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SO, YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE HMONG


So, You Think You Know the Hmong: A Critique of Traditional Thai and Scholarly Views of

the Hmong Commented [KM2]: I’m not completely sure, but I don’t
think that you need to have your title again here. But you’re
using APA, so we can look over some samples at some point
Introduction to check.
Formatted: Font: Bold
Who are the Hmong? Well, it depends on who you ask. According to some, they are one

of the backward-livings hill-tribes living residing deep in the mountains, who are cut off from

civilization, who conspire with communists, produce opium, and destroy the precious forests

through their ignorant, destructive farming practices. The Hmong have long been viewed this

way by Tthe Thai people have long viewed the Hmong this way. Western scholars prefer to see

the Hmong as hapless victims of ignorance and prejudice. The HmongThey do not mean any Commented [KM3]: I assume you mean the Hmong?

harm. They are just doing what the government taught them to do. So, are the Hmong villains or

victims? My answer is neither. The Hmong are people trying to adapt to a rapidly changing

world. The traditional Thai and scholarly views of the Hmong are outdated and inadequate to

describe the modern standing of the Hmong in Thai society.

Literature Review

Stories have the power to change the world, yet and they are killing people every day. Commented [KM4]: Absolutely love this little shock
factor.
The media whispers that you will only be beautiful, popular, or desirable if you look a certain

way or buy a certain product, but these whispers are which is mostly untrue. Fairytales tell

children that boys that they need to be courageous and violent, while telling girls that they need

to be beautiful and weak. Such stories lock us into stereotypes and identities that reflect only a

small part of who we are and ignore the rest of our virtues and talents;, however, stories are

rarely told the same way twice. The stories that govern and shape our lives are always changing,

sometimes even for the better. Commented [KM5]: Despite my previous comment, this
whole paragraph seems a little like a tangent and unrelated to
your topic. Perhaps revise to relate to the Hmong rather than
the world as a whole.
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SO, YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE HMONG
This story is about a small highland ethnic minority living high in the mountains of

Thailand called the Hmong. Originally from China, the Hmong fled to Laos, only to be driven Commented [KM6]: This is already redundant because we
know the paper is about the Hmong. Maybe to revise, we
could say “Back to the stories of the Hmong, the small
out decades later after the fallout of the Vietnam War. Now, they are scattered all over the world, highland ethnic minority of Thailand, who originated in
China; however, the Hmong were forced to flee from China
even living as far away as in America and Australia. A people without a country, the Hmong to Laos, only. . .”
Commented [KM7]: Maybe add year?
often lived isolated from the rest of the world, continuing in their traditional life. The Hmong

could not be more different from the Thai people even if they tried. Firstly, they are not

Buddhist, but rather practice ancestor worship with shamanic rituals to mediate with the spirits

that are causing trouble. Second, they do not farm rice, a staple of Thai diet and life; instead, they

grow vegetables. Third, they have their own language, which is much closer to Mandarin than

Thai and, for the many years of them living in Thailand, they could not even speak Thai. Lastly, Commented [KM8]: Is this a correct of me to deduce? If
not, then let’s revise for clarity so your professor doesn’t
make the wrong deduction, like I had.
they are strangers, unknown and mysterious wanderers from far away, who inhabit the

undesirable highlands and, therefore, cannot be trusted (Renard, 1994 p. 658-664). Commented [KM9]: Is this a perception from the Thai’s
point of view? If so, consider adding that somewhere in this
phrase.
Nong Hoi is just such a village, high in the mountains, an hour away from civilization—

also known as the city of Chiang Mai. After having read dozens of articles on the Hmong, I

expected to find myself living in a tiny bamboo house next to a dirt road, without electricity or

running water for the next three months. I was wrong. Instead, I lived in a white-washed Commented [KM10]: Give context that you were going to
live with the Hmong before launching into the story. Perhaps
add “After having read dozens of articles on the Hmong and
cinderblock house, with clean tile floors, and I enjoyed not just electric lights, but also Wi-Fi. preparing myself for the travel to Nong Hoi, . . .”
Commented [KM11]: “White-washed” in our day now
Almost no one in Nong Hoi lives in a bamboo house; and the road is paved. As it will be pointed generally refers to people; maybe find a different word for
what you mean? Perhaps “varnished” or even “white-
out many times throughoutin this paper, the Hmong live differently than I was led to believe painted.”

from prevalent and outdated articles.

The main focus of my research was to be on the Royal Development Project (RDP). The Commented [KM12]: The RDP isn’t a role, from what it
sounds like, so adding “on” or even what your specific role
was would help cement your professor in the essay.
RDP was naturally designed to help outhelp the Hmong people and other so-called “hill-tribes”
Commented [KM13]: If “hill-tribes” is a derogatory term,
(a derogatory term in Thai) to leave behind their barbarous ways and become more like the perhaps revise throughout so you don’t use it again, unless
necessary.
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SO, YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE HMONG
enlightened Thai people, through proper agriculture. The Thai had to teach the Hmong how to

grow new crops, so that they would stop growing opium and stop burning down the forest to

create new fields. Slash-and-burn agriculture, —as it is called—, would destroys the forest and

forces the Hmong to move often, which madekes it harder for the government to keep track of

them. New crops could bring wealth and a better life for the Hmong, but I also read horror stories

about the RDP reneging on their promises and leaving the Hmong with a new crop that nobody

wanteds (Tapp, 2005). I wanted to hear the horror stories of the Royal Development Project in Commented [KM14]: What kind of crop? Again, this
would cement your professor and lead to less confusion.
Nong Hoi, to see the true effects of the RDP from ground -zero. To my astonishment and

confusion, the Hmong of Nong Hoi had a different storiesy to tell,: one of persistence, progress,

and prosperity. The Hmong were not who I thought they were. The traditional Thai and

academic views of the Hmong were soare outdated and inadequate to describe the modern

Hmong people that I went there thinking, automatically, that they were destroyed by the RDP. Commented [KM15]: Repeated almost word-for-word
from the introduction; perhaps revise for variety and what
you actually what to say?
History Commented [KM16]: Please correct this addition if I’m
wrong. However, this sentence is a basic repeat from a
previous sentence, so adding something like this may give it
Time to tell my story. Most good stories start with an exposition, sometimes more a better way of being presented.
Formatted: Centered
commonly known as background information. To me, Thailand is can be seen as a baby country Commented [KM17]: After reading through this section,
this statement is fairly misleading. Perhaps revise to “Time
that wants to grow up and become like Father Britain, which means getting technology, creating to tell history in my own words”?

national borders that can be drawn on a map, and figuring out what it means to be Thai.

Historically, Siam was one of thea kingdoms of ethnic Thai Buddhists living in fertile river

valleys, who paid their taxes to whichever kingdoms’’s tax collectors came knocking on their Commented [KM18]: Do you know why they did so?
Was it because they were hard to get to? Perhaps add this
doors. Kingdoms formed and functioned around centers of power, not rather than the arbitrary tidbit of information for clarity.
Commented [KM19]: This isn’t always true; nations go to
lines on a map. Siam ignored the periphery highlands and focused on the lowland peoples. war to change their borders. Perhaps revise this whole
sentence to accommodate the change as well as for a more
light-hearted tone?
However, nation states have fixed borders, so the highlands became a part of the kingdom of
Commented [KM20]: After reading through the paper a
few times, perhaps you don’t need this section because you
Thailand and a problem (Vandergeest, 2011, pg #s?). want to portray the fears that they were communists, which
you don’t talk about until later. Revision or deletion okay?