The fourth international Hmong conference on Hmong Studies featured a speech on 'A Tale of Two Peoples: An Overview of the Hmong and Laotian in the United States' by Dr. Kou Yang. Dr. Yang spoke about the change in the Asian populations-- with a focus on the Hmong population, in America and the factors that have attributed to the ever-changing statistics. Dr. Yang's thorough studies on the Hmong and Laotian people illustrate the lifestyle and the factors that are a part of the way that they live. Dr. Yang's studies on the Hmong and Laotian people show his passion for the preservation of the culture and care for the various communities throughout the United States. Dr. Yang outlined the definition of Hmong being one ethnicity and Laotian consisting of multiple ethnicities. The Hmong people are the minority among the Asian populations in America. Dr. yang also notes that the Hmong population is one that is very young with the median age being 20 years old and only 3% of the population being 65+. Over the past two decades Hmong poverty has been decreasing the more that the Hmong population has been able to assimilate into American culture. The reason being, because the Hmong population came to America with no training or vocational preparation for the culture and are the minority among the Asian cultures in America. Dr. Yang's research outlines how the Hmong culture has progressed in education and income over the past two decades by showing degree, income level, and property and village statistics. The Hmong villages throughout the country provide a sense of community for the Hmong culture and economic growth for their community.
The Honors Program chooses to acknowledge multiculturalism as a vital part of a learning experience and lifestyle. Having a multicultural perspective allows one to further understand the world better and be accepting and helpful to the needs of others. Dr. Yang has a perspective on the Hmong and other Asian populations in the US that many Americans are unaware of. His perspective broadens the scope of what America actually is and how people should act towards each other. His perspective addresses multiculturalism and accepts it for what it is. The information given can help one to be a better servant to the Lord and the public good when they have knowledge about the different types of people that are our neighbors.
I found Dr. Yang's information to be very informative and insightful. It wasn't presented in an interesting way but it provides insight that allows one to further serve others and understand the true culture of this world. I feel that a multicultural perspective is one that is vital to have in the world the more connected we become to one another through technological advancements. I am glad I had the opportunity to learn more about the Asian populations within my neighborhood and in the country that I am a part of. I pray and hope that others are able to understand the many cultures that make up this world and understand that a multicultural perspective is one that we must have.