Hmong National and World News
The Hmong Times National and World section brings you highlights that affect our Hmong Community here in Minnesota. With a special attention given to honoring our veterans and their contributions to our way of life.
Wandering the winding footpaths and dirt roads in the Hmong refugee camps in northern Thailand decades ago, one encountered men and women busily going about their daily tasks, as we saw in the last installment of this series*. Another level of work activity was just as evident in camp, the everyday chores of children.
When most folks woke up in the predawn hour in Ban Vinai it was to the crowing of competing roosters throughout the hills and valleys in the camp housing tens of thousands of Hmong refugees, many of whom, it seems, had roosters.
Hmong Shamanism, and other traditional healing methods and herbal remedies will be described in a future installment, as we continue to interview the folks who were there.
To supplement the rice, occasional meat and vegetables that the UN rations provided, there were various means, some of which are shown in these photos, taken in Ban Vinai and Chiang Kham refugee camps.
For many of the older folks, food security weighs heavily in their recollections of everything that happened after the war, and details are still very clear in their memories.
This installment focuses on the most important aspect of life in the Hmong refugee camps in northern Thailand in the 1980s, and an even more important necessity. Photos here are from Ban Vinai refugee camp, Loei, Thailand.
In Ban Vinai refugee camp there were, spread out eventually over nine sections or zones (called Centers), nearly 400 buildings, with around 4,000 rooms, which were for families, so rooms typically had from six to twelve family members.
In this installment we are taking a look at the general layout of the refugee camp Ban Vinai, through which passed most Hmong people who came to the U.S.
As we interview for our book and exhibition projects those who made the often perilous journey from Laos to seek refuge in Thailand in the decades after 1975, we hear stories that reflect the suffering, the shock and grief of separation or loss of family members, the pervasive fear, and the tremendous confusion that came with their escapes.
Photos here are from the New Year celebrations at the main Hmong refugee camp, Ban Vinai, in Loei province of northern Thailand. Most pictures were taken between 1980-1988.