Interview with Her Thao
Linda: What did you do during your free time?
Her: I had fun.
Linda: What kinds of medicine were used for medical problems?
Her: I have to find the correct medicine to help cure my sickness and ones that can help me kill the pain.
Linda: What are some supernatural interests? (do you believe?)
Her: I believe. I have to believe in shamanism if not then I should believe in god so that there would be balance in my life and it would be good for me.
Linda: What do you do to earn money?
Her: I have to be active and persistent in school so I can become smart and find money to use.
Linda: How was peace kept between outsiders and in your society?
Her: To keep peace between me and outsiders we have to love and believe each other. They don't lie to me and I don't lie to them. This way we can build a strong lasting relationship.
Linda: How was a leader selected for a clan?
Her: When choosing a leader we have to know if he is smart and loves us. He doesn't tell lies. He has to do what he says he is going to do. This way when he leads us, we will prosper and find happiness for us.
Linda: How did the Hmong people build their house and how often did they move?
Her: In Laos the Hmong have to build their houses every 2 to 3 years because it is made out of leaves and bamboo. If they do not fix it every 2 or 3 years, the house will fall apart from the dead plants used to make the house. If the house is unfixed then the people will have to move out of the house and rebuild a new one.
Linda: How is property divided among people?
Her: The Hmong people have to divide it for every one so we can live in harmony and peace.
Linda: What was the expectation of a bride?
Her: We want our bride to know about our family well and our work, so we can get along. So, when she becomes part of our family there won't be any sadness or anger.
Linda: How do the Hmong feel about kidnap marriages?
Her: There are many ways to look at this, but according to Hmong tradition, when a boy kidnaps a girl even though she may not like him, it is ok because he loves her 100 times more. So when he kidnaps her it is not for a bad reason. The boy brought her to be his wife by law and to love her. So kidnap marriages isn't really bad. The girl may not like the boy to begin with but when they start their life together things will get better.
Linda: What is the relationship between the elders and the youth?
Her: The relationship between elders and youths, the elders have to be careful talking and teaching the children, so they will understand and the children will have to understand (be aware of) the elder's words of wisdom.
Linda: How was love express in a family?
Her: One must speak to one another and chose pleasant words and not say the bad words. One must love another with their heart, so their lives will prosper.
Linda: Why are Hmong families so big?
Her: Hmong families have to be big because it makes them stronger. If they are big, others will say that their family members must be nice and get along well because they have so many kids, and they can live in harmony. If there were ever a problem it would be easy to solve or if someone needs help it would be easy.
Linda: What was your experience from the war?
Her: What I have seen and experience, there was a lot of people who died and suffered. Some people didn't like Laotians rules against Hmong so they move out there.
Linda: How were the Hmong people being book learning (education through knowledge not experience)?
Linda: Hmong in Laos, people let their kids go and live with their teachers and learn from them. When they go to school this way they learn quite well.