My husband gave me and my mom a spa treatment at Antoine Du Chezt for holiday. When we went to get our treatment, Tyra want to come along. As we get pampered, Tyra was busy chatting with the message lady. Tyra has always been a chatter and can carry on a great conversation with adult.
One thing that caught my attention right away is when she said: I’m from Indonesia, Hmong & Colorado.” She’s proudly tell her how she can say some words in Hmong and Indonesian. I am so proud of Tyra how from very early on she’s always been proud to call herself Hmong, Indonesian – American. Yes She’s a mutt! 🙂 She’s American, she was born here, raised here, go to American school and will learn American history, etc.. and she pledge a legion to the flag. However, she also part of Indonesia – from me and Hmong from her dad.
I haven’t seen this with my Indonesian friends, but I’ve seen so many example of Hmong youth who deny his/her heritage. How they don’t want to be associate with the Hmong culture. They try so hard to be just American, they even hated the fact that they’re Asian! The things is, they can’t deny the fact that no matter how American they want to be, they’re still Asian and they will always be Hmong. The problem is too, others will always label them as Asian-American. Never just American. (note: I honestly don’t see anything wrong with it.)
I understand that there are many Hmong culture that can be seen as outdated and (to me personally) doesn’t makes sense or flat out just ridiculous. I am also a firm believer that we need to respect the culture and traditions no matter how ridiculous it is, BUT we don’t have to practice it, but still need to respect it. In any culture and traditions, we need to take the good and learned from them and ignore the bad. To deny it entirely is just wrong. That’s my opinion.
I’m still learning about both Hmong culture and Mine. I want to learned it more now since I have a child because I want to pass it on to them how proud I am being Indonesian and I want them to know about their dad’s heritage as well.
To me, the problem it isn’t at the traditions but with the people, I’ve seen some pick and choose a traditions that benefit them only and that’s just so wrong. For example, here’s a “funny” story: in my husband culture, once the women are married, they no longer consider as part of her parents family, they belong to their husband’s family. Personally I don’t agree with it – maybe because I brought up with matriarch culture and to me nobody can tell me that I’m not part of my family who raised me and love me and make me the woman I am today – some of the woman in my husband’s family, each time there’s help needed they always claimed that they’re the outsider and that’s the job for the boys… so they use this tradition as an excuses for not wanting to help. But this traditions doesn’t apply when they need help.. “funny”.
I will try my hardest teaching my kids their heritage and to be proud of who they are.