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Chapter 12

L48 Anthro 3283 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Ban Vinai Refugee Camp, Vang Pao, Hmong People


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
L48 Anthro 3283
Professor
Benson Peter
Chapter
12

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Fadiman Ch. 12 (p. 154-170)
Lees’ “trip to Thailand” in 1979 was there second attempt to escape from Laos after the
war
o Big hardship for their family, held at gunpoint, one of their kids got ill and died
and the other infant died of starvation; had 8 children 6 children
26 days on foot and entered the border into Thailand
People from the Western hemisphere can’t understand what it is like
After the war, they wanted the Hmong culture to disappear
Neo Hom group founded in the U.S and headed by Vang Pao; financed entirely by
refugees from Laos; families donated money and Pao promised this money would go to
carry out guerrilla activities and overthrow the communist government in Laos
Opium overdoses happened so frequently that it never made headlines and they accepted
them as a fact of life
Had to leave valuables, could not bury family members that died
Hong put in camps near the Lao border
Ban Vinai camp that largest Hmong settlement in history; only have the right to get your
rations and go to your tent; some people were born and grew up there
Ban Vinai Rabies parade held Hmong responsible for their own dependence, poor
health, and lack of cleanliness
U.S. refused to accept families with more than 8 people, but did not limit the size of
nuclear families; Hmong grew accustomed to lying when they were interviewed by
immigration officials
1982 meeting on the Ban Vinai field expressed fear of doctors who ate the livers,
kidneys, and brains of Hmong people
Ban Vinai may have been disease ridden, dirty and crowded, but culturally it was
powerful
The older a Hmong the less willing they were to leave the camp; at the camp the cultural
tradition was still there
o What would be the good to go to America if all of that changed?
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