says "It's


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