Effects Of The Hmong Language In The Latehomecomer

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Language plays an important role in one’s culture. Not only is it used for every day communication, it is also used to pass down stories in some cultures. In The Latehomecomer, the language difference between the Hmong and Americans causes problems for the Yang family. However, the Hmong language is very important to their people. They use it to pass down stories, which is an important part of their culture. For the Hmong in The Latehomecomer, language has both positive and negative effects on the Hmong people. Through Yang’s story, readers can see that verbal stories play a crucial role in the Hmong culture. The Hmong have a high value for stories and storytelling. Yang shows this when she says, “Like so many other children, in other parts of the world, in a time of nothing, we heard stories of what was before. There were always people to tell me stories in the camp” (71). These stories provide structure for the Hmong to live by, like religion does for other people. Because the Hmong are forced to flee the country to survive, it is difficult for them to keep written documents of any sort I they want to. For this reason, it is easiest to preserve their culture orally. Yang recognizes that these stories helped to teach her things when she says, “I learned about the lands and creatures that did not live in my world. In Ban Vinai Regugee Camp, I discovered the shape of stories, how to remember them, and how to tell them” (72). Remembering these stories are important to the
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