Mien people and culture in the United States continues to be in transition since the middle to late 1980. Today, Mien culture has been changed into various shapes, forms and dimensions by the different social, cultural, educational, political, and belief systems and societal pressures.  Here are some examples of changes:

 

  1. Instead of using tiny and bridle needles to embroider, sew or patch clothes, today they can use electrical sewing machines or hire a tailor or seamstress to handle their clothing needs. 
  2. Instead of using buckets to draw water from wells or rivers which may involve long wait and hours of walking distance, today they can get water in temperature of their choice from their own water faucet.
  3. Instead of using knives and axes to farm in the jungle in order to get foods for their family, today they can use pens or pencils to work and earn their livings.
  4. Instead of walking hours or days to get from one village to the next for messages, today they can communicate with their loved ones in seconds through telephone, email or texting, and have access to all kinds of transportation services.  Some people own multiple cars and use them as toys.
  5. Instead of being renters and living in very tight and uncomfortable housing settings, today many are becoming landlords and realtors. 
  6. Instead of denying withholding of one’s beauty in public, today they can become Mien beauty pageants in wearing many forms of clothes that reveal their bodies in front of judges and community members.
  7. Instead of playing with tops, rocks, rubber bands or bamboo guns as sports and hobbies, today they can choose to play all kinds of western sports and participate in Mien Olympic, not mentioning the wide varieties of video games for purchase and on-line.
  8. Instead of living in dirt floor and thatch houses, they now live in apartment buildings, condos or houses with multiple levels, rooms and convenient supplies.
  9. Instead of sleeping on hard split bamboo or wooden beds, they now have soft mattress or water beds.
  10. Instead of men being the hunters and fishers in bringing meat for the family, today many women are becoming great, in many cases become well and more skillful hunters and fisherwomen, then their husbands. 
  11. Instead of males receiving parents’ and family members’ support and endorsement to attend school, today there high number of females receiving higher education and advance degrees.
  12. Instead of men being the head family leader and in making the final decisions for the family, today many women are becoming the key leader in the family.  In some cases, the women are holding higher social, economical and political statuses then their husbands or community members.  Some women are serving the roles of lawyers in large law firm and in their local city council.

Copyright 2013 Dr. Youd Sinh Chao. All Rights Reserved.