Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Note - I am going through my old documents and this link doesn't work anymore but it is from the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Georgia houses the nation’s 7th largest Hmong population with an estimated 447 living in Barrow County, according to the 2000 Census estimates. Over a three-week period, the Daily Post will look at the Hmong in Barrow and Banks counties, their families, religion and lifestyles.
The Hmong culture is thousands of years old. The earliest mention of them first appeared in Chinese historical records. The word “Hmong” means “free people,” and pinpoints their traditionally nomadic lifestyle. They left China in the 1800s for the rich and secluded mountains of Laos.
Youa Chou Thao, above, and his fellow Hmong soldiers fought alongside US troops in the Vietnam war, and were left behind to suffer under the government against which they fought when the US military pulled out of Southeast Asia.
More than 100,000 Hmong stayed in Thai refugee camps during a 10-year period. Most relocated to the United States, although some went to Australia and Europe. Extended Hmong families have settled in Barrow and Banks counties, finding the peace and quiet and land for farming to which they are accustomed.
Hmong publication schedule
April 15 — Hmong settle in Barrow CountyPresents the history of the Hmong people, their efforts in the Vietnam War and their journey to Georgia as seen through the life of Youa Chou Thao.
April 22 — Faith in the spirit: Hmong find refuge in new and old religious beliefsHmong practiced the ancient animism beliefs of ancestor and nature worship for thousands of years. Christian missionaries first took the gospel to Laotian Hmong in 1947 and found them very receptive. Many Georgia Hmong are Christian, others practice Animism while some practice a blend of both.
April 29 — A family together: Hmong family build homestead in Banks CountyWhen Youa Chay Heu and his wife, Lue, looked up at the green Banks County mountains, they found scenery and a climate remarkably similar to that which they left behind in Laos. Their nine children purchased individually a total of 120 adjoining acres near Commerce and created a homestead for their parents. Most of the siblings live on the acreage and Lue Hue farms two acres of rice paddy every year.