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THE
SPLIT HORN
talkback



presented by ITVS

presented by NAATA


Talkback
page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

This comment area is closed to new submissions. Visit ITVS.org to continue the conversation about this film.



7/27/2010

I think I am starting to go thru that chosen process of becoming a shaman...because recently I keep having weird dreams..they are starting to teach me how to cut the papers..i see different color horses and they show me that thing you put all the things on...like incent and rice and things...i really don't want to do it...i really can't understand why they would chose me. I have four other brothers who have better character than I do. I believe i am too stubborn and hard headed to be a good or even a shaman..why not my older brothers...i am torn apart of buddha and shaman and even church because I fear that even if i become a shaman it would not be use so much anymore and no one out there to watch me while i do it. i really don't want to do it.



5/18/2010

I learned alot and read alot of interesting debates on here. Great information!



5/10/2010
Nikhom/Nikii Vang

i'm doing a short little mv for my english project and i came upon this site. it's got a lot of good info. :] i've also done tons & tons of research on Hmong's history as well as our part in the Secret/Vietnam Wars. i do not understand the Hmong Traditions, for i've been christian for as long as i can remember. I believe that i will need to learn about the culture/traditions for it'll be good to keep it going & alive. there are actually many kids who WANT to learn, but they truly don't know WHERE to start. i like this website. Thank you to the Creator & Editor.



8/10/2009

Frist time on this site and very interesting. What do I think? Embracing our culture, YES! It's going away faster than those who are preserving it. Seen it,done it, and have been lectured about it at dinner tables from elders. "what are you going to do when its your turn?" was the question. take the American tradistion, embarrasment, talked down, lose face, no respect for the ancestors. Dose Shamanic work? Only if you are chosen. My Grand father was a great Shman Father in our very large family structure. Grand mother had to get fresh morning water before the brids sings and the sun rises otherwise he will be sick for the rest of the day. happen too many times where she couldn't deliver water on time. Was told in his visions. All Son's will die but two. The following year every son in the family died but two in each family. I've lost two uncles. Gave up Shaman and covertered to Christians. 30 years later inthe U.S. We're just fainlly started to branch out our family tree. What trandition do I choose to embrace? BOTH! I recommended every Hmong Men and Women to be a well rounded person although that percentage is low. Yes like the previous message, in the end please love each other and set our difference aside. I can not stand looking into they eyes of a suffering Hmong men, women, and children.



6/30/2009

i am doing a summer project about religion. N stumble into this site. Never knew there was such a site like this haha. i been reading a few thing on this page.so i just wan t to say a few things.iam hmong 17. i do all those shaman things but u know some times i dont think i really beleive it. the way i grew up with no father only mom. there was no one to teach it to u. i was even considering to be christian once. i respect shaman.



01/28/2008

Wow, it's been a while since i came back to this site...Guys......in the end...it's love that really matters...Lets just love more...it's easier. Religion will always be a topic of passion and controversial. We can have our passionate debate about religion all day long, but at the end of the conversation, i can still look at you and love you anyways because you are still a person of soul. And i know there is still goodness in you despite our disagreement or agreement in regards to our differences (religion)...so the challenge is........Can you love me anyways????????



12/05/2007

It saddens me that the younger generations these days have no interest in their Hmong culture. I feel that future generations of Hmong Americans most likely won't embrace their ancestors' culture until situations arise. Sort of like, last minute, no one to turn to thing. I feel this because, I've noticed that the generations these days, unless their parents are strict traditional Hmong parents, have no care as to what the Hmong culture entails. They assume no responsiblity as a "Hmong child". They feel that by being born here in America, that allows them to talk back to their parents and carry out their own wishes, as oppose to helping their parents and household. I remember growing up, my dad was extremely traditional and very strict. We were taught Hmong etiquettes when we had company at the house, when family members came and departed, what a child's duties are, how to respect your elders. Keep in mind that was 16 years ago. These days when I accompany my parents on a visit to see relatives, I noticed that their children were no where in sight. Only the parents were there to welcome us through the entrance, offer beverages, snacks and a meal. When my parent's asked about their childeren's whereabout, they'd simply answer in the bedroom, outside playing, or who knows.. I feel that some parents are to blame for allowing their children to "throw away" their culture and most everything associated with it. But at the same time I can understand why, most parents here in the U.S. yearn to be able to go back home(Laos), and when their children talks back and doesn't want to help them they become that much more in dispair and wished how much differenty their children would have turned had they been in their homeland.

I feel that shamanistic ceremonies do have the abilities to heal, if the Shaman performs the ritual correctly and the family perpares everything as needed. I think knowing and caring about a patient's religious background is absolutely neccessary. For sham anism to be used alongside with traditiona medicine, would be a wonderful alternate to those situations that are seen as non-medically related. BUT, keep in mind that shamanitic ceremonies are anything but quiet. :) Goodness! It is EXTREMELY important to perserve our cultural traditions of our parents and ancestors. To deny the existence of what our parents and ancestors believed would not only be a great insult to them but to ourselves. It is so important to know your roots, your culture, whether you agree with certain things or not doesn't give you the right to not acknowledge where your parent's and ancestors' values, morals, way of living came from.

It's funny how much love I have for my Hmong culture now, for when I was younger I wanted to stray from it all. Maybe it had to do with at that time, their were so many Hmong people on welfare, and that was embarrassing, and my parent's weren't educated like my American friends. It had to do with humilty and that want for social acceptance. But as I've grown and started a family of my own, I ye arn for my culture, for I don't feel truly an American. I know ways of an American, and I also know ways of being Hmong. As a mother now and my husband is Japanese, we share our cultural backgrounds not only with ourselves but our son,families and friends around us. I do feel fortunate to have been born and raised here in the U.S., through many struggles to find who I am, I've found that I'm Hmong-American. Though I may not perform the duties of a Hmong daughter as well as one born in our homeland, I am not opposed to learning to become a better hmoob daughter for my parents, and as an example to my sisters, brothers, cousins and community. I embrace being, Hmong, Japanese and American and I couldn't see myself leaving any behind, for I've picked some qualties from all three. Needless to say my Hmong heritage is deeply rooted in me. :)



12/05/2007

How do I embrace Hmong tradition and culture in America? I think it is hard to carry a tradition over generations in America. Every people and culture that had set foot in this country has lost some aspect or "true" meaning of the culture from the "mother" land. Hmong is a young culture in America that will, sadly, follow the same footprints of other traditions before it. I and my children would embrace our culture base on respect and moral of the humanity side of it. Keep the best aspect of our tradition and apply them to our modern (American) lives. Preserve the culture through accepting, acknowledging, respect, and celebrating it with other communities. A new generation of Hmong-Americans cannot carry or live the same tradition our parents have (animal sacrafice for example)because of the modern American culture we embrace and celebrate as well. Preserving Hmong )or other cultures) in America is somthing that will not be easy. However, discussing about it has already started a process of preserving it. Hopfully more people out there will share their thoughts. In the mean time, go and celebrate the Hmong New Year.



12/05/2007

I just want for you who dont yet know to know that Christianity started in Asia. In the Middle East where it is classified as Asian. And from there, it spread in every direction. The people in China worshiped the God of the Bible prior to the introduction of Buddhism in 50 BC. This fact is supported by the writings of Chinese characters themselves! 4,500 years ago (when the Chinese characters were created), the characters told the stories that are also found in the Bible! But how could that be? Easy. At that time, they worshiped the same God as the God explained in the Bible! The Bible is not a "Western" book. It is historical fact that it took 1,600 years to put the whole thing together. And science has ALWAYS supported it and proven it to be true! Other ancient religions say that the Earth is on a turtle's back, or on some other kind of support. The Bible is the only book to say "God sets the Earth over NOTHING"... and when we sent people into space, they saw that the Earth is actually over NOTHNG!The Bible tells that in the last days, there will be weapons that will melt out the eyeballs. This was written thousands of years ago. In the last century, such a weapon was created and used over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bomb was so powerful, people's eyeballs literally melted by just looking at the flash of the explosion! There are so many things that the Bible has contributed to science, proving it to be true, and that even the Chinese people worshiped this God. It's just too cool!! I am a Christian, not because I don't believe that animistic practices cannot heal me. Because I am a Christian, I totally believe that. I totally believe in spiritual beings! But I am a Christian, because I have found a method far better than animism. And if you really want to be "ancestrial", the Bible(a book that has never failed in historical facts) says that the original religion was the worship of the God of the Bible! Christianity yog peb yawm koob pub koob txujkev ntseeg!



10/24/2007
touyxiong

My religion is shamanism not because i truely believe in spirits and those kinds of things but because my parents are shamanism. I think religion is all in the head, if you truly believe that shamanic ceremonies have the ability to heal than obvisouly you'll feel safer after the ceromony is done wether it worked or not. If you truly believe that praying to god will help than you'll feel better after you pray wether it really work or not. Correct me if i'm wrong but I think that no matter what religion I believe in, as long as I'm a good person than I'll end up in heaven (if there is really an actual heaven) like every other good person.



09/24/2007
Hnub Ci Yaj (Nou Chi Yang)

I am very sad that our young generation starts to fade away. I know that there are a lot to blaim and things you knew the way live in this country. In this country, it is prety sad that most of our parents as "Hmong Parents" did not even have the key education to teach or lead their kids to the right path and our kids seems to pretend to be too smart to listen. All our parents in this generation, it is prety sad that they have been through a lot of painful memories from time-to-time and place-to-places like having any burning charcoals under their feets without standing on it's true land, and yet, now they even start to lost truth in this "Hmong" generation which seems to be fading away like a tree without branches and leaves. It seems to be soon that our coming generations will be all lost because they might not be so real any more, its' true "self". They will carry nothing but themselves without "pride" and "tradition" which need to cary on. I don't that this is bad or against what is being to be lost or change because I think that as a human being you can do whatever you desired as like your true wish. I can become no one if I want to but it will hurt when I am so lost and when I turn back to see others stand for their own. I can't just blaim both our parents and child but the third one beside and so on. I totally agree that we still need to change or correct the wrong-doing back then such having more than one wife but not to change yourself as a "Hmong" into "African". To me, I think this is how the weak really become and this how their lives changing. At least but no last, I am proud with my skin.



12/05/2007

It saddens me that the younger generations these days have no interest in their Hmong culture. I feel that future generations of Hmong Americans most likely won't embrace their ancestors' culture until situations arise. Sort of like, last minute, no one to turn to thing. I feel this because, I've noticed that the generations these days, unless their parents are strict traditional Hmong parents, have no care as to what the Hmong culture entails. They assume no responsiblity as a "Hmong child". They feel that by being born here in America, that allows them to talk back to their parents and carry out their own wishes, as oppose to helping their parents and household. I remember growing up, my dad was extremely traditional and very strict. We were taught Hmong etiquettes when we had company at the house, when family members came and departed, what a child's duties are, how to respect your elders. Keep in mind that was 16 years ago. These days when I accompany my parents on a visit to see relatives, I noticed that their children were no where in sight. Only the parents were there to welcome us through the entrance, offer beverages, snacks and a meal. When my parent's asked about their childeren's whereabout, they'd simply answer in the bedroom, outside playing, or who knows.. I feel that some parents are to blame for allowing their children to "throw away" their culture and most everything associated with it. But at the same time I can understand why, most parents here in the U.S. yearn to be able to go back home(Laos), and when their children talks back and doesn't want to help them they become that much more in dispair and wished how much differenty their children would have turned had they been in their homeland. I feel that shamanistic ceremonies do have the abilities to heal, if the Shaman performs the ritual correctly and the family perpares everything as needed. I think knowing and caring about a patient's religious background is absolutely neccessary. For sham anism to be used alongside with traditiona medicine, would be a wonderful alternate to those situations that are seen as non-medically related. BUT, keep in mind that shamanitic ceremonies are anything but quiet. :) Goodness! It is EXTREMELY important to perserve our cultural traditions of our parents and ancestors. To deny the existence of what our parents and ancestors believed would not only be a great insult to them but to ourselves. It is so important to know your roots, your culture, whether you agree with certain things or not doesn't give you the right to not acknowledge where your parent's and ancestors' values, morals, way of living came from. It's funny how much love I have for my Hmong culture now, for when I was younger I wanted to stray from it all. Maybe it had to do with at that time, their were so many Hmong people on welfare, and that was embarrassing, and my parent's weren't educated like my American friends. It had to do with humilty and that want for social acceptance. But as I've grown and started a family of my own, I ye arn for my culture, for I don't feel truly an American. I know ways of an American, and I also know ways of being Hmong. As a mother now and my husband is Japanese, we share our cultural backgrounds not only with ourselves but our son,families and friends around us. I do feel fortunate to have been born and raised here in the U.S., through many struggles to find who I am, I've found that I'm Hmong-American. Though I may not perform the duties of a Hmong daughter as well as one born in our homeland, I am not opposed to learning to become a better hmoob daughter for my parents, and as an example to my sisters, brothers, cousins and community. I embrace being, Hmong, Japanese and American and I couldn't see myself leaving any behind, for I've picked some qualties from all three. Needless to say my Hmong heritage is deeply rooted in me. :)



12/05/2007

How do I embrace Hmong tradition and culture in America? I think it is hard to carry a tradition over generations in America. Every people and culture that had set foot in this country has lost some aspect or "true" meaning of the culture from the "mother" land. Hmong is a young culture in America that will, sadly, follow the same footprints of other traditions before it. I and my children would embrace our culture base on respect and moral of the humanity side of it. Keep the best aspect of our tradition and apply them to our modern (American) lives. Preserve the culture through accepting, acknowledging, respect, and celebrating it with other communities. A new generation of Hmong-Americans cannot carry or live the same tradition our parents have (animal sacrafice for example)because of the modern American culture we embrace and celebrate as well. Preserving Hmong )or other cultures) in America is somthing that will not be easy. However, discussing about it has already started a process of preserving it. Hopfully more people out there will share their thoughts. In the mean time, go and celebrate the Hmong New Year.



12/05/2007

I just want for you who dont yet know to know that Christianity started in Asia. In the Middle East where it is classified as Asian. And from there, it spread in every direction. The people in China worshiped the God of the Bible prior to the introduction of Buddhism in 50 BC. This fact is supported by the writings of Chinese characters themselves! 4,500 years ago (when the Chinese characters were created), the characters told the stories that are also found in the Bible! But how could that be? Easy. At that time, they worshiped the same God as the God explained in the Bible! The Bible is not a "Western" book. It is historical fact that it took 1,600 years to put the whole thing together. And science has ALWAYS supported it and proven it to be true! Other ancient religions say that the Earth is on a turtle's back, or on some other kind of support. The Bible is the only book to say "God sets the Earth over NOTHING"... and when we sent people into space, they saw that the Earth is actually over NOTHNG!The Bible tells that in the last days, there will be weapons that will melt out the eyeballs. This was written thousands of years ago. In the last century, such a weapon was created and used over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bomb was so powerful, people's eyeballs literally melted by just looking at the flash of the explosion! There are so many things that the Bible has contributed to science, proving it to be true, and that even the Chinese people worshiped this God. It's just too cool!! I am a Christian, not because I don't believe that animistic practices cannot heal me. Because I am a Christian, I totally believe that. I totally believe in spiritual beings! But I am a Christian, because I have found a method far better than animism. And if you really want to be "ancestrial", the Bible(a book that has never failed in historical facts) says that the original religion was the worship of the God of the Bible! Christianity yog peb yawm koob pub koob txujkev ntseeg!



10/24/2007
touyxiong

My religion is shamanism not because i truely believe in spirits and those kinds of things but because my parents are shamanism. I think religion is all in the head, if you truly believe that shamanic ceremonies have the ability to heal than obvisouly you'll feel safer after the ceromony is done wether it worked or not. If you truly believe that praying to god will help than you'll feel better after you pray wether it really work or not. Correct me if i'm wrong but I think that no matter what religion I believe in, as long as I'm a good person than I'll end up in heaven (if there is really an actual heaven) like every other good person.



09/24/2007
Hnub Ci Yaj (Nou Chi Yang)

I am very sad that our young generation starts to fade away. I know that there are a lot to blaim and things you knew the way live in this country. In this country, it is prety sad that most of our parents as "Hmong Parents" did not even have the key education to teach or lead their kids to the right path and our kids seems to pretend to be too smart to listen. All our parents in this generation, it is prety sad that they have been through a lot of painful memories from time-to-time and place-to-places like having any burning charcoals under their feets without standing on it's true land, and yet, now they even start to lost truth in this "Hmong" generation which seems to be fading away like a tree without branches and leaves. It seems to be soon that our coming generations will be all lost because they might not be so real any more, its' true "self". They will carry nothing but themselves without "pride" and "tradition" which need to cary on. I don't that this is bad or against what is being to be lost or change because I think that as a human being you can do whatever you desired as like your true wish. I can become no one if I want to but it will hurt when I am so lost and when I turn back to see others stand for their own. I can't just blaim both our parents and child but the third one beside and so on. I totally agree that we still need to change or correct the wrong-doing back then such having more than one wife but not to change yourself as a "Hmong" into "African". To me, I think this is how the weak really become and this how their lives changing. At least but no last, I am proud with my skin.



3/22/07

In response to Gaohli

I am well aware of the stories/theories on Hmong origin. But your guess is as good as mine for now, because there is no hard evidence. I believe the reason there are blond haired Hmong is due to intermarriage with the early Caucasians; I do not believe that we came from Europe. Furthermore, if you do not acknowledge Shamanism as Hmong, then what religion is? Christianity? Christianity is not even Asian!



2/6/07

Roseanne Yang

I understand that there's a big difference between Christianity and shaminism and there have been judgments made from both sides. I hope that we all don't hold on to those assumptions and judgements, instead, talk to one another about why we think and do the things we do. Also, I am a deeply devoted Christian who is trying to live my life according to God's will. I love my Lord and also love my people. Shaminism does have a lot to do with our culture, but there's also still more to our culture than that and even if i don't embrace shaminism, i embrace many of the other aspects of our culture. REally, I just ask that we all love each other, especially those in Laos who are being killed, that's what's important right now. THey need our help now. Also, if you are one who prays, please pray for their safety and for peace over there.


1/19/07
Yia Thao

People these doesn't listen to their parent no more. How can you decribe the way we live, talk, dress, and walk. More of our son and daughter become gang banger, usually not none could become Preppy, i'm just saying you know. this is how is it. In the future can't wait to see, following our ancestor one by one, we starting to fade away. our children doesn't follow our ways no more. Now today we live by the regular live like american people. how can we teach our child while we don't bother to teach them at all. the Old G only teaches those who they want teach, not those who trying to learn how the way we ancestor use to learn long ago. I am sorry if i did say somthing that agianst our learning about the hmoob culture. becasue now i'm trying to go against it. there's nothing we can change now, in the future everything will be different.



9/18/06
Gaohli
I am Hmong America, but I stress that I am first of all Hmong before American. I am amazingly proud of my ancestors and family; I was born and raised in the USA as a second generation America; and I've enjoyed all the benefits of a free education and other freedoms as a American. All I have now was just an illusion to my parents when they lived in the villages of Laos. I've learned alot about what it is to be "Hmong." Yet, coming to age, I've been confused. Over the past few years, I've done alot of deep soul searching into the spiritual world and into my own culture. And when it comes to cultural tradition, I do find it of great importance to pass down my cultural influences to my children; whether it be the clothes, the language, the wonderful food, the manners, the everything but Shamanism. I will not pass Shamanism into the next generation because I don't acknowledge it as "Hmong." If you know the Hmong history, we have absorbed our whole culture from China to Southeast Asia; did you ever wonder where the Hmong people are from? You know, we are not Chinese nor are our ancestors from Southeast Asia. I know you've seen Hmongs with blonde hair, light skin and/or light eyes. My family has children with blonde hair, and no, they are not albino. Our blood type is majority blood 0, more than A or B (Type O is primarily a European blood type).



8/14/06
Yer Xiong
An excellent book to go along with this film that follows in a similar theme is "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" by Anne Fadiman. In regard to one of the comment about shaman, people with epilepsy are considered to have potential for shamanism by the Hmong. It may seems like the new generation of Hmong are losing hold on their tradition and culture but I think there will be a comeback in the next generations (or the next few generations). However, this newer comeback will be in a shift toward appreciation for the Hmong culture not necessarily in practice. The reason for this is that the introduction of the American culture has created a divide and sense of loss among the Hmong younger and current generation of Hmong. The opposition between these two cultures created a loss of identity among many Hmong who grew up with very strict traditional family while trying to fit into the American life by going to schools and afterwards, working as a mean for survival. In addition, a lot of Hmong's values and beliefs conflicted with the American values, such as marriage, social status, etc. For example, traditionally, a Hmong man is permitted to have more than one wives, however, here it is illegal in the US. In addition, in the Hmong culture, the oldest son is usually the most valued because they will be the head of the household and are responsible for carrying on the tradition.



7/31/06
There is no right or wrong when it comes to religions or beliefs. It's all the same in my opinion. I truely beleive that if you are sincere to the deepest of your heart that religion or belief will work to the maximum for you. But to bash and trash someones belief or religion is wrong because there is no superior religion. Only in your mind and your followers you may feel that way. For example The KKK uses Christianity to recruit more memembers, Nazi's use Christianity to justify their hatred, Muslims do suicide bombing to go to heaven. It's right in their minds but wrong to others. If you truely beleive it then something good will work out for you eventually. Just my honest opinion everyone.



7/27/06
Ben
I'm glad this video was made...it allow us the chance to glance back at our roots even if some of us don't pratice the same things now a days. Just because we don't practice the same thing anymore, doesn't mean it means nothing to us...we are all still connected to it one way or another because somewhere along the line, our culture, our family, the people that came from our same land who are in the same group as us pratice it.



7/20/06
benjamin yang
well as what i was reading i was amazed by how your family broke up and back together as one..... it's a good thing to go into a new religion but it's also good to get the approval from the parent's and the elders..... you guys were lucky that the parent didn't die and came back to live....... from overall i seen is that being a shaman takes alot to do things....... it's not just that you think you can do it and then you do it..... it's what you have in your own self and have belief in the spirits...... well this is all i got to say but i just want you guys to know not to get me wrong but to understand what i was saying......



7/5/06
If you think something is true, than it is and you believe it, and it becomes true to you. your decision is a choice. you decide what to think and believe. reminder that every thing happens, happens for a reason and is not a mistake.



6/29/06
i think that many hmong youth now a days think that the culture is too hard to understand. whether it is the language or the unique metaphor songs and art the hmong embraced.like ceremonies that deals with a lot of cooking and too much preparations for the children to handle. it makes the new generation looses interested because of hard work they have to do. therefore i surely believe that the future generations will not embrace their culture. there are many young hmong who does not understand their language already and does not want to learn it too. i embraced my culture very much and is sadden to see the youth today neglecting it. like everyone said "the hmong are always forgotten." of course when you don't even love your community and have pride about your unique culture!



6/28/06
I believe the hmong americans will lose their culture to and religion to the already establish religion in the United States... think about it, do the hmong people have a temple where they could go worship their ancestor... or gods to call their own... probably not, rumors were, Christians came to a hmong village and exorcist a haunted house that have been haunted for a while. After witnessing the power of the Christian's God, hmong converted because there was no shamanism could defeat the evil spirit. First person to convert was the greatest hmong shaman ever, having a ripple effect that spawn the birth of so many hmong believers.



6/28/06
A true American lives in many forms. However,some people think that if you're a Hmong who lives the American life style, you are a "white-washed." I have been living on my own for over 13 yrs since I enter college after high school. I recently married a beautiful wife who has blood of caucasion, Latin, and native American. I speak mainly English at home and at the office. But I always speak Hmong to my family memebers, especially to the elders. I don't like many things about Hmong culture and traditions. But I take the best parts and incorporate with other cultures. My children will definately know, respect, and speak Hmong. I rarely practice many Hmong traditional ceremonies but I can say that I know more about my culture than most Hmong who are "still" traditional. I used to be "embarassed" of my culture. But the older I got, the more important I must know who I was for me to know who I am. Only this can I then openly share my culture with others and have respect for theirs. I share my Hmongness with many. In fact, my non-Hmong wife can speak better Hmong than most full blood Hmong teenagers and kids. A true American is one who has a multi-color mind.



6/26/06
To have respect for a culture (or religion, tradition, language etc.) one must have an understanding of it. Hmong culture is an old and complex one that can't be expressed fully in a message. However, I believe that the majority of the Hmong community know and respect their culture and history through oral story-telling by their parents or the elders. It is still greater to know that most Hmong can still speak the language. Sadly, there are individuals who are embarassed to acknowledge their people and language. They feel that if they speak English well, people (of other race) will see them as not being an Asian or "minority." A fluent English speaker doesn't erase your black hair, brown eyes, brown (or yellow) skin - your Asian facial features. And your English name doesn't make you a non-Hmong. Be proud of your self first. Then you will have repect for your culture and language, whatever that may be. Acquireing self-respect can you have respect for others. Instead of hiding behind a false facade, express the beauty of your culture. That is the American way. Remember an Asian guy named Bruce Lee who was not afraid to share his culture. He bridged east and west.



6/26/06
I would like to know, what specific sickness did the shamans have before becoming one? Could it be possible that it is a meantal health issue but by becoming a shaman, that helps them with their sickness. maybe through accepting that they have an illness but n terms of spirits/spiriutal side.



6/22/06
tifa (code name) hehe
That's true that you are NOT called "white-washed" if you do not know the Hmong language or even speak it. But one should familarize themselves with their own culture (including the language and reading the language) Most teens nowadays don't even know the songs and poems that most speak at tornaments and new years. I am one that I too feel bad about. Whenever they speak the poems I get confused because its in metaphors or whatnot.



5/22/06
it is true that hmong people are always forgotton. if only others will know what hmong is and who hmong people are. if you go out and ask people what is hmong i bet they will not know. if you say you are hmong people will ask what is hmong. i like to see something like this becuase there is never hmong on tvs. another thing is, just becuase you cant speak or read hmong does not mean you are "white-washed". (sorry if you cant say that).



5/17/06
I think that future generation of Hmong Americans will not embrace their ancestor�s culture because they are reluctant to practice their own religion and thinks that its stupid to do weird things all the time. They never get a true answer for why things are done a certain way and is always told that their forefathers have always done it that way. People who do things without understanding why it is done and say they have freedom are kidding themselves.



5/10/06
I think that future generation of Hmong Americans will not embrace their ancestor's culture because they are embarassed to practice their own religion and thinks that its stupid to do weird things all the time. They don't respect their elders the same way as back then. They only want their freedom. Many speaks for freedom and not think of the whole anymore.



4/25/06
It is important that we preserve and embrace our culture. With that said, religion is a matter of faith. How we chose to believe in our faith is a choice. In the end, we all want the same thing. To be saved. As humans we have this need to have some form of belief.
On the personal side, I think that everyone want to end up in heaven (where ever that may be to you). We all take different road to hopefully get to our destination. However, there is only one road that will take us there. On this road there many different intersections. No one really knows which turn is going to get us there. We just have to pick one with the hope that it is not a dead end. I say this because, i hear a lot of back and forth on who is right and who is wrong. Which religion is true and which is fake. The only way to really know is if you have been to this place and back.



4/24/06
WOW! well iono.. but ima shoaman believer...but it depends on what yall tink is best not what othas tink is best for yew.. but i wanna noe sum questions...are shaman peeps dah onli ones who tink tat ghost exist??? cus moi fren says tat thae believe in god so thae don't believe in ghost... cus u noe how we shaman peeps do our thing...but i feel bad foe those who dun noe a thang bout their real culture.. yep... so dis all foe me...



4/10/06
Birthanie
for your question that you asked me. im not a christian because my dad is a shaman which you probably saw in the video...i dont know why everyone in this page is talking about how christians or shamanism is better.. accoreding to me every religion is important in everyones lives....hopefully everyone could be happy with eachother and not argue anymore about theri religion..thanks alot...



4/6/06
Please everyone, don't hate...if u are christian, then u are a christian, if u are old tradition, then u are old tradition. Don't accuse one another that his/her beliefs are wrong. Let a person be free of his/her own beliefs n choices. The big thing here is "RESPECT" just respect each others' tradition. I am old tradition, i have friends who are christians...they respect me, i respect them. When i have a ritual, i invite them..they come happily n supported me, and they ask me to attend church at occasions, i go with them. Be a person of multi-perspective.



4/6/06
To PKV, That is good. You are learning. I am proud of you. Now go and read and learn the Bible for yourself. I recommend to you the King James version of the bible. I am confident that God's words in the Bible will help you with your life.



3/29/06
The one thing that makes shamanism different from religion is that there is no savior, god, or founder. It is a world built upon old ideologies of spiritual ancestors and the sprits of the natural environment. Shamanism is also a world filled with myths and no concrete evidence of physical facts for explanation of happening. For the scientific concrete evidence people, shamanism closely related group of people imagination. A world built upon faith and fortune.
a Shaman's tools:
an Altar(teeb thaj neeb]. This altar is for and to worship the shaman's "Dab Neeb" (translate into Shaman's Demons) or to put in a bettersounding term "spirits".
What is on the shelf? Nyob rau saum lub thaj neeb
-bells
use to frighten off evil dab, and call his guides to come and help and tell the shaman what to say.
-bowls of rice with incense in it(lub ntim nrog tsuv thiaj xyab) Foods for dab neeg(shamans demons)
-cups of water(dej)
Water for dab neeb(shamans demons).
-split horns of a water buffalo(tus kuam)-spliced in halves.
negotiating tool to tell the shaman whether the dab or demon accepts his negotiation.



3/28/06
Can somebody tell me the truth about where and how shaman came about? Why does it cost so much now ($200-$800)for a shaman to cure a sick person. Is it all about money now? Why can't the shaman just use his giving power for the will of goodness? He is trying to help but at cost much money? Is it true that back in the old days (in Laos) shaman perform ritual just for food (animal meat? Confusing...please help.



3/28/06
FROM PKV
IMPORTANT LESSON I LEARNED FROM THE CATHOLIC BISHOP YESTERDAY
To those who are believers:
He who says he loves the Lord but does not love his brother(meaning anyone and everyone)is a LIAR. Fore, if he cannot love what he can see than how can he love what he cannot see.



3/28/06
To PKV: here is some more truth about your religion. Read it well and understand it because this is what hmong religion is all about..
Qhuab Kev as performed by Seng Thao is:
Oh the dead, now you are dressed well and have reached the frontiers of the realm of Ntxwj Nyoog.
You will climb up into Ntxwj Nyoog's territory, full of bamboo trees, and soon you will be one of Ntxwj Nyoog's sons.
Oh the dead, now you are well dressed and you have reached the frontiers of the realm of Ntxwj Nyoog. You will climb up into Ntxwj Nyoog's territory, full of striped bamboo trees, and soon you will be one of Ntxwj Nyoog's sons.
Oh the dead, now you are dressed well and you have reached the frontiers of Ntxwj Nyoog's territory. You will climb up into Ntxwj Nyoog's territory, full of his daughters, and soon you will be one of Ntxwj Nyoog's sons.



3/28/06
QEEJ TU SIAV
Qeej Hauv Ncoo, Noo nrw
Tog maum xees . Tog maum xees
Tog maum xees qa tsi nws tsis yog 1 niag niaj hnub,
pes nrab hnub,nplooj tsis zeeg zoov tsis kaj, ntiaj pes teb nrag
qas cai txooj tib neeg los ntsib tuag ntim tsis tag.
The day is not the right day or even the right half a day. It is dark - the jungle kingdom is dark and full of leaves. The world is sad and a human being meets his destiny. The world overflows with living things. That is why someone must die.
Tog maum xees nplooj tsis zeeg zoov tsis huv, ntiaj pes teb nrab qas cai txooj tib neeg los tsib tuag ntim tsis puv, ntiaj pes teb nrab qas cai txooj tib neeg los tuag tas.
The jungle kingdom is dark and unclean. The world is full of sadness and death awaits.Someone must die.
Yuav mus muab puj lau- qaib tua siv ntis, yuav {los}5 mus
muab puj lau-qaib tua siv nrawv
{Yuav mus muab} tus leej tub tuag yuav los noj tau {puj} lau-
qaib siab, yuav haus tau lau-qaib ntsws



3/28/06
What is Shamanism:
The Hmong are Animist/Shamanist religion people.
Some hmong believe in the existing of some sort of gods others don't. They practice ancestor worship. Hmong believe the earthly world and the spirit world are now separate, whereas they used to be linked, and a shaman is required to communicate between the worlds, and act on behalf of his or her client in the spirit world. A world that we are not accustomed to and not permitted to go to. A world where sprits roam and evil and good has no distinction. The souls of animals, released via animal sacrifice,help the shaman to achieve his or her end by aiding a human soul or being exchanged for one. Shaman performs perform soul-calling ceremonie to retrieving a lost soul or souls, and restoring someone?s health.
Once a person has been "chosen" to be a shaman, their "treatment training" is provided almost entirely from the spirit world. Another shaman might help guide them in determining external details of their practice. These truths are taken from both American and Hmong PHDs thesis.



3/28/06
Susie
I think that in a longer time from now Hmong people are going to stop practicing Shamanism and they are not going to have a religion. I think we could use medicine with shamanic ceremonies. I don't think it's going to do anything to us. But now I think about it, it might cause our body to not concentrate what we are supposed to do. I think it's pretty important that we know our father's and grandfather's religion, but nowadays we don't get all into that stuff anymore. Eventhough, I want to be I just can't do it and it doesn't make me want to do it, eventhough I believe in it still. For myself I think when I get older I wouldn't be having a religion, but I do believe in Shamanism.



3/23/06
The second major ritual, called a Npua laus "Boua-Lao." This ceremony is performed when a person is very sick and the shaman tells that the person that he/she must have a boua-lao performed or that person will never get better. A boua-lao is performed by men at night, taking a pig and sacrificing it to the spirit that has made that person sick. Why just men? Originally,the pig was stolen from the Chinese and the men thought that the women would tell if they found out.
The third major Hmong ceremony is supposedly a women's ceremony, but men can also be present. This ceremony is called Npua dab roog "Boua Da-tong" or Npua tai "Boua-thai." In the original ceremony the pig was also stolen from the Chinese, but by the women. Legend says that the men got involved because the women did not know how to remove the pig's spirit, and the women asked the men to do it. The ceremony is done when on ancestor comes to you in your dreams, and if you don't respond by performing a boua da-tong, you will become very sick. During this ceremony, the pig's meat is cut up into either five,seven, or nine parts. It depends on your clan and region.



3/23/06
The Hmong religion is known as Dab Queues "Da-Koua,"(a form of ancestor worship) and it originated in China. When the Hmong migrated from China, they settled in three different regions of Laos, creating three different types of Hmong and three different ways to practice their religion. The most common type of Hmong is Mob dab, pronounce (Hmong dear), the White Hmong, then the Hmong Ntsuab ( Hmong tsoua ), Green Hmong, and the least common one is the Hmoob txaij ( Hmong tsai ), Striped Hmong. They differ in how strict they are with the rules and the traditions. The Green Hmong are probably the most strict, the White are second, and the Striped are last. One thing in common, all the Hmong still following the traditional religion, is the Xwm kab "Suka." The suka is a place in ones' home where the good spirits dwell and protect the home and family. The suka, to the Hmong, is like the crucifix to the Christian. It is a good symbol.



3/23/06
To PKV:
Hmong Religion
by Tong Moua
The Hmong believe that when someone dies, that person's spirit returns back to his or her birth place to retrieve the Tsho, pronounce "Chaw", placenta. When a baby is born, the chaw is buried in the middle of that house, if it is a boy. If it is a girl, it is buried next to a bed post in the house. The spirits retrieve their chaw and they go on to a world known as Dab teb. In order to help you get back to your chaw when you die, the Hmong play the bamboo pipe and the gong as part of the death ceremony. Playing these instruments will lead the spirit of the deceased, back to retrieve the chaw.
" Da-tay" is a world known for the dead, including the ancestors. The Hmong also believe in heaven and hell, like Christianity, but the Hmong interpret heaven and hell as the same world. They are in different sub division, but both are conquering by the world is called da-tay. The ancestors world is heaven and the world of evil's is hell. The Hmong also believe that there is a gate before entering into Da-tay. Every dead spirit must go through this gate in order to get to heaven or hell.



3/22/06
Bobby
Milw, WI
There is only one way to Heaven and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other way. Doing good doesn't get you into Heaven. A sinner is still a sinner no matter how much good he does.
Shamans fight demons, ghosts, etc... through human methods. Christians fight demons, ghosts, etc... through God's methods. That's the difference. Consider this, a man is to God, what an ant is to a man; who's methods are stronger, human methods, or God's methods??? Of course God's methods are by far superior. That is why there is a segment of the Hmong population that is neither shamans nor Christian, but secular. These people are those that have "lawv dab" (misspelled??) Through God's method's these people's "dab" have been eradicated, although, they themselves have not been saved due to their unbelief, despite God enabling his servants to perform this miracle for them.
Adam is a sinner, not an unbeliever. Of course Adam believed in God, God talked to Adam directly.
Even the best of Christians have moments of weakness. It's your job to help them out, not put them down or label them. Let God judge, and let you encourage.



3/20/06
Mr. vamtshaj vaj
You seem to be a very smart man. How could you call yourself a Christian? Define to me what Christian is? What does it mean to you? A Christian should now that the only to God is through Jesus Christ. How about some proof of what your are saying. What rules are you living by, men or God? How do you know you are faithful and good if you don't have God's law. Christian knows that goodness can't get you to heaven. Only the blood of Jesus is the ticket to heaven. From what I've read, you are not better than the other Christian folks. I am glad the you are a Christian, but please read His words. It will transform you into a better person. Please write back.



3/20/06
To: vincent, milwaukee
I bet you have read the bible many time, carefully. Seeing and hearing other people talking about the bible does not consider reading. I am surprise, what bible tells you that adam was not a believer and he die during the flood. I'll give you some credit because you mention flood. That is the only correct answer. Please let God be your eyes and let Him be in your heart when you read the bible. His spirit will allow you to understand the scripture a lot more. Yes, I agree with you on this one. Because Hmong people are so corrupted there are corrupted people in the church as well. When outsider like at the church those, I call semi-christian, stands out the most. They don't seem to notic the faithful Christian. I encourage the faithful one to remain faithful. Let God be the judge and He will reward each on occurdingly.



3/20/06
Encourangment to all fellow Christians Next time when you ask why is bad thing happend to good people, ask yourself this question, why is good thing happend to bad people.



3/20/06
For Vincent: Adam lived 930 years, Seth lived 912 years, Enosh lived 905 years, Cainan lived 910 years, Mahalaleel lived 895 years,Jared lived 962 years, Enoch lived 365 years- and God took him - he did not died because he walked with GOD, Methuselah lived 969 years, Lamech lived 777 years, Noah lived 950 years. The FLOOD happenned 1656 years after adam died.
Vincent, I hope this will help you to understand the timeline of the patriachs.



3/20/06
To vamtshaj vaj:
The only way to heaven is through our lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If you believe that Hmong fight the devil just like God, then tell me the purpose of lub "Thaj Neeb". Remember, The bible said good works does not get you into heaven. Only because of God's GRACE. Dont live your christian life base on other christians. People are sinful in nature because people are born sinners. These christians that you are talking about does not have the spiritual of the Lord. That is why they are evil as you said it. As christians, we dont hate Hmong religion. We know that hmong religion does not the truth about life and the afterlife. We should share the truth with our people. Furthermore, Hmong religion is not our enemy. Hmong have been living in spiritual darkness and satan has blinded us from seeing the truth. VamTshaj, as a christian we need to learn and understand God's words so that we dont lead our lost souls into damnation.



3/17/06
vincent
milwaukee
If you read the bible carefully, Adam wasn't a believer.. because of his disbelief, he died w/ everyone at the time of the flood..
Remember no one is perfect. Yes, many Christians are hypocrits. There's so much sin and tempations in the world that we give in to them too.
A reason a Christian should go to church is for encouragement, another is to help people and spread the gospel. I think you confused people who are Christians to people who are "Church Goers".. Many people who goto Church aren't Christians. The people who are Christians aren't the people you notice.. they go about their business at church.. give their offerring.. teach Sunday School... run church programs..
They don't get any credit, because it's God who works through them.. A christian should stand firm on his beliefs, but shouldn't hate anyone.. including people who believe in Shamanism..
There's people like this in every Church.. if you look w/ a different set of eyes..



3/17/06
vamtshaj vaj
Arlington Tx
You believe god or hmong religion.
Either sides you will and can go to heaven. Only if you are a honest and faithful person. Hmong religion is not about serving the devil. Hmong fight the devil just like god. If you don't believe me write to me.... I'll tell you the truth of live. I am hmong but christain. I know alot of people that goes to church but have no god in them. They act so evil.
Alot of our Hmong Christain are against Hmong religion. If you know god, he is not against religion or race. God say you need to love your enemy right??????



3/17/06
Adam, dont go to church with an open minded. You should go to church with an open heart. I think your problem is that you are putting ordinary people on pedestals. They are people just like you.



3/17/06
Bobby
Milw, WI
Christians don't hate Shamanists. Christians want to give Shamanists hope! Shamanists are afraid of spirits and ghosts stealing their spirit, causing them to be ill, and they are afraid of dying, because when they die they go to a place where they are hungry and they toil. But a knowledgeable Christian has no fear of spirits or ghosts stealing their spirits, because our souls belong to Christ. He paid for them with his life on the Cross. Knowledgeable Christians are not afraid of death, because Jesus is preparing a place for us in Heaven. We want the world, not just our shamanist brothers to have the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.
No person on the face of this earth is perfect, whether he's Christian, Shamanists, Muslim, or Jew. God looks upon this world and cannot find one righteous person. The difference between Christians and people of religions is that we believe that God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.
That's what Christians do, we love our neighbors and we want to let them know that God invitation is free. He doesn't discriminate based on race, nationality, creed, disability, whatever... anyone who believes in him can have eternal life.



3/17/06
Every thing good that you have is a gift from God, because He only wants what's best for you. Every decision you make is a test, to see if you will do what God wants or what you want. The Church's motive is to spread the Good News about Jesus Christ.
Christians are definitely not angels. We are fallen creatures like every other thing in this corrupted world. We neither profess to be pure nor innocent. If we were, there would be no need for a Savior.
Actually having an open mind means that you don't have any prejudgements or preconceived notions of what "church" is. How about you just forget everything you know about "church" and try to learn what being a disciple of Jesus Christ and what church is really about? That's if you REALLY want to know what it's all about.



3/17/06
To Adam,
I'm sorry that you're feeling that way about some of the christian that are surronding you. Don't be stereo type. Not all christians are the same. I do agree with you that some christians are just actors and actress. They may attend church but have given their self to the Lord Jesus Christ. You can not base your belief by watching other live their life. You say that christian talk but can not do the walk, God says not everyone is perfect. Don't blame or compare youself to other, especially christian people, challenge youself and live your life according to God words.



3/17/06
Regardless of your religious beliefs, there will always be bad eggs . But that is not the issue. The issue is, our Heaven Father is real, Jesus is the Christ and doctrine is facts. People are not perfect for Jesus atone for our sins and provided us the law of repentance and became an example for us. It?s funny we are quick to blame those we who we are not to judge anyway, that we use it to compare to ourselves which in turn makes us bitter. You determine what repentance and Jesus? example means to you. To me, Jesus is the perfect example; we should try to have those Christ like attributes knowing that we will never because Jesus is the only Christ. Therefore do you have enough faith to try to be like Jesus when you KNOW you will never?
That's faith regardless of your belief because it never ends. This has made me a better person and so it will to anyone who lives accordingly regardless of your belief. Church should make us better people in general not so said it solves all problems. GOD solves all problems as YOU have faith in him without bitterness.
The word of GOD will always appear foolish to men. Seek to believe before understanding; it will be manifested unto you.



3/13/06
From Adam
I am adam and I was born christain. I was even given a damn christain name. My parents have been christains for almost 20 years. When I was young, I used to think that everything I do was for GOD. Everything I have was given to me by GOD. By gosh, was I wrong now. As I got older, I started to question the church and their motives.
Christains are not angels. Neither are they pure and innocent as they say they are.
You have to go to church and be open minded to understand what I am saying. If you go to church w/ a close mind, all you would see is what the church people say to you. I guess this is the reason why all the chirstains in here hate on you shaman people.
Honestly, christain alway talk the talk but they can never do the walk. For example, the priest are always telling us to love our neighbor but heck no, I see them hating on everyone who is not christain. Also, they cheated on thier wifes. Some gamble thier life away.
So yea, don't you guys feel bad shaman people.



3/13/06
PKV, Thank you. I was hoping that you are still out there and actively responding to comments that are posted on this website. If I have offended you in anyway regarding to what my father said about being an ex-shaman, I truely apologize. This was not my intention. I mainly relay on what was expressed by an ex-shaman.
Anyway, I recall reading on this site that you are working in a catholic church. Is this right? If it is true, you should thank God(The God of the Bible) for that opportunity! I understand that you are very passionate about your god, therefore, could you please enlighten me on the following questions:
1. Who is your god? What power does he have?
2. Where does he live?(heaven or hell)
3. What have he done for you to show you that he loves you?
4. Where in history did your god first come to existent?
5. What do you call your god? in Hmong?
Christians believe in the GOD of the Bible. I challenge you to learn and read the Bible. The Bible is used with many other historical documents to support the teaching of our GOD. Where can I get a copy of the historical data and documents to learn more about your god? This will do for now. I wait for your disposition.



3/13/06
To PKV,
Can you tell me who created heaven and earth? Everything that you see around, who created it? Tell me where you came from or originated from? Let see, the earth is estimated to be about 4.55 billion years old. How far can you trace back your root? If you kept a good family tree maybe you can trace back to your great, great, great grand parent. Just a thought, "every painting - there is an artist". Waiting for your answer.



3/10/06
Birthanie,
May I ask if you are a christian or not?



3/10/06
Could someone tell me why Hmong ceremonies takes 3 days?
In the old days, it is because most relative lives far from each other and had to travel far to pay repect. The other reason is maybe the living doesn't have any important task to do. hahaha
Now, it is because the living wants to make some money out of the dead.
Any better answer out there?



3/10/06
Not to be against anybody, just need info
Explain to me the belief of a shaman. Can a shaman do the ritual to him self?



3/10/06
Mr. Her, what is your new email address? I have some questions for you.



3/10/06
What is so sad about loosing a culture that is dammed to fail and everyone is at each other's throat everytime? Please loose it for Hmong sake.



3/10/06
Hmong, be honest with ourselves, before America we have been living in darkness, that is spiritual darkness. Now that the LORD our GOD Jesus Christ has given us the chance to live our lives in the light and given us the opportunity to become childrens of GOD through Jesus Christ, we should take the it. Jesus is a free gift given to all mankind. We should stop sacrificing cows, chickens, pigs and other animals to the deads. All these animals have not done anything against us. They are creatures of the earth. They deserve to live as much as we do!!!!



3/8/06
Wisconsin

Could someone tell me why Hmong ceremonies takes 3 days?



3/8/06
To all of you who claimed that all religions are the same and that it doesn't matter which god(s) you believe in because he is the same god.... This is a arrogance error in your part. All religions are not the same. We do not believe in the same god. Christians believe in the God who created the universal and US. He is one God in three persons. The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. If you have any doubts on this truth please do go and check out the tombs of these spiritual leaders such as Budhha, muhammad, confucius etc....You will see this inscription "Here lies xxxxx" on their tomb. (these people are still in their tombs). If you were to go and check the tomb of Jesus Christ our saviour, the tomb stone will have this inscription on it "He is Risen". Therefore, all religions are not the same. There is a huge differences between religions. Again, Christians dont hate other religions. For example, when you parent teaches you between right and wrong, do they hate you? No, definitely not. They teach you because they love you. Same for the Christian, they share the gospel with you because they love you.



3/8/06
I have been reading some of the comments posted here concerning shamanism and chriatianity. Some of you brouht up some interesting view points and beliefs. I am refreshed and glad to see our young Hmong people debating about a worthwhile topic such as religion, aside from joining gangs and dropping out of high school. We must keep in mind that debates only strenghten our minds and give us options and opportunities to better ourselves. We must also remember that disagreement does not mean hatred. I am a follower of Christ. I don't detest nonbelievers. One of our mighty God's commandments is to Love our neighbor as ourself. I strongly believe that true Christians do not hate their neigbors. As a matter of fact, we LOVE our neigbors - believers or non-believers. For this very reason, we Love our Hmong brothers and sisters so much that we must share the gospel with them. We do not wish nor want any of our Hmong brothers and sisters to enter into eternal condemnation.



3/8/06
Shaman is a religious and not a tradition. It is something you practice religiously and faithfully believe in it. It can not be tradition, eventhough some claim to be.



3/8/06
Note: all religious are not the same. If so, then explain why there are so many religious group? All these groups don't even have the same belief. Don't make excuses for your own conclusion. If you don't thing you believe in God then you don't. If you have other god in your life then you don't have the true God. You're not a bad or evil person if you don't believe in God. Don't judge one another, let God be the judge.



3/8/06
I have not seen or heard about THE SPLIT HORN: Life of a Hmong Shaman in America. I found what everyone is talking about to very interesting. I want to my 2-3 cents. Let me intro myself, I'm a born again christian and I have relative that still practicing shaman. We are all very close. This topic of shaman vs. christian is something that should not divide Hmong but Hmong should face this real issue honestly. Don't take side but try to understand. Let us be cleared and understand that shaman is not a tradiditon but it is a religious. If it is something you believe greatly then it is a religious.



3/7/06
i'm still a firm believer of the old ways. but you believe what you want to believe. don't portray others just becuase of beliefs. i mean if you really look into it, every religion falls under the same category. it's just that every religion has it slight differences or curves. for instance, shamanism; christianity; buddha; muslims; etc..; were the sons of the one person we all believe in as the creator of all, god. look into other religoins and you'll see that we all believe in heaven and hell, spirits, ghosts, etc..like i said, it's just the slight differences that seperates us from one another...



2/28/06
Birthanie
hi everyone.. im one of the son in this movie "The Split Horn" i dont understand why everyone in here is against shamanism because to me i believe that you are who you are. You have the rights to believe in what you want to believe in. Some people might believe in God and some might not. Its their own beliefs, that's what makes them different. This issue to me is like racism because your discriminating what other people are believing...i dont want to harm anyone but this is all i have to say now...



2/27/06
Tzianeng Vang
FYI,
Please be careful when showcasing such documentary such as "Split Horn" or "shamanism"; it should not be view as the Hmong religion or spiritual deity/entity. Hmong has many form of healing whether it is physical or spiritual; "shamanism" is just one form of spiritual healing and it is not be considered a Hmong religious rite/act. The best western word that would be closest in conveying the true essence of what Hmong religion is, is anamism. Hmong believe that everything has its own purpose and therefore, nurture its own spirit. I.E. house spirits consist of the center pole, the xwm kab, the hearth spirit, the bed room spirit, etc....
Thanks for your continuous support of the Hmong....



2/21/06
Youa Vang

We are all the same. We came from one world. Our ancestors lived together. Let's stop woth the shaman vs. christainity now.



2/13/06
hammad shah
karachi
hi
for all of you who have dreamed of becoming a shaman, i warn you its a risky buisness in which u can loose your own life. the real purpose of a shaman is to find unimaginable knowledge, healing, journeying etc. but im from a family of shah, and they have practised shaman rituals, if any shaman reads this please inform me on how to become a shaman.
my email address is hammad_rocks12@hotmail.com
thank you for reading this



2/10/06

From my point of view, many of the Hmong Americans are not going to be able to embrace their ancestors' cultures because a lot of people from the younger generations can't balance out both worlds. More people from the younger generation are turning towards American views, values, and way of life. Some are disrespectful or inconsiderate of others and their feelings. Look at this from my point of view. I do not fully believe in Shamanism and I do not fully believe in Christianity. I'm stuck in between both worlds. What I will not do is criticize people who choose their own way of life.
I believe that Shamanic ceremonies do have the ability to heal. Sometimes, it'll be a 50/50 chance. But then, the traditional medicine is also a must. You just don't want to risk your health.
It's really important to preserve the cultural traditions of your parents and grandparents and ancestors. This is a way of life. You've got to be open-minded about what's what. Some traditions lets you know what to expect if you go to a certain place/party. But mostly, these traditions let you know that you have a certain obligation, and it lets you know who you are. I mean, there are some traditions that are the rites of passage. These rites of passage are supposed to be done a certain way.
The traditions that are to be embraced are really up to that certain family.



2/8/06
I am christain but I have met far too many good people who does not associate with a particular religious group and/or in "GOD" in particular to believe that they will go to hell. I can't find the place in my heart to believe that they are also the devil's son.



2/6/06
Stella Thompson
Is there any Shaman still practing in Hmong communities?
I spoke with a medical doctor of Asian descent who has read As The Spirit... and was hilghly impressed that doctors in America are now practicing the cross cultural medicine.



2/1/06
Its one story when you believe in something other than shamanism but you don't bash and hate on those that still carry the shaman tradition. It is another story when you believe in something other than shamanism but you call those that carry that tradition the son of the devil and that they will go to hell. I have never heard a shaman individual say that those that follow God will go to hell but I hear those that follow God tell us that we will go to hell and that we are the devil's son. Now you tell me who hates who and why acceptance and unity is a long way from home!



1/31/06
Nancy Yang
I can't believe how much of the responses in this forum is mostly about christianity vs. shamanism. It makes me sad really; it is hate within our Hmong ethnicity. It makes me angry.
I don't know what it is that my hmong parents, cousins, friends, want from me. You cannot devalue someone status of being hmong solely because someone no longer is shamanistic. I was born to Hmong parents on U.S soil. I am Christian and you who are my brothers and sisters say that I am less hmong because I am Christian.
Did your parents or grandparents not fight in the same war as my father? Did we not have to face the same genocide your ancestors have? We might even be cousins and because i chose what you deem a white american path I am not Hmong!!! That is outrageous.
I am fighting through my life and my identity the same way you are. You cannot criticize me! Anything about me! my family came from he same hills that yours has. they crossed the same river. they cultivated the same fields! i am just as hmong as you are even with my american identity. You are not the model by which hmong people are measured. I live my life with a historical hmong background that intend not to forget including the shamanistic views. You go live yours without cricizing mine.



1/6/06
Denver, Colorado
Can you tell me what the 5 cycles of life are for the Hmong. I am researching the ancient hmong collar that is seen on so many of the men and women.



12/15/05
I am a Christian. My mother was born into a Christian home in Laos. My father converted to Christianity when I was nine. I'll admit that I was one of those white-washed Hmong kids growing up. I didn't like the fact that I was Hmong. I didn't like the fact that everyone looked down on me because of my ethnicity. In high school, I came to realize how important being Hmong is. I don't believe in the Shamanistic ways, but I have so much respect for the Hmong culture. I am Christian, but that does not mean that I have no regards with my ethnicity as being Hmong. Because I am Christian does not mean that I am abandoning my traditions and trying to be a part of the American society. Being Hmong and Christian still makes me a minority. I am a Christian and I am Hmong, but being Hmong comes second to my faith in God. I still keep some cultural traditions such as hospitality traditions, but I know that the shamanistic ways will be lost in my life forever. One question that I've pondered about over and over again is, HOW DO YOU DEFINE SOMEONE BEING HMONG?! Because someone doesn't practice Shamanism anymore makes them less Hmong? This debate can go on forever, but what we need to do is let our ethnic identity be carried on -- not our debates over religion.



12/12/05
thoj
Tulsa, OK
Shamansim and Christianity will for the most part separate parts of the Hmong society. I ask why? Well, if you think about it.. One carries the old traditional ways of the Hmong culture while the other one carries parts of the Hmong culture and has assimilated our culture into the American religion. I do not mean to offend anyone but both sides should not question one another but they should think about what it means to them to be HMONG. Believing in shamanism is believing in the right to not be afraid of who you are as a Hmong individual. You are standing up against this institutionalized country which for the most part believe in Christianity. Christianity strives for a sense of belonging in this country, which for the most part makes sense because you will be the ones who will survive. But Hmong people has always fought for their own rights, beleifs and most important; their family! I hope that in future we all will stick together and survive... Being Hmong is something we all should be proud of!



12/12/05
thoj
No one ever would have known if our Hmong culture would survive after the Vietnam War. All the Hmong sought for was survival and this was what they knew how to do. As we arrived in the United States, we have decided that we are going to keep our shamanism alive and do so by practicing our rights not knowing that it would be problematic for others. We are a strong group of clans. Our cultural practices of healing is still being practice in America to the present and will be in the future. For those who believe in GOD, it has taught you to have faith right? So why would one question that our history and culture will not survive. It will go down in history books as it has already and will continue. Even though it may seem like our culture is dying off and our elders who preserve the most important information in history, there spirit will help guide us here in America. People may have assimulated, people may have converted to Christianity, and peole may disregard their cultural identity.
But the key thing is that you are HMONG. Do not strip your culture from you face, but embrace what is left and what we can make of it. At least there are people like me who are willingly to keep our traditional ways and keep all people engaged with our celebrations and more. I am Hmong and proud to be one.



12/7/05
Mr. Her
I would like to give my email out to those who would like to ask me about the Hmong religion. I would be more than glad to explain as much as I could about it. It's just sad, and I mean really sad to see a family let go of their tradition, culture, and religion. Like the many Christians, us Shamanist must educate ourselves with our religion. Our first priority is to understand Hmong. Speak it correctly at least. Then, from there we will do our part and learn as much as we can about our ways. Participate if you could. I'm only 21 and I can help the elders perform so many ceremonies already and I would like for many other teens and young adults to do the same, and NOOOOOOOOOO. I was not born in Thailand if anyone out there is thinking so. I was born and raise in Stockton California. Please don't be embarrass about your background. Be proud. Do you see how many other people such as the Native Americans, African Americans, White Amercians, and so many other people around the world have lost their tradition, culture, and religion. Do you see how most people can only read about their religion and not see it being alive anymore. We don't want that to happen to us. What makes us us is what we carry with us from our ancestors, but many people are losing it. I know, we're in America now, but we are free to practice any religion we want. Even our very own, but there are more and more people who are being converted. Today there are many Hmong Christian who are the fourth and fifth generation that will be Christians and thier kids will know nothing about their ancestors tradition, culture, and religion. Isn't it sad when you think about it. I know many Christians who wish they can convert back into their old religion, but they lost it a long time ago. They are clueless about what to do or how to come back. It's not too late to come back and carry on with the old ways. Those of us who are still practicing our old religion, keep it up. I'm proud of you guys. May the heaven and earth, watch over all of us and let us live a healthy life without any stress and pain. Peace out my Hmong Brother and Sisters..........
Here's my Email: n0_joKeS_2o9@hotmail.com



12/5/05
Cha
Mr. Vang,
As a someone who still follows the tradition and am pround of it, I can tell you that we believe every Hmong person has 3 souls, regardless or gender or last name.



12/5/05
I was just wondering? If you're not the chosen one to become a Shaman and you want to become one, can you still learn from a Shaman and become one? I'm Hmong, and my parents said that if you want to become one you can learn from a Shaman...is that true? It's strange but...when my family moved to our new house in October of 2005...starting January of 2005...I've been having dreams of becoming a Shaman...sometimes I see myself doing some Shaman rituals in my dream...or see my Grandpa who is a Shaman or other relatives showing me the steps or process of Shaman rituals. Does this mean that I'm going to become one? My mom said that the reason why I'm not a Shaman yet is because I'm not married, have a wife, or kids? Do you really have to have kids or a family of your own before you become one? Just a curious person...who believes in Shaman rituals and Old traditions!



12/5/05
how do you become a shaman if you're not the chosen one? Can you still learn and become one? if you keep having dreams of being a shaman or doing shaman rituals in your dream, does that mean that you're going to become one?



12/2/05
I'm a Vang but I have never heard anything about the three soul are there certain clan who only believe this because us the Vang clan do not believe that we have three soul only one. Please let me know



12/2/05
i never knew that christains were so involved with the hmong people back in laos. i thought it was pretty cool when they interview the shaman who converted to a christain. great videos!



12/1/05
every hmong soul has 3 spirits....one is left behind to help protect the family...one is reincarnated....and the one you stated that is the dark place...you are correct...that spirit cannot come back.



11/30/05
Can someone tell me how the dead ancestor is suppose to protect the family and come back annually for a meal prepared for them? I thought once they died and is sent to the dark place, they can never come back according to the stanza of the "Qhuab Kev".



11/30/05
vang yang
pao,
thank you so much for that site. it made me appreciate what the christains and missionaries in america have done for us hmong people. a site that should be seen by all hmong people. i only saw 3 videos, are there more?



11/29/05
Mr. Her
This is a message to encourage those who still carry with them the Old Hmong Ways or still are Shamanist. Although we are shamanist doesn't mean we have the same rituals and ceremonies. Remember, every different clan have their own ways of performing rituals, and you all must learn and master all the sayings. For example, when offering food to the ancestors during New Year. Xyoo laus tas xyoo tshiab tawm tuaj os, kuv tsuas yuav noj tsiab peb caug os, yuav ua qnaij ua hno siav os, yuav npw yuav hlaig txog, ???????, ???????, ???????, ????????, los nrog noj los nrog haus, noj nti mob haus nti ntsa, nti khawv yeej khawv yws, nti xaiv nti rog, hmab dawm tes hlua dawm taw, kua muag iab kua muag daw huv tib lis si mus rau nraum toj nraum pes kov kuv ib tse nees nkaum leej ntsej tsis hnov muag tsis pom, yuav los pov hwj pov yawm kuv ib tse nees nkaum leej nyob ntshiab li dej huv li txhv, ua tau noj tau haus ces yuav npw yuav hlaig, yuav teev yuav tiam no ta. These are examples of words we must learn. Not only that but also the names of the ancestors that we are calling back to feast upon the meal we've prepared for them. I'll make it shorter in English, The old year has gone by and the new year is coming, my family and I are celebrating new year, and we've prepared a meal. I would like to invite so and so, so and so to come and feast upon this meal and take all the sickness and bad stuff and leave it elsewhere in the mountains, and for my whole family not the see it or hear it ever again. Come and protect us and if my family do well in life, we will call you back to feed and praise you.



11/29/05
pao
check this video clip out about hmong christain/shamanism in loas and USA.
http://www.cmalliance.org/resources/av/video/avm_19.1/hmong2.jsp



11/14/05
tanger vang
i don't know. i'm very confused. my dad died 4 years ago. he left behind a wife,12 children, and 7 grandchildren at the time. when he got very sick of cancer the doctors said that he had gastric cancer. cancer in his stomach. we tried every thing. shamans, buddahs, our christian sides of the family and even doctors for any thing to keep him alive longer just for us. my father was a great man and a very respected man in the hmong community. he was diagnosed in november 2002 the doctor said not even 2 months will he live. he died on my baby brothers 4th birthday in april 2002 one month after my son was born. so then i kinda felt like maybe my son was his rebirth? after death? from what the hmong would say? a long time ago when we were kids we would have alot of shaman activities at our house then for about 15 years we would only have them once or maybe twice a year. then when my father got sick we did it like every other day. why? so then when he finally passed away, i thought well maybe our ancestors were mad at us or him that's why they took him away. i thought it was very unfair. why him and why us? so then i tried to turn to god for answers. he never answered my prayers. which way do i go now? my father would have been 56 on november 10th. and he has a new grandaughter and my son he will never see and they will never get to be with grandpa.



11/9/05
nio khang
I'm hmong myself and too bad I'm not a boi. Instead, I was born as a gurl. What I'm trying to say is that it's very sad how our culture is dying,generation after generation. Gurls can become shamans, but it's mostly handed down to bois and most of these days, you don't see a lot of boi learning it. What's even sadder is that once these people, who we know as our parents or grandpa/grandma leaves this earth, our generation will be clueless about their own culture. I'm not too old but I'm worried because I haven't seen too many new shamans around. And, not a lot of hmong people are willing to learn their culture because they rather live like the American ways since to them, it's easier. But think, would you rahter go to the hospital and pay all those bills knowning it might not help you when you are sick or have a shaman look at you and care you without really having to worry about money? Not just money, but I mean, do you want to take pills everyday just to get well? And how long do you suppose you're going to take those pills? I know learning our own culture is hard and takes lots of time, but isn't it worth it at the end when we go through some really difficult times in life? I just want the hmong people to act like they are hmong and stop being some black kid on the street or any other kind of race. It's good we are getting our education but we shouldn't lose our culture as well.



11/3/05
Pacha
It all comes down to this: If you live in a country like America, you follow thier traditions and values...and this is what I told my parents when they kept pestering me..."In laos, you followed the Lao tradition of living in villages and playing the queej and that's fine...but what I don't understand is that i never knew Laos and you are imposing something I was never born into in the first place?" You see, when i see the French Hmong people...some act very Frenchie like and haughty...The Hmong Americans act like the other Americans around us and the Lao Hmong act like the Lao...
It's that simple...you live by example...
For me...I still follow Hmong tradition and I'm probably the only one and my parents in my family to know how to read/write in the new type of Hmong Alphabet we have..I love the rich culture and diversity it brings to America and around the world...I may be American, but I still hold the Hmong name even if I don't believe in Shamanism...Thats it...



10/31/05
I grew up w/ a very americanized family and now i'm glad to see that i can learn more about it :)



10/26/05
Milwaukee, WI
you know, i think that you people are just wasting ya time. believe what you want. for me, i believe in SHAMANISN. it's a part of my anscestors and will always be apart of me. the hmong people that take Christianity as they're religion are leaving behind their anscestors' beliefs. if i was born under a certain religion, i can't just easily switch on to believing a new one. that's not how it is. and even though ya may say that you was actually born under Christianity, but your parents wasn't and they made that switch. sorry if i offended anyone, what i'm trying to say is just to be yourself and believe in whatever may seem right. but just don't forget who you really are and what you once were.



10/19/05
kong meng lee
We shouldn't question one's faith. To be quiet honest, I have been approach to convert to Christainty many times and I decline to. I believe strongly in the faith my parents and my parents' parents and so on has carried on for so many centuries to see that in today's modern world, it is dying. For those who don't believe in the traditional faith, ask yourself why you don't believe in it.
Now what I would like for you to do next is do a research on the Christian faith. You might find some gruesome and hideous history there, trust me...that's all I ask of you. Our traditional religion was design for us.
Please comment if you will.



10/17/05
Christy
First, I think that the future generations of Hmong Americans should embrace the ancestor's culture. Because, it does not matter what you do, change your name/last name, you will still be a part of the Hmong race. It is important to preserved what the Creator pass down for us, as a means of distinguish ourselves from the rest of the human race.
Second, I do believe that shamanic ceremonies do have the ability to heal, whether or not, the traditional medicine were used. But the person who perform the ceremonies have to be chosen by the spirits or destine to be a shamanic in order to get the most of the ceremonies.
Finally, I think it is very important to preserve our cultural traditions with the understanding that we have to let go of some old practice in order to bring in new ones. Such traditions as force/arrange marriage, view of a divorce women, and others that would only create stereotyping for the Hmong community.
I can not stress enough of the important of preserving the cultural traditions such as shamanic, New Year celebration, folklore, funeral ceremonies, and others that would defind and distinguish Hmong from other human race.



10/12/05
I am Christian and I was born into a very religous family. I believe in God with all my heart and soul and I agree for some part that no matter what or who you believe in, you should also remember your ancestors and culture but I'm not trying to offend anyone or anything because everyone is entitled to say anything that is on their mind. My family doesn't practice shamanism or believe in any superstitions that the Hmong people may have because as believers, we believe that there is only one God and he is the one who created us and gave us life. There shouldn't be any fear of anything because the Lord is our protector and he is our provider. He will always protect us because I have witnessed how powerful prayer can be. Nothing is possible without God because to me, the purpose of life just doesn't make any sense if there is no God. I believe that there is a better place after death such as Heaven because there is either happiness or torment after death. There can't be just one or the other. If there was only Heaven, where would all the bad people go? Heaven too? God created us to love him and for him to love. By sinning, we all fall into temptation and now we have to work our way up to Heaven. No matter how much we have sinned, just as long as we repent to God and accept him as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved. Many people don't believe in God because for many, it takes an eye witness to believe but it is written in the Bible, that it takes faith as small as a mustard seed to move a mountain and the key is that faith can bring you glory if you just believe. God had also said that "Blessed are those who believes when he has not seen." don't have to see Jesus to Know that he is there because in my heart and mind, I KNOW he is there. I'm not trying to convert anyone but my point is that I don't want to die and go with my ancestors or live somewhere that is all suffering or even relive any life that is similar to the earthly life. I want to live life away from the earthly one and live in the presence of the Lord. I believe that you too are to remember that you are Hmong but everyone has the right to believe in what ever they want. Just because you are Christian, Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim, it doesn't mean that you are no longer Hmong or have forgotten your people. On the inside and out, we are all Hmong. No one can hide that they are not Hmong.



10/12/05
yingching
you know, its only one or the other. its like you can't say that you're black and white or grey. you're either shaman or other. Hmong today choosing Christianity are on the right path and i can assure that. its not about serving spirits and being a slave to the devil anymore. you gotta break free from that. you gotta serve the true God the only God. if you want to know more, feel free to make a comment anytime.



10/10/05
I'm an Hmong-American, Born and raised in the US of A. In my family, we keep both the cultures of Hmong and the religion Christianity.
I believe that we (the next generation of Hmong) should at least have the knowledge of out ancestry and religion (as in Shamanlism).
But since I am also a Christian Child, I do not believe in Shamanlism. I know that I have plenty of relatives in Laos and Thailand (and some even in the US) that still practice those rituals.
I will embrace and keep only that of our origin (and/or myths and legends), and cultural stuff that makes us unique (Clothes, jewlery, food, ect). The only thing I will leave behind is the Shamanlism and the fact that women have to be at home mothers.
I deserve the right to have an education and bring home the dough, too, you know? Especially since I am living in America now, and much of what is required to survive in the rural part of the world is taken care of.



10/6/05
From what I am reading whether it's Hmong culture or Christian or any other religion. Just remember that when one is dead. And they believe is Christian. Your name is left behind. Every year your family your sons or daughters will not remember you. They will not call you back home and give you food. Always remember that when you leave your Hmong Culture your soul is not within your hmong family anymore. Your spirit is not call upon at new year. Your family will not visit you, or bring you food. However if you believe in the Hmong Culture. Every new year, is like a new meal for you. You are called upon your family in the living, asking you to protect them for the year. You have a nice freshly young chicken. A meal which is prepare only for you. Now if you are a Christian culture. Who do you think gets the first bite of every meal on the dinner table. Jesus your family call him first. After he finished eating your family and you get to eat. You just eat the left over meal. Your family does not call you back home after 3 days to give you a last meal. So it's whatever you think. I don't really care what you believe in. I'm just telling you what the different culture does. Always remember that people Christian Culture is not for hmong. When you leave your physical body. Your body take back your clothes which you carry on the time of your death. Hmong Clothes and Shoes are use on your body so that when you leave your body. Back to your family on the outside they know who you are. If you wear other culture Clothing I know you are not accepted from your family anymore. Cause you throw your culture away. Why do you think when you get married you have to wear your Hmong Clothing. That is your ticket back home. If you are a hmong white or strip or black or green. When you leave your physical body, that is the clothing you take with you. I don�t know what you are going to take back with you if you are Christian. I never heard of a Christian culture calling back their family member once that person has past. No meal is prepare for them.



10/6/05
As we speak today about medicine, and doctors, I have something to say. I have a strong thinking that medicine will not cures all types of diseases. As the world is changing, we are also changing. For those who remember what hmong really mean. Then maybe they have a good chance of understand what shaman really is. Also why is shaman so important? It is said that She-yee was the only person what was able to bring back the dead. When he sacrifice animals for a life, death was not able to get any souls. So that he then swap the soul of She-yee son with the cow. When he bring back the soul of the other person's son. He got home and his son got sick. She-yee son said to him, that he was going to die, because She-yee gave is son to death. The cow which he sacrifice was his son. Known that, She-yee could bring back the cow as well as his son. Therefore She-yee was to leave and only let his spirts to the shaman. As time past hmong people learn from She-yee. From time to time one who was touch by high level of shaman spirt was able to see spider webs which run down from thin air. Whoever see little spirts with sticky web will be able to use great power. A new language would rise within them. They will be able to unlock a language which they only know. One would see things, which normal people can't. Feel things and make things. A whole new world will open for them. I yet only know three people who have this gift. And yes they are all Hmong people. So don't think that Shaman is fake. Before you go and see a shaman, you should not say that it's a fake. Because they would already know that. They will tell you to go and see a doctor or ask somebody else. There is a lot to say, and many things to learn. For young hmong people who want to know more feel free to email me. I don't have the answers to every questions, but I'll do the best I can. Never let go of our culture.



10/4/05
Hi, I was amazed to find a website like this one. I too grew up knowing just one God and that God is from the Bible.
I'm doing a ritual observation paper in my anthropology class and thought that hmong shamanism would be perfect for the paper. My parents never educated me about the ways of a shaman, so I had no idea what it was about or how to be involved with one. After marrying my husband, I found out what I had to do. I don't believe in it as much as most of the hmong people do, but I know that this is the oldest method for my culture. I don't have anything against it and I'm not all up for it either. I was glad to have found a website that I can relate to and find more information to write my paper for my anthropology class.



9/19/05
I thought that there were many similarities between the film and the book. In both circumstances, there were fears from the Hmong people of becoming Americanized. The film depicted a lot of Hmong children wanting to not be a part of traditions and rituals. Fadimans The Spirit Catches you and you Fall makes numerous references to the point that soon Americans will take over their culture by not allowing them to sacrifice animals, by taking precedence with their modern medicine versus their spiritual medicine, etc. In my opinion, I think Shamanic medicine does work because it is a technique used to alter the state of mind. Modern medicine helps cures diseases and infections however, spiritual medicine helps altar patients mind states from bad to good. In a good mental state, people have been known to get better faster. I feel that the book and the film touched on the fact that the Hmong people, especially parents and grandparents (originally descents of Laos), get/would get upset when/if their children did not take part in traditions and embrace their history and culture. Although, in my opinion, some rituals/traditions the Hmong take part in seem barbaric, that's what they've been raised doing and it's perfectly normal to them. It s important to preserve culture because it s who you are it s what your family started it s what you'll remember it for. The film and book were very similar and had no distinct differences.



9/19/05
lauren
After viewing this film, i was quite impressed by how Hmong culture deeply respect their own ancestors and was very interested in their healing ceremonies. I believe to the certain extent that this Shamonic ceremonies do have the ability to heal. I don't think that is similar sort of healing as Western medicine. It has nutritional effect as well as the placebo effect, in my opinion. Herbs can heal or help healing colds and numerous other illnesses including muscle aches and so on. It is definitely something that will help cure the illness, however some of the ceremonies also seem to have placebo effect, where their belief is so strong in that those ceremonies will heal them, they feel they are all cured.



9/15/05
Ms. Cha
I was born in Laos but grew up here in the US. When it comes to religion, I believe that people can worship or believe in what ever they want. Every one needs some sort of comfort and may it be that it's the traditional Hmong way, the Christian way, Buddist, Muslim or whatever, they should turn to it for comfort and healing. I think I know about the Bible as much as I know about the Hmong tradition. I believe in calling my deceased ancestors for help. I married into a family with the same practice. But if I had married into a Christian family, I would have follow their ways in the Christian belief as well. After reading all the comments, I do have a question, that puzzle me. One of the comment said that Ntxwg Nyug is not the devil. My question is, how is Ntxwg Nyug not the devil? To my understanding, Nyug in Hmong in some form another is related to "cow". And as long as I can remember, the devil has always have horns. Is it a coincidence that our Ntxwg Nyug and the devil both relates to the cow? I don't think that either religion got it from the other. Ntxwg Nyug has always been in those Hmong songs that has been passed down from generation to generation for the Hmong. And I assume the devil has been for the Christian as well. So like I said, I don't understand how they are the not same? I understand that Ntxwg Nyug is probably another God for his world. I just don't understand how the two deity wouldn't relate as the devil for Christian and Ntxwg Nyug for traditional Hmong. To answer the question above, I believe that here in America, eventually the Hmong tradition will slowly fade away. Because the younger Hmong generation are not interested in preserving it. I know some that feels the Shamanic way is too complicated and hard especially with all the rituals being done through singing and chanting in Hmong. It's sad but true that some of them don't even speak Hmong now a day. Like I said religion is a belief for healing and comfort. Use it however you feel you need it. But I myself, would never cut loose Western Medicine. And lastly, I do believe in preserving my parents tradition the "Shamanic" way. But unfortunately, my parent's culture can only pass these practices down to men other than the shaman. But even for the shaman, you have to have the gift to be one. I love listening to all those songs at weddings and funerals. They talk about birth, life, and death. It's a revelation of one's life. If I was given the chance I would preserve it. I know my husband and brothers do not care to preserve it. They said that they will deal with it when the times comes with others help. But the true fact is, if they don't learn and know it, they won't be able to deal with it when they need to. People now a day really don't care about helping you out if you don't help them out in return.



8/29/05
Ms. Lauj
This is very intertesting to me... this would be my fist time visiting this site. I am doing a reaserch paper on the hmong culture and how it is. From my own opion i feel that it doesn't matter what you belief. Yes it is a culture thing that our grandparent has pratice for a long time and if we choose not to believe it anymore then its our choice. Although i am a christain person myself i am still very interesting in the shaman way too. It is very fascnating how people believe in certain thing. I myself was married to a shaman too. So I know how it is like. Now that i am not marry to him anymore i am back to my believe of christain. For once and for all i wish that the Hmong Community would have an open mind about one's belief. It's one own choice so don't hate each other on what they believe in. We all know that there are different kind of Shaman too. They pratice in different ways too, and yet they make comment about how one pratice the way they do their Shaman. So my one and only wish on the hmong community is be open minded let one believe what they want to believe. Everything is different nothing is the same.



7/13/05
MS
I was reading what you pepos have been talking about shamans. I think you guys are misinterpreting a shaman's duties. First of all, in order to have the power of a shaman's and help family etc. you need to be the chosen one. if your not the chosen one you can't do anything.
�on top of that, a shaman is a doctor, a psychic and everything else... he who is like a god, but unlike praying it does nothing its all up in your mind, but shaminism, can help you out. you don't pray, you see it in reality. and of course what's going on you can know it right there right then. when the sick person's heal it heals it fast, but with the praying its like talking to yourself. when you have a sick person in your family you pray to god to help that person survive. now you don't what is causing it. but with the help of a shaman they can tell you what you want to know with a ceremony or a quick "thaub quab" using the cow's horn thing by throwing it down onto the floor and contacting his "dab neeg" they will tell him what is causing it.
� �if you guys have not been through any of that stuff don't talk like you know so much about shamans. beside shamans has no part in hmongs fueneral home. its not the shaman himself who sing the song at fueneral home, its someone who knows the song and has experience in it. don't put a shaman in it if you don't know much of it...because then you're only making a shaman look bad...
� �and for those who go to church who thinks that if you have a bible and carry it with you all evil spirits are scared of it...your wrong...like i say its all up in your mind...
�you pray and pray...and if that praying doesn't work or if you don't have a miracle then your sick person will die...but with a ceremony done by a shaman your sick person has the chance to survive caused you know what's going on with them...with the doctors telling you they have this and that...it won't help my dear...but with the help of a shaman and his "dab neeg" they can tell you what you need to do even if that person is very ill about to lose its life...a shaman can go to the other side and make deals with them to return that person's other spirits to them to heal them and extend that person's life for a longer period of times. a shaman is able to help you with all that...but with the help of god it will do you nothing but pray and pray...and words from the doctors and nurses...they put your sick person in all these tubes and give them all the iv it needs and fluids and draw blood etc...but in the end it does you no good and you wasted all of your time with that...when all you really need to do is call upon a shaman who can help you help your sick person.
� �you can all upon many shaman but you got to know this. if that spirit wants a specific shaman you will have to find that right shaman...because in order to help you help your sick person it has to be the right shaman to be able to help...
�if you don't agreed with me, why don't you talk to our old man and find out the truth from them...there are many shamans out there but only the chosen one that is able to cure the very sick person will be able to just because he's a shaman doesn't mean he can cure that person...it all depending on how sick or what the situation of that sick person is all about and how big is it...



6/28/05
PKV
Hi Tony,
I think you can find some of the answers to your questions by reading the book "Healing by Heart: Clinical and Ethical Case Stories of Hmong Families and Western Providers" Edited by Kathleen A. Culhane-Pera, Dorathy E. Vawter, Phua Xiong and two other people. The first section is dedicated to talk about the soul, the spirit and etc. It also talks about reincarnation and everything about the Hmong culture. The rest of the book is full of case studys done to better understand the Hmong culture. It is a very good book.
And to answer one of your question in brief, no, the book says that reincarnation is not decided in the act of picking up the right piece of paper in the center of the pile. It is "a direct result of the kind of life that soul previously lived in the physical world. A person who steals or murders, for example, may be reborn as an animal to be hunted by others, while a person who is noble may be reborn with a good fate and into a family of good fortune....."



6/27/05
Tony Lee
Hello,
� �I stumbled on this web site whiling trying to do some research on Hmong beliefs. �There was been a lot of interesting topics here, and so I hope someone will be able to help me find answers to my questions for my research paper on Hmong beliefs in reincarnation. �I�ve been trying to find answers on Hmong reincarnation and so far I have come to a dead end. �Here is what I got so far: �Hmong people believe in reincarnation. �They believe that every body has 3 souls. �When a person dies, one soul guards the grave site, one soul is escorted to his/her ancestor in the spirit world, and the last soul is reincarnated into another life. �Hmong people believe that the second life is based on his/her actions in the present world, and also if they have any debt. �
� �Question 1: �This might be a stupid question but if only one soul is reincarnated into another life, does that mean that the second life only has 1 soul. �And if so, then do you really need to perform the rituals of sending and showing the way for the other two souls since they do not exist in the second body anymore. �
�Question 2: �If the second life still have 3 souls, where does the other two souls come from?
�Question 3: �I was told from many elderly Hmong that if you do good and do not have any debt, then when you reincarnate, you can become a leader. �I needed some evidence to support this belief, but so far, the only thing I found was from the chant of the escort when he sends the dead to the 13th level of Nyuj Vag Teem�s place. �Here is the translation:
�Once you lived a poor and short life, you must remember to ask for a reincarnation paper to be reborn. �If you asked for a paper �to be a dog, people would beat you; if you asked for a paper to be a pig, you would be butchered; if you asked for a paper to be a cow, you would have to carry a load; if you asked for a paper to be a horse, you would be ridden by people; if you asked for a paper to be a bird, you would be shot. �You must remember in your mind, to keep it in your heart, you have to grasp a paper from the middle for it would be paper to be a chief. �When you arrived at Nyuj Vag Teem, remember to get a paper from the middle; it would be a paper for you to be the leader.
� �According to this chant, all you need to do is select the middle paper to become a leader in the second life. �I could not find anywhere that stated you need to do good in life to have a better second life. �Is this really the only condition to obtain a better second life? �Can some help me? �Thanks.



5/27/05
maiv hnub
I'm researching on a paper for my asian american studies class and stumbled upon this. Sadly I've never seen this documentry. I'm hoping it helped people understand about our culture.
As for the questions asked if the future generations will embrace it, in my personal opinion, we're already losing so much and we're second generation so I don't understand how we will teach our children anything about the hmong culture. The new comers from thailand recently arrived in town and enrolled at our school. sadly, we couldn't really translate for them. It was an adequate job but many of them were still a bit confused.
Is shamanic ceremonies able to heal?? Me, I always thought that it was a spiritual healing never a sickness thing. My parents know when to take us to the hospital and when use shamanic healings. As for the using it with traditional medicines I think that they can do it if they wanted to they could.
For me, I have a lot of fun with the Hmong traditional culture. I enjoy the shaman parties and the weddings. For me, I don't really know my parents Hmong culture. I only know MY hmong culture. My parents has allowed me to grow up in a more modern Hmong community with the boys and girls doing equal work, same opportunities and etc.



5/26/05
Stacy Yang
Yet I know how badly my mother feels when I have Bible Studies at home with the Church lady but I also have hopes and faith in her. Im not exactly bitise too so yeah.
This is because my mother is also a Shaman. Our family still keeps the tradition but just that Im the only one who grew up here in the US that I took a different path. My mother knowing that one day Im going to create my own life and family and she wants the best for me. She gives me my choice of choosing either Shamanism or Christianity. I try my best to support my mother in what ways that I can. She is my mother and I know this. One thing is that one of my older sister had married of into a family that goes to church and changed her belief. At first my mother was really shocked but knowing that the family she married was also my uncle too. Just one day that when I get married and have my own life, I will become a Christian but also tells the tradion of Shamanism to my kids without practicing it. I know that it is a wrong thing to do. To practice both because when you die and your souls cross the line, they won't be wanted up in Heaven nor Hell. This is hard.



5/26/05
Stacy Yang
"Seng Thao It dosen't matter what you think we all warship the same GOD it's just that Shamanism is an older way and Christianity is the newer way. GOD is still GOD no mather how you warship it. Who is to tell me that my way it the wrong way. I believe in Shamanism, it's how I warship GOD. Everyone thinks that I warship the Devil (not true). Don't hate or blind yourself. Shamanism is just the old way to warship GOD."
sorry but quoting what he said..
wrong..GOD is not just the GOD in heaven..GOD referrs to many GOD. The proper way of saying the GOD in heaven is Jehova. Yes Jehova. Now..understand..and no...The GOD in the underworld or the one that the Hmong believes is not the same to Jehova or Satan........It's like the Thai who believes in Buddah..thats there GOD..Hmong have there own GOD...so what you're trying to say is wrong. there are all kinds of GOD..you just have to name them specificly...



5/25/05
Mr. Her
To all you people out there that have been saying that Ntxwg nyug is the devil is totally wrong. I am a 21 years old student. Born here in the United States. I know how to sing the Qhuab Ke. I know how to play the Qeej Tu Siav and so much other songs involving the traditional Hmong funeral. Have any of you studied Hinduism before? Have any of you heard of polytheism? Well Ntxwg Nyoog is just a divinity that lives in the the other world. Ntxwg Nyug is like the Hmong God of Death only. He is not the Devil. There is no such term in the Hmong religion and language. There is no connection between the Hmong Ntxwg Nyug and the Western Devil or Satin. The jouney of the Qhuab Ke is an real journey that occur long ago. There is a place where the ancestor of the Hmong all died. The Toj Tshav Kub Daw Tshav Ci is the desserts that the Hmong have migrated through. Many of the places that exist in the Qeej Tu Siav and the Qhuab Ke actually exist here in this world. Many other words and places are added to the song so that it would sound nice in two line. Ever traditional Hmong song have a two similar line to make a set within a song. In Hmong it is called ib Txwg. Don't give out your opinion if you don't understand the meaning of these traditional songs.



5/23/05
PKV
Since u never reply to my asking you about the specific song you questioned me about, I did my own research and found where you got your information from. The one specific song you quoted was not an acutal song sang by the elders. It was a song played on the bamboo pip (no words) thats why I couldn't figure out where you got such a song from. Anyhow, before I make my comments, I would like to say sorry for contradicting myself from my last posting when I said that you were correct in your interpretation but not in your assumption. What I meant to say was that you were correct in your description but not in your assumption. And here is why- You cite these phrases that were translated by American researchers. They were as follow:
"Oh the dead, now you are dressed well and have reached the frontiers of the realm of Ntxwj Nyoog (this translated in English is the Devil). You will clim up into Ntxwj Nyoog's territory, full of bamboo trees, and soon you will be one of Ntxwj Nyoog's sons."
You forgot to add this part:
"And here it may as well be admitted that we who have been so much among them have yet a good deal to learn, and possibly something of what has been learned has not been properly understood"
My clarafication:
Now, let me answer your questions. My father clarify that at least him and none of the people he has ever worked with ever mention anything about becoming Ntxwj Nyoog's son. Who ever told thses researchers this had mistakenly said something wrong or there must had been a mistake in the interpretation. The song mentions that you will enter into a world where Ntxwj Nyoog will also reside with many of his sons and daughters who will try to trick you into becoming one of them- Not that you are being sent there to become "Ntxwj Nyoog's son."
The song continue:
"You have now arrived at your grandparents' place. Those with smiling faces and fair features who are waiting for you on the road are not your grandparants. Your grandparents are those with dark features who come to wait for you on the road. You can hold on their coarse torn apart shirts."
You forgot to add this part:
"People will try to deceive you and lead you to the edge of the mountains and the cliffs to try to make you fall into the wrong place"
The researchers admit it themselves that some things may not properly be understood by them. In addition, the researchers said that these words were very metaphorical- it may be hard to understand it completely unless you are able to understand the lanuage well.
My clarification:
Those in the nice clothes are actually the devil's sons and daughters. They will try to deceive you by wearing beautiful clothing but your true ancestors are the ones in the torn clothes (again it is metaphorical- To make it clear, It is a test of FAITH to see if you are wise enough to distinguish the difference between your ancestors and the devil. If you have faith, you will beable to pick your ancestors. If you've ever read or listen to any of the hmong foke tales, you will see that this is common. For example, the story about the King and his 7 daughters who were send out to find husbands. The youngest one chose a dirty, muddy husband whom none of her sisters wanted. In the end, the dirty, muddy husband was the real prince (just an example). - Now do you see the distinction- everything is metaphoracial- look out side the box and this should come clearer.
You also asked me questions such as:
"How can this be heaven or peace if it is full of monsters. Also, the poem does not mention anything about peace or heaven"
If you read about the Shaman religion, you will see why this place has demons. Unlike the Christains, we don't believe that the underworld hold eternal happiness and peace. We don't believe that life has a beginning and then a beautiful ending with GOD. We believe that life and death is a continues process- that there is good and eveil roaming around in both the underworld and here on earth. when and how your soul can be at peace is determine by your actions when you were alive. If you were a good person, you will reincarnate and be reborn again. If you chose to live a bad life, your soul will be punish and reincarnation will take a long time- you must work for it. Life and death is a circle without end.
I hope this will clear up some of your questions. Now I leave you with this: "Seek first to understand and then to be understood."



5/23/05
To Dr. Xiong,
I am Dr. Yang. I like to say I disagree with your comment and that it is not relevant to the discussions going on. These young people have already stated that they do not hate each other. Rather, they are expressing their thoughts and beliefs and are having a pretty good discussion on Christianity and Shamanism. They just want to understand what each other's beliefs are, and share with one another what they've been taught about both religions.
If a conflict comes up, usually it is not due to hating one another but more so that there is a difference in opinion. Both parties would have to talk it through and discussion what they know to resolve an issue. If they mask the problem and say, "We should not talk about this because we should not hate each other", the problem will never be resolved. If you are a married man you should know if better then anyone. Also, being able to express to one another what their beliefs are is a key to acceptance in that person.
Otherwise, true acceptance would be fake if one does not really know who their friends are.



5/17/05
Dr. Xiong
Shamanism or Christianity we are still Hmong and we need to love one onother as Hmong people.



5/12/05
Can u please tell me which song ( they sing many songs) or on which night do the elders sing that one specific song you're talking about becuase I don't remember hearing anything like that. Perhaps tell me so that I can go re-listen to my father's recorded songs and answer u. Also, I'll make sure I ask my father first before I answer u.



5/11/05
To PKV:
You said that my interpretations are correct but my assumptions are wrong. I guess I'm really puzzled so please explain to me again. The interpretation of the poem says "soon you will be one of Ntxwj Nyoog's sons." I don't know if it can get any clearer than that. Unless this is interrupted wrong, but you said it was correct.
I like to make more "assumptions" from the interpretation of the poem based on "my" logical thinking. I like to understand what your assumptions are too, so I will know if what I'm thinking is also wrong.
Sometime later the poem says: "You have now arrived at your grandparents' place. Those with laughing faces and fair features who are waiting for you on the road are not your grandparants. Your grandparents are those with dark features who come to wait for you on the road. You can hold on their coarse torn apart shirts."
I think what this means is simple. The ones waiting for you smiling at you on the road are the demons and spirits you worship and interact with in your world today. They have deceived you and now they are laughing at you because you have arrived into their territory and will now suffer like our ancestor are suffering. Our ancestors have darken mean faces because they care about you. They are trying to warning the spirit that he/she have come to a bad place, though they cannot directly tell you that. Now you will suffer the same fate as they do - full of pain and suffering.
You also made some comments I will quote in some of your responses:
"This is for the shaoman's proctection so that he would not be stuck in the underworld because his ancestors also resides there (they miss him)."
The Qhuab Kev person have asked the spirit to lie because of a couple of things. 1. He is traveling with the spirit to the underworld, full of monsters and demons. He needs to disguise himself so they cannot tell him apart from others in that place. How can this be heaven or peace if it is full of monsters. Also, the poem does not mention anything about peace or heaven. 2. His ancestor probably do miss him, but then why is it that they look at every person who dies and come to them with mad faces. This does not mean missing someone to me, this means they are mad at you for some reason. That some reason which I have explained already.
You also stated, "Shaomanism is the believe of Shao and the tradition of still respecting, offering food and money to our long passed ancestors. We burn money at funerals becuase we believe it also means wealth in the underworld."
If this is so, why are their clothes coarse and torn apart? Why are they mad? Why is Shao in the poems. Why doesn't the dead go to Shao? Why does it say the Devil, and becoming a son of the Devil?
I like you to be specific when answering these questions?
Thank you!



5/9/05
PKV
Thanks again for the apple example but I am not confuse in any of your points. However, I do find that your example is invalid and here is why. I would never just eat an apple because someone told me that it is good. More so when someone also mentionts that there is a bad one on the same table. How do I know that that person is telling me the truth? Also, who is this person to know which fruit is good and which one is not when he himself have not eaten that fruit? Therefore, the same applies to my religion. Don't mis-understand me when I say that shaomanism has been in our culture for decades-before our father's father's time. Just becuase it's been around since our ancestors is not the reason why I have choosen it as the foundation for my religion. I did not blindly choose shamanism. I have many friends who attend church ( they are not just christains) and I have tag along with many of them just to explore how it really is and to learn something from each of thier religion.
I am also working for a catholic church. It has been quite interesting and I have learned a lot-Actually I have not learned anything in great details but I know the general details of their believe. Again, don't get me wrong- Just becuase I am willing to open up to learn about another's religion does not make me a non-shaomanism as I know some of you will say. I am willing to learn about other's religion becuase I am willing to respect them for what they believe in. Everytime I go, I am not afraid to let myself participate in what ever activities they do because I have "FAITH" in my religion. My faith is spiritually intact into me. No one can take that FAITH away from me if I already have it. Therefore, True FAITH is when you know what you are inside and you are not afraid that by accepting another person for what they are, you might loose your FAITH. True FAITH is also when you don't have to put another person's religion down nor do you have to prove to anyone that your religion is the "TRUTH". If it is already true in your heart than don't worry that by opening up to someone else's religion, you are not being true or being whole to your religion. by putting another's religion down and saying that they will go to "hell" becuase they don't believe in your God and that they are the "DEVIL's son"-now I don't see any faith in that. As a matter of fact, I see you defeating the purpose that is being taught to you in your own religion "Not to convert them, or to insult them"( as you stated). I think you have just accomplished that- insulting the shaoman religion. To make it clear-I choose shamanism because of a bad experience I had when I was younger- shaomanism has help me through those tough times.
In addition, your apple example is very hypericial becuase I think you can't just use that to simplify how someone becomes a believer in Shao. Before you became a chirstain or whatever religion you are, I am sure someone told you that God is the "truth", that is how you came about to believing in him now. I can use your example back at you, only thing is, it does not mean anything.
Also, please don't get me wrong- I am not threaten by your comments (as you have stated)- that is not the reason why I think you are disrespectful to my religion. I think you are disrespectful becuase you are anaylzing a religion that you are not even part of. How do you know so much about shaomanism when you are not even a shao believer? You are also making claims that you call "the truth" when you in fact you don't even know "the truth". I can't even claim and tell the world that Shaomanism is the "TRUTH' not even when I completely believe in it. I can only hope that it is the "TRUTH" and put my faith in in like what you are doing in your religion. Due to this, I have never try to analyze your God becuase I know I don't attend church, therefore, I will not judge and cannot judge soemthing that I am not even a part of.
Now about the reference thing- it's nice of you to share that with me. I will take a look at it when I have time- just so that I can better understand you- but don't tell me that that is also the "TRUTH" because the "TRUTH" is really nothing greater than what we call "beliefs". If you believe in something than that becomes your truth. Its as simple as that.
Now to the comments made for me about the song where you climb up to "Ntxwg Nyoog's gate", I can only tell you that you are not correct in your assumption. I ask my father and he said that when he talks about Ntxwg Nyoog at the funeral, he is not complementing Ntxwg Nyoog nor is he sending the dead to "Ntxwg Nyoog". The part where the elders at funerals mention about "Ntxwg Nyoog" - that is when they travel to "Ntxwg Nyoog's world" to speak to him and to tell him that it is becuase of his unthoughtful and evil spells that he cast among earth that has cause poeple's loved ones to died. They are not very please with him. They are angry at him. Your description is correct but your interpretation is wrong. Attend more funerals and ask an elder anything you don't understand- I can reassure you that they will not be saying anything nice about the devil.
Sorry- I am in a rush to conduct a Home Visit, therefore, some things may not make much sense-i do apologise.



5/5/05
Someone stated that the bible is written by some guy a long time ago. I like to correct your ignorance of the bible. You should really do some reseach before you make such a claim like that. Here is something you should know about the Bible:
1. The bible contains 66 books written by over 40 different authors from all walks of life: shepherds, farmers, tent-makers, physicians, fishermen, priests, philosophers and kings. Despite these differences in occupation and the span of years (1,500 years) it took to write it, the Bible is an extremely cohesive and unified book. It was wriiten in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek, so these people do not know each other. Now translated in many languages. The only way the Bible is an extremely cohesive and unified book is because it was inspired by God to the authors. There is nothing in the bible that contradicts itself.
2. It is the oldest book that has lasted this long and it still being use widely in people's live.
3. If you believe in that spirits, the devil or Shao exist, you can be certain they are afraid of this book, because it is the truth. It has been used to drive out evil spirits and demons. If you think the bible is written by man's inspiration, then try placing the bible on a Shaman's altar. You can be certain that the spirits you invite in your house that s suppose to protect you will be afraid of it because it is the truth.



5/5/05
To - PKV
I never said your religion was wrong or that it is not true. I believe you, it is true and I only explained to you what it says and meant. You responded to some of the comments I made about the Shaman songs, and have replied with some interesting response I have not thought of, but you avoid to address several main points. For example, it states clearly in the ritual sayings that you will be guided to the Devil and become the sons of the Devil. Let me writie this out one more time - "Oh the dead, now you are dressed well and have reached the frontiers of the realm of Ntxwj Nyoog (this translated in English is the Devil). You will clim up into Ntxwj Nyoog's territory, full of bamboo trees, and soon you will be one of Ntxwj Nyoog's sons."



5/5/05
Again,
I have not disrespected anyone's religion. All the comments I made are the truth, regardless of whether I am talking about Shamanism or Christianity. It is the truth that these two religions (Shamanism & Christianity) teaches, that you cannot accept, and have covered it up with calling me disrespectful and a hater of my own people - the Hmong. I will say again that I do not hate my people nor do I disrespect what they believe. I just explained to all of you who have decided to keep Shamanism as your belief what it teaches. And it is clear per the stanza of the "Qhuab Kev" as performed by many Shamans and bamboo instrustment players in Hmong funerals. Why you do accuse me of being disrespectful and a hater when I only teach what you believe in - Shamanism. Again, I think some people here feel threatened by what I write, but it is what is said right from the mouth of Shamans during these rituals. It is the Shamanism which is what you say you believe, so I basically told you what it is.
I've also taught the truth above what it is that Christians believe in. I believe in GOD, and believe that the bible is HIS words, HIS will for me, and for anyone who is a Christian. God has order me through reading the bible to share the Good News with everyone. Not to convert them, or to insult them, but to just speak the truth about what I know. The Good News for anyone who has an open heart to hear and it is simple. That is that God sent his Son - Jesus Christ to die in our place, to die for our sins, that we may be able to be with God in heaven after we die. This is a free gift from God, and all you have to do is accept it. Accepting it means to repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your God and Savior. Sound too good to be true right. That may seem so, but we are not God, so we do not have his caring loving heart, and we cannot understand his ways. GOD knows that no man will ever be perfect, that why he told our place so we can be perfect and be with him. That is the only way since GOD is sinless and holy and can only be with those who are holy and sinless. Savior from what you might say? Well, that's simple - to save you from going to hell. Now, if I believe in GOD, would I rather listen to what you are telling me or what GOD is telling me. I think I would rather listen to GOD than to men. The main point I like to get across here is that I am not disrespecting anyone's belief.
I like to use an example incase you are confuse - There is an apple and orange on the table. The note on the apple say that it is rotten and if you eat it will cause you stomach to hurt. The note on the orange says that it is good, and will fill you up if you are hungry. Now you been told all along that you must eat the apple either by friends or family and you never decided to stop and read the note on the apple. You just assumed it was good for you because you were told so. But whatever you do, whether you read the notes or not, it's your choice. All I'm doing is telling you what both notes says. That's all. I am only writing down what my belief and your belief teaches. If you want to call me disrespectful and a hater of Hmong beliefs, than that is your choice. But I have not seen that I've done that.



5/4/05
Hello, My name is Pao, and I have been reading the comments made on this site. It is very interesting. I'm not a Christian, but would like to make some comments about what these Christians are making.

One of you claim to quoted the poems from the Hmong rituals for leading a spirit to his/her ancestor after death. Where did you get that poem from? How do I know if you are just making that up or not. I think you are just pulling this out from the air (what I mean is that you are making this up). Why would anyone want to be a Devil's son. I'm sure we Hmong people are smarter than that. If we knew that we are being sent to hell, than we would not choose that way. Why do you think so many Hmong people believe in Shamanism, and have not become Christians. We know that what you are saying is a bunch of lies. I'm sure you have no proof of what you are saying. From what I been told, after we die, we will be with our ancestor, and that's all. Also, you are a Christain, so why do you claim to know so much about what is Shamanism. This does not make sense.



5/4/05
PKV
PKV-In Response

I am not a gentleman. Once again, I am a young lady. I'm glad to hear your points of view on shamanism. I am sure many of you have attended many traditional funerals and are aware of it. However, what still strick me is that just because you talk to a few ex-shaman, you become a believer in what they say. People are twisted in so many ways. You don't really know something for a fact until you yourself has gone through it. So please don't judge others becuase someone else told you something about them.

Now the riddles, I talked to my father and he disagree with your statement in the calmest way. Rather, his reaction is different from the one you predicted. He is respectful and prideful in his religion, not timid and shameful. And no, my father is not spirited away by the DEVIL( as you claim)-thats not the reason why he disagree with you. He disagree with you because you have mis-interpreted our belief unjustly. You are most correct when you say they mention about the creepy crawly thing. Those are obsticles along the way to the underworld where our ancestors reside (reality- nothing is easy- you want the rainbow, you've got to go through the rain). And yes, the part about the big monster- if you ask someone wise and if you listen again, the individual who is performing the ritual is leading the dead to his/her ancestor, but, becuase he is not dead, he tells the dead individual to tell the ancestors that it is only a monster that brought him/her there. This is for the shaoman's proctection so that he would not be stuck in the underworld because his ancestors also resides there (they miss him).

I guess because you disagree with the religion, you find ways to go about attacking the simple things that does not associate with the devil. This is understandable and not supresing. I have hard it over and over. I am not mad at you and the others for thinking the way that you do. I am more sadden to realize that an outsider (someone who is not Hmong) is able to accept us (those that still live the shaoman life) for what it is that we believe in but someone of our own origin and creed cannot and will not accept us. Trust me, I am not trying to make you become a shaoman. I respect you for whatever it is that you believe in and I don't have to fight with you about shaomanism and say that shaomanism is the "TRUTH' as many of you have stated about God. How do you know God is the turth? Because of the Bible? If so, how do you know that my religion is so wrong then? Because of the chants we say at funerals? I think the truth is that both you and I, we can't really prove or claim a truth that we have not really experience or know. In the end, all that we can do is go back to the teacings in our religion and use that as our proof.

Many of you say to me that you can prove that God is the truth because of the Bible. You also say that you have "spoken the truth", wow, that is a huge statement to make -I think. Anyhow, that is fine because I don't attend church so i don't know much about the Bible. So now God is your truth but remember Shao is my truth and many other people who still carry the tradition's truth. We don't have a book written anywhere to prove to you but the truth resides in our heat, our soul, just like God's turth resides in your heart and in your soul. I don't think the Bible means much if you don't already accept God in your heart. Therefore, you cannot use the Bible to claim your truth. It is not acceptable as many of you have said to me that it is not acceptable to say that I belive in Shao because"it is the way of our ancestors".

Shaomanism is the believe of Shao and the tradition of still respecting, offering food and money to our long passed ancestors. We burn money at funerals becuase we believe it also means wealth in the underworld. Don't assume something that you don't know much about. It has nothing to do with the DEVIL. We are not the DEVIl's son as some of you have claim. If you wish to belive so, I cannot and will not try to change your point of view. I can only hope that someday, your point of view will not remain so narrow.



5/3/05
I would like to reply to the person who has identified himself as PKV.

I am fimaler with the stanza of the "Qhuab Kev" as performed by many Shaman and bamboo instrustment players in Hmong funerals.

Let me translate in English some phases from the songs sang (the songs are intrustions for the dead from the shaman), and you tell me if this means heaven or not:

"Oh the dead, now you are dressed well and have reached the frontiers of the realm of Ntxwj Nyoog (this translated in English is the Devil). You will clim up into Ntxwj Nyoog's territory, full of bamboo trees, and soon you will be one of Ntxwj Nyoog's sons."

This means that when you died you will arrive at the Devil's home, and you shall become one of his sons. Now, do you think that the devil is in heaven or hell? I think the answer to this is easy. And you said that you are afraid of the Devil too, so why would you want to live with him and be one of his sons.

Sometime later the song says: "You have now arrived at your grandparents' place. Those with smiling faces and fair features who are waiting for you on the road are not your grandparants. Your grandparents are those with dark features who come to wait for you on the road. You can hold on their coarse torn apart shirts."

This means that you're your ancestor are the one who are not happy and does not look beautiful. Rather they are the one who have a dark like feature, and their clothes are old, coarse, and torn apart. Now, does this sound like they are living in heaven or in hell? Doesn't this support the 1st pharse made above about being the sons of the Devil?

Now I;m just going to summaries the last part. Your grandparants/ancestor will ask you who brought you to this place? They ask if they can chase down this person who brought you here.

So I would ask the question, "Why do they want to chase this person who brought you to them?" Shouldn't they be happy that you are with them? I think the answer is simply. They know that you will suffer like they are suffering, and will want to get the person who brought you to hell because you don't know what you're getting into.

But the Shaman will tell you that when they ask you this question, you must lie to them that the person who brought you is a big creature and have came today but left last year. And they your ancestor/grandparents would not chase him down because he has left no trial and has hands like knives that can kill them.

Now this picture doesn't look like heaven or peace to me. It looks like the spirit (dead person) who is lead to this place will be stuck and suffer with the Devil.



5/3/05
Hey what is up with all the crap that is going on...with the christians anyway...You guys spell out th bible as if it was god's own worlds, but honey, those words that you are quoting so strongly are words writen by some guy thousands of years ago...It has been rewriten thousands of time, if different langueges. When people translate texts it never comes out like the orginal. So reframe from spelling your reglious advice as if it is the truth. You are entitle to your opinion so long as you don't infrigned on someone eles's rights.



5/3/05
chai thao
Hm. Well I am chai (the narrator/Paja's daughter). Wow, I'm very impressed to hear what everyone has to say about the film along with their comments on the culture. What bothers me most, is how some christians react or comment on the Hmong ways when they, themselves are Hmong. From what I've observed, most Hmong Christian family still carry a part of the Hmong tradition. So please quit insulting the Shamanic ways. Shamanism is practically a part of the Hmong society, regardless if you're Americanized or you possess a different belief.

I'm not looking for a debate/dispute but just voicing my opinion. I just want people to respect each other's beliefs regardless of your differences, because really we are all the same. Religion shouldn't play such a big role in our society.



5/3/05
Okay, please let me clarify -- I jump too far when I said hell. When you die, and if you do not accept Jesus, you will go to Hades. Hades is similar to hell, but not as severe. People who are believers in Jesus will go to parades after they died, and not heaven yet. It is not until the white throne judgment from GOD that you will be in enternal suffering in hell or heaven depending on what you beileve. That is because God is still preparing heaven for the people who believes in him.

You said "However, I do hear him lead the spirit to our ancestors who are from the underworld ( not hell)- so please don't confuse it when someone from the shaoman religion says "underworld" in Hmong"

Please, let me elaborate on this a bit more for you if you don't understand. Not only does the shaman poems lead the spirits to the underworld, but it talks about the how that path to the underworld will be like. It says you will have to cross over spiky insects, maggots, etc. It says the underworld is a dark scary place. It says once you reach your ancestors, they will says to you why you come to this place when earth is a better place. They will ask you who brought you, and the shaman will tell your spirit to say that it was a creature who came here today but had left yesterday. The shaman tells your spirit to tell your ancestor this riddle so that they cannot find him and haunt him down for bring you to such a place. Also, you will meet hungry people during your pathway to the underworld, who will rob you of your food and clothes. You will have to bring with you a bow and arrow to protect yourself. You will also have to bring with you food and money because you will require it for such a place. And during your way there, your ancestor will rob you of your possession because they are hungry and suffering in the place you called "underworld".

You don't believe me? Go ask your father what this all means. Why would does he say in the rituals that the one who brought the spirit to the underworld was here today but had left yesterday? What does this all mean? What does the burning of money and the killing of many cows all mean during funerals? Why is it necessary? If you believe in Shamanism, this should be the one thing you must know. WHY do we do this? Saying that it is the ways of our ancestor is not an acceptable answer, unless you do truly know why. I know why, and I just explained it. Now you go tell your father if I am correct or not. Maybe he might be chained by spirits and will not want to tell you the truth. But I have talked to many powerful ex-shamans who are now Christians, and they are not afraid to tell the truth about what they see and why these things are done. They have been broken free from these spirits and are protected by God, so they did not fear any evils spirits, demons, or devil, because they have God on their side. You go and tell your father what you read here and share it with him, and see his reactions.



5/3/05
Okay, there has been this arguement b/w christain and shamaism going on here for sometime now. And it seems that there is one main point: Where will you go after you die?

Let's get this clear so that we can get this over.

A. For the Christain - Please provide proof from the bible that says you will be going after you die if you recieve Jesus Christ and repent your sins. If the bible says you are going to heaven, then that's great. If it says you are going to hell, it's your choice.

B. For the shamsnism - Please provide proof (since there is no bible you will have to refer to a Shaman for this answer) where you will be going after you die. If shamanism says you are going to heaven, then that's great. If it says you are going to hell, it's your choice.

You will have to provide that answer if you are a true believer of your religion. If you do not have that answer, then you don't know jack what you are believing.



4/29/05
Ntxawm
I want to clarify what I (one of the two Christians) meant one more time.

1.) I don't hate anyone, Christian or non-Christian.

2.) If you don't accept Jesus as your savior and repent of your sins, you will go to hell after you die. True repentence is defined as: to admit you have sinned and to turn away from it forever.

I think some people here feel threatened by what I write here, but it is what is written in the Bible. It is the truth. Please don't think because I spoke the truth that I wish anyone who hasn't accepted the Lord to go to Hell. I was merely pointing out the fact that the practice of Shamanism or Animism teaches you that after you die, you will go to a place where there is sufferring and pain, not peace. Please refer to any Shaman if you don't understand that and hopefully they will clarify that for you. By the way, Jews do believe in God as thier creator. Ask any Jew and they will clarify that for you also.

According to the Bible: Good works do not buy you peace in the afterlife. If you have not accepted Jesus and repented of your sin, (no matter who you are)you will go to hades. I KNOW what will happen to me and everyone who has accepted Jesus and repented of our sins. Jesus promises us eternal life in heaven. If you say you are confused and don't know what will happen to your soul after you die then how can you even argue any of these points.

I don't mean to be confrontational. I am merely expressing my beliefs and the truth.



4/29/05
PKV
I listen to the songs sing at funerals all the time. My father is a well known individual for that kind of services. And No, no where in the songs does he says that the dead are going to HELL. However, I do hear him lead the spirit to our ancestors who are from the underworld ( not hell)- so please don't confuse it when someone from the shaoman religion says "underworld" in Hmong. Remeber, we are all afraid of the "DEVIL" please don't make such an indirect claim just becuase you cannot and simply will not accept another's religion. And No, I am not confuse in my religion-to make it clear one more time. I know what I am but I can accept you for what you are- that does not make me a non-shaomanism. It makes me a wiser individual.



4/28/05
My Yang
I would like to say..that the non-sense of christian between the shamanism is just getting out of hand. My father was a shaman, and today alot of hmong people still believe in that. So to the christians.. you believe what you believe and let the shamans believe what they want to believe or practice. My friends were originally christians..but they both married into the shaman families. Their parents didn't really like the fact that they were going into a family that practices shamanism. And my sister originally believing in shamanism..now married to a christian family is now a christian. But that doesn't stop us from loving eachother and we surely don't hate eachother. We all need to stop hating eachother.. Everyone has their own minds and they can pick and choose what they believe in. If they decide to let God go then it's them..if they decide to leave their belief in shamanism go and enter the world of God ..then be so.



4/28/05
I've been reading the comments being made back and forth and so far I have not see that the two Christians made any remarks with respect to hatred and discrimination. The cannot accept your views because their belief is that anyone who does not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will go to hell after death. It seems cruel to you, but they are looking at this from God's point of view, and not men's. Also, your comments made about your belief does not agreed with each other, therefore you cannot say that you believe in Shamanism, when you don't. You can only believe something if you believe the whole thing. You cannot take out parts of your belief that you do not agree with and put something else in place of it. For example, going to hell. How can you take that part out of Shamanism and say you will find peace after death? You should listen carefully to the tradition Shamanism poems made all the time in Hmong Funerals. They say that you will go to hell. So how can you say peace? That makes no sense, and it disqualifies your claims that you believe in Shamanism. This is what blinds you from seeing the truth. Your heart is blinded, and you cannot comprehend your own belief, and you substitute it with things that are good, when it fact they are not.

I believe the Christians wanted to share with you what they believe, and that you may hear the Word of God. But no way did they force you to believe it. They simply told you what they believe, and the results of those who do not believe. I do not see any wrong in that. You also do the same thing, but you have conflicting data to back your claims. I do not see why you keep saying that the comments they make are contradicting, but in fact it seems like you are contradicting. All the claims they make have been very consistence in what they believe. You cannot compare their comments to your comments and say it is contradicting. That make no sense.



4/8/05
PKV
In Response to the two comments made for me

In regard to the comments made from you two, I feel like you are the very examples why there are so much hatred and discrimination in this world. It is simply because you cannot and will not accept another's point of view or way of belief. REMEMBER, I did not put any Christians down. My comments were purely from my views of HUMAN as a whole, not from the shamanism point of view or the Christian point of view. I said, "what determine how we will be after we die is not necessary in what we believe in, it is in our action". If you are confused, let me clarify myself once again. Example:

If I commit murder but TRULY "repent" as you have stated, believing truly in my heart that I have sin and vow never to do it again, if by doing so, GOD will forgive me for my action then why do you think the one thing that all religion have in common is the teaching of good morals and values. What is there left to work for when all things can be forgiven if we truly "Repent". I don't think God nor any one higher then us can ever forgive someone for such an act. Killing and murdering is by far the worst possible thing to be forgiven for, whether it be here on earth or up there some where or whether your are Christian, Shaman, Buddha, etc. Yes, I know what you are thinking, I am not GOD or that higher being, therefore, I can not decide that but as of right now, at this moment, this place, this time, all I know is that it is wrong to kill/murder and it must not be done regardless of who you are or what you believe in because it goes PURLY against everything in the universe.

In addition, I find your comments very contradicting. You both said that GOD will forgive those that truly repent their sins. One of you even gave the example of the apple. If you so truly believe that beliefs can alter the situation then why are you having such a hard time excepting that shamanism or catholicism can be real too. Isn't Shamanism just like Christianity: a matter of beliefs?

One of you also stated that I am confuse, our root is that GOD is the creator. Once again, I find it very hypocritical and naive of you to say such a thing. You both imply that I am na�ve to state that Shamanism is our root because God is really our root, now what if a Jewish says that his GOD is the root? How do you know who is the root? You don't. You pick who were taught to believe. Therefore, I can't tell the world that Shamanism is the root of all roots. But I can tell the world that Shamanism is the root of my ancestor and of the HMONG people.

Also, what I see is that we are all human, dwelling in a world where we are all really just kind of lost. We don't know what is really real or what really happens when we die. We can only base it on our beliefs and hope that by abiding the teachings, we will successfully find what it is that we are suppose to find. I am not putting any Christians or any other religion down.

My point is clearly to state that we shouldn't point fingers or say that our religion is right or that it is better than another. My point is for us to acknowledge our heritage and our foundation.

You both also stated that perhaps I am confused in what I really believe in, I think you are very WRONG. You think that I am confused because I did not FIRMLY say that Christianity is WRONG and Shamanism is RIGHT. Instead of saying that, I only made a general comment that "our good deeds will lead us to peace whether we be shaman or Christian". I am applause that you think the way that you do. It is really sad that you think that a person must be Christian to find peace after death. I can tell you right now, I am a young lady, not a gentleman (As one of you address me as "gentleman"- it proves my point that sometimes what you believe in is not always true), I am a young lady who knows exactly what my religion is but that does not mean that I am going to go out there and say nasty things about other people's religion or point fingers at every little thing that other people practice but I don't.

I know my ROOTS and I know who I am or where I stand in this world. I am just a young girl trying to make it through this blurry journey while being true to my heritage, my culture and my religion. Trust me, I know there is more to my culture than Shamanism. I am neither blind nor narrow-minded. I see the whole picture and I have chosen to take the Shamanism path. You two on the other hand, choose Christanity, so what, I don't hate you or think you're going to go to hell because you are not Shamanism. We all just have to continue doing what we know is right and we shall see..:O)



4/7/05
This is in response to the gentleman who posted on 4/6/05 whose father is a shaman:

First of all...I want to clarify that all sins can be forgiven through Jesus Christ. Only if you are TRULY repentant and turn away from that sin and confess to God that you are a sinner will you be forgiven. That means ANY sin. It is not for you or I to judge anyone for anything that they have done. ONLY God may judge.

Regardless if you do a million good deeds, if you do not repent of your sin and accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior and Christ, you will go to hell after you die. Good deeds do not buy you salvation. Only the blood of Jesus saves you.

As to going back to our roots: If we are truly to go back to our roots, you'll know that God is our creator and that our true heritage is that of the family of Christ. We are all descended from Adam and Eve. From the beginning, they worshipped God. Maybe you should go farther back to touch your true roots. I am not ashamed to be Hmong and a Christian.



4/7/05
I like to make some comments to your statement there:

You said, "I think what is most important in this life is the actions that we took and the things that we do not necessary in what we believe."

- No, I do not agree with you there. Your statement does not support itself. For example, I will only eat an apple if I believe it is not poison. You see how your belief can cause your action to change.

You said, "For example, you go to church but you murder- No being can be forgiven for that action even if he/she confesses his/her sin. On the other hand, the same applies to someone who belives in shamanism but kills another being."

- No, I do not agree with you here as well. The reason is the same as the one above. Let me prove it to you. In the bible, it says that there is no sin that God cannot forgive if you repent with your mouth and heart. If I believe in God, that means I believe in every word he says. Just like the apple example I give you. And if I believe in his words, I believe I can be forgiven if I repent my sins, even if I was a murder. Do not confuse this meaning when I say repent. Repent means that I have to hate what it was that I did and not do it again. That is true repentance.

You said, "Both individuals who commited the act will end up at the same place when they die. If I go to church and you don't but we both do goods in our life than regardless of our differences, we will both find peace when we die."

- No, I disagree again. You cannot make this statement because now you disregard everything a Christian (what the bible say) and Shamanism believes in. I guess I wonder where you are getting this information from that "both find peace when we die." And I question whether you really believe in Shamanism since you made this statement about finding peace after death. My question to you would be, what do you believe in???

You said, "It is really sad to see that many of us are drifting away from our roots. Shamanism has been around since the beginning of time- way back during our father's father's time. Many of you say that shamanism does not define the Hmong culture. I think that you are very wrong. Shamanism is actually our ROOT. Without it, what are we?"

- I disagree again. How would we improve ourselves if we do not questions our roots, our religion. It is because of these questions and answers many discovered that have moved us to believe in a different religion. If someone told you that you had to sacrifice one our your family member every year, because that's what our ancestor had done for years, wouldn't you want some anwers to why they do it that that, and if there is anothere way. Well, this is the same case. In Shamanism, when you die, you are sent to hell to be with your ancestor. Some smart Hmong finally asked the questions, "Can there be another path I can take other that hell?" The answer is "YES". If you believe in God who sent his Son Jesus Christ who came to save you.

You said , "Many of my professors know the hmong and are most interested in us becuase shamanism sets us apart from other culture. Even if you disagree with the practice, embracing it as part of who you are says alot about you as a Hmong individual. I know many of you want to loose it, but trust me, loosing it will result in put-downs, shame and unworthiness in other's eyes. It will not make things better for us nor will it change who we are- we will still be Hmong in our blood, only Hmong without ROOTS!"

- You are wrong again. Hmong culture is not dependant on shamanism. There are so many things in our culture that have nothing to do with Shamanism. For example, the colors on our clothing, the chains that we wear, the food that we eat, the new year that we have, etc. None of this has anything to do with Shamanism.



4/6/05
I was brought up in a strict shaman family. My dad is a well known shaman. However, I have many close friends who are christain or something else. I think what is most important in this life is the actions that we took and the things that we do not necessary in what we believe. For example, you go to church but you murder- No being can be forgiven for that action even if he/she confesses his/her sin. On the other hand, the same applies to someone who belives in shamanism but kills another being. Both individuals who commited the act will end up at the same place when they die. If I go to church and you don't but we both do goods in our life than regardless of our differences, we will both find peace when we die.

It is really sad to see that many of us are drifting away from our roots. Shamanism has been around since the beginning of time- way back during our father's father's time. Many of you say that shamanism does not define the Hmong culture. I think that you are very wrong. Shamanism is actually our ROOT. Without it, what are we? Many of my professors know the hmong and are most interested in us becuase shamanism sets us apart from other culture. Even if you disagree with the practice, embracing it as part of who you are says alot about you as a Hmong individual. I know many of you want to loose it, but trust me, loosing it will result in put-downs, shame and unworthiness in other's eyes. It will not make things better for us nor will it change who we are- we will still be Hmong in our blood, only Hmong without ROOTS!



4/4/05
This response is to LiJohn:

No, you are wrong, according to the bible, GOD (or Jesus) was worshiped by the 1st humans - Adam and Eve. I'm not getting mixed up with anything. I know my history as I am a history major.

Secondly, you are most correct. It does make me feel better dying knowing hoping that I will be in a better place. it is fine that you believe in Shamanism. I don't hate you for that. I just want you to know that there is another story. The story of God who sent his son Jesus Christ to die for our sins so that we might be save through him after we die. Therefore, after the physical death, we will live in heaven with God. You need to study shamanism a little better, and understand where you will be heading after you die. According to the rituals, you will be sent to hell with our ancestors, where there is pain and suffering. Once you get there, they will tell you, "why you have come to this place?", And they will ask you if you know you brought you, because it is a horrible place to be. They will tell you why you did not stay on earth instea. If you don't believe me, go and ask anyone who knows the hmong funeral rituals and saying. Anyways, I just wanted you to know this so that you have all the options before you make your final decision.

Third point - Yes, you are correct also. You must have been reading the bible. God says there will be many who say Lord, Lord, I knew you and I believe in you. And he will tell them, "I do not know you." There is more in the bible that also teaches of this. There is a parable from Jesus saying:

A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of [this] life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience.

You see what this is saying. There will be many who will consider themselves christains, but do not live as christain. And until that last day when Jesus comes back, only will he judge them.



3/31/05
LilJohn
hmm...you said christian was the first religion? well your wrong.. Hinduism is the first religion... your probably gettin mixed up about the Gutenberg bible being the first book published...

i believe in Shamanism and there aint nothing that gonna change that... and what is the special gift if you become a christian?? is that going to heaven?? and is there a heaven??? i think they say that just to make you feel better about where your going when you pass..

i think christians are some of the most hypocritical people... i know plenty of christians who say they go church and believe in all god and jesus stuff, but outside of church they are something else...



3/28/05
I am Hmong and I can be Hmong and know that Shamanism is wrong. I don't hate anyone who practices Shamanism. I don't hate anyone who practices any other religion or has other beliefs. I don't hate atheists either.

The only spirits on Earth are from Satan. I know that there is only one Power, Creator and God. I know that things only happen by God's will whether it be healing or death or living. Whether someone is sick or dying or healthy and strong is up to God. It is not for us to know or understand why, because God is not here for our glory but we are here for His glory. Our simple minds cannot comprehend His will and divine plan for all things. We must only realize that this life is only temporary. Eternal life in heaven can only be obtained through Jesus Christ who died on the cross for EVERYONE'S sins. If you have not accepted Jesus as your personal savior and Christ, then you will not receive this gift. You cannot believe in the power of spirits and believe in God. You should believe and worship the one true God, Jesus Christ who loves you regardless of what you believe anyway.



3/25/05
TK
Do shamanic ceremonies have the ability to heal? Should they be used along with traditional medicine?

Yes, I believe that shamanic ceremonies are real, and they had the abililty to heal people. But if we take a closer look and understand what is really going on I believe many people may think twice before they part take in such a ceremony.

In a family that still holds on to the traditional ways, a shaman is typically called in to perform a type of ceremony that is use to heal the person who is sick. Actually, it is not the shaman who heals the sick person, but more the spirit or spirits that is with this person that is sick. Shamanic ceremonies is a method used only to retries information from these spirits and tries to understand what it is that they want. Once the spirits have gotten what they wanted, they will leave the person alone, and that person will be healed. But if the spirits decide they want something else, they can cause the person to become sick again or even his/her family. I consider all these spirits to all be bad spirits. Why? They are not with a person to help them, but more to get what they can from them. They have disguised themselves from the Hmong people making many shamans believe they are good spirits. But if one looks at the work required to please these spirits you can tell they are evil. It�s not that these spirits decides to pop into one's live all a sudden, but more that they were invited in. This can be done in many ways such as shamanic ceremonies for example.

I get very confuse sometimes why Hmong people still hold on to this belief when all it does is bring them down. I see many families who still follows this way is and they suffer so much for nothing. I guess because it has been so intertwine with our culture that it becomes difficult to determine the difference. You should really question yourself sometimes if what you are doing is really Hmong Culture or Animalism.

People who believe in God have rid themselves from Animalism (or these spirits that hounds on people). God has provided these people who has agreed to accept him with the Holy Spirit. One who loves them unconditionally. One who guides them in the way of the truth. One who protects them from these false spirits of the devil. Sometimes I hear people say that Hmong Christian follows the new way and not the old. If one wants to talk about old, I would say that Christianity is older that Animalism. In fact, it was the 1st religion ever worship on earth. This comes from the bible. And if anyone is questionable about whether is bible is true or not, here are some facts you should try and reseach on yourself. I just listed a couple.

1. The bible contains 66 books by over 40 different authors from all walks of life: shepherds, farmers, tent-makers, physicians, fishermen, priests, philosophers and kings. Despite these differences in occupation and the span of years (1,500 years) it took to write it, the Bible is an extremely cohesive and unified book. It was wriiten in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek, so these people do not know each other.

2. It is the oldest book that has lasted this long and it still being use widely in people's live.

3. If you believe in spirits and devil, you can be certain there are afraid of this book. It has been used to drive out evil spirits and demons.



2/18/05
Anna Yang
I'ont have much to say.....

but all I've gots to say is that we are hmong,not just hmong but a strong community and we must keep the hmong the strongest people!We must all love eachother and showw the world what love really means.So all my hmong remember my words,we are strong peopleand we must stay strong as one community!

MUCH LOVE,
ANNA YANG



2/4/05
fuab
I don't think that our future generation will embrace our ancestor's culture. I was born here and raised a christian, I married into a traditional family. I believe that you may not speak for or against something without having been on both sides. I beleive that not one or the other is better, religionwise. It is based upon your faith. If it makes you feel better spiritually you will eventually feel better. I pray for myself and my kids when they are sick, my husband calls upon shamanism. We both feel better knowing we have done something we believe in even though they are two completely differnt religions. It is soley based upon our faith in our religion, a healing for our insecurities and one may not be better then the other both heals and gives us each peace of mind.

I work in the mental heatlh feild as a case worker, and I have found that many Hmongs are not solid on taking just traditional medicine, but what ever helps. Like religion, which ever makes us feel better is the one we embrace.

Here I see that our cultural beliefs are starting to be left behind, but only for what is better or makes sense. I believe that preserving the culture as to certain tradition would not make sense, for we live in world that can't be more different then where our parents came from. Our langauage is one taht we should always keep, sadly I find that my own children refuse to speak it less and less. We have to face the fact that we will lose our traditions, but at the same time understand that it is for the better in some cases. Whatever makes more sense for it is immpossible to preserve all of our cultural traditions.



2/1/05
vali
The conflict that often arises in the Hmong community is that youths in this day and age have no respect for their elders and no appreciation for their heritage. Growing up I was as stubborn and can even go as far as to say being hateful towards my Hmong heritage. I had never cared to participate even less, listen to anything that had to do with Hmong culture. When I think back to those time I realized that my stubborness and hatefulness towards Hmong culture was really feelings of anger and resentment towards the Hmong men who beated and abandoned their wives and family, the girls who got married at 14, the boys who were favored by the parents. This was a culture/traditions that i did not want to embrace. We need to stop blaming and accusing one another of not being a true hmong. We need to especially stop harrassing the youth about not knowing their heritage. I know well enough that they know more than we think. They know by watching their parents and their community. When there are better role models and brighter display of the Hmong culture will the youth embrace and perserve the traditions. Lastly, I'm Hmong and a Christian. It is in church that I learned to read and write hmong. Many people do not believe that. Christianity has enriched my identity as a Hmong girl. It taught me forgiveness and love for my parents. From there was where I began to learn and respect the importance of Hmong traditions and religion. So to all of those who may accuse me of not being a true Hmong, what is it really to be a true Hmong? It's just as simple as to love yourself and your family because love is the acceptance of truth in who you are.



1/27/05
Thomas J
KNOWLEDGE is king!! the first step to knowledge is to realise we now nothin. there are no boundaries to the possiblities which lye beyond this realm. My believe is that God wrote all the religions! u see he/she likes a variation. really God isn't a he or a she cause its a spirit and its in us all. if u study different religions you'll find the same teachings and concepts...LOVE PEACE RESPECT...spread the good word



1/27/05
Kuv xav hais tias nej sawvdaws yog Hmoob, ces nej yuav tau sau ntawv Hmoob. Yog yus yog Hmoob thiab yus tsis paub ntawv Hmoob, koj yuav tsum kawm. Kuv pom cov menyuam Hmoob uas yug hauv mikas teb no, lawv tsis puab Hmoob tej kev li kev cai. Qhov no ua rau kuv nyuaj siab.





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