I Refuse to Be Absorbed in a World of Cultural Lost

What is your ethnicity?

I'm Hmong.


No Hmong. Miao Tzu. Hill tribe of China.

Do you find it a humility that your ethnicity remains an anonymity to society?

What are you? Chinese? Go back to where you came from, HA-MONG, oh wait, you don't have a country! Lost all your cultural history, remaining a mystery, only thing you have left today is worshiping ancestry. You would've never smelt the aroma of free if it wasn't for the help of the American military.

Made it through generations of mass genocide, nowhere to run nor to hide. Escaping Miao rebellions, refugee camps of Laos and running through rivers and jungles of Thai

Scattered throughout every country, worldwide.

Exposed to diversity, leaving your cultural roots behind because

growing up as a second generation of an Asian descent is an easy target for people to tyrannize

Putting fingers to their face, ching chong ling long, slanting their eyes

Didn't want to speak my native tongue nor wear my cultural clothings outside

Gave up learning my cultural history because for the fear of judgement to concentrate on living the American dream peacefully and to be more Americanized


So, what is my ethnicity?

I’m Hmong. Not Mongolia. Miao tzu. Hilltribe of China.

I do not find it a humility that my ethnicity remains an anonymity to society.

We do not have a country, but what I can tell you

is that we, I, held on to our cultural history

The cultural history that made it through mass genocide with nowhere to run nor to hide

Escaping Chinese rebellions, concentration camps of Laos and running through rivers and jungles of Thai

The traditional history that we carried on for thousands of years not letting our rituals and practices die

Scattered through every country worldwide

Exposed to the sun of diversity, I spread the seeds of my cultural roots, watering it everyday to keep it alive

Teaching non-native speakers my language and wearing my cultural clothings outdoors with pride

Though I strive to live the American dream, I refuse to be absorbed in a world of cultural lost and will balance being Hmong and being Americanized

This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741