As I thought of this article, many of the issues I have faced as a single Hmong woman in her mid-twenties came to mind. Should I discuss the functional reasons why marriage is so important in the Hmong culture, especially for women? Or do I talk about the lack of eligible, older Hmong men? Better yet, should I complain about the attempts by my relatives to find me a good husband as if it were an unfortunate circumstance that I was single instead of a conscious choice? Thinking it over, though, I decided that all those questions boiled down to one fundamental truth – the Hmong community is still trying to learn how to treat the increasing number of Hmong women who, like me, are making the choice to stay single in their mid-twenties. Today, single Hmong women in their mid-twenties are living on their own, sometimes in different cities, earning their own income, and making decisions independent of both their parents and clans. However, in a community where marriage defines the moment an individual becomes an adult, these successes still have not allowed them to be treated or perceived as adults by the family and clan. Furthermore, in a culture where a woman’s role continues to be defined by the dominant male in her life – either her father or her husband – the independence of Hmong women in their mid-twenties has led to a displacement of traditional roles. My sister coined the term “Christmas Tree Age” when someone told her that in order to be able to find a good husband, a Hmong woman needed to be no older than twenty-five years old. Just like a Christmas Tree which is discarded after the 25th of December, the Hmong community seems to disregard women older than twenty-five as in-eligible marriage material. At twenty-five years of age, I’ve attained many of the goals I set for myself as a young girl, starting a successful career in Corporate America, gaining financial freedom and traveling the globe. Yet, to many of my relatives, it seems my life is still lacking the most critical ingredient – a husband. While in college, my single status seemed more acceptable. However, as I have continued to focus on my career instead of a husband and as I have reached the magic twenty-five, the choice to remain single has become an increasing concern for my family.
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In The Latehomecomer, by Kao Kalia Yang shares her story and the story of her family’s search for a home and identity. Her family’s story voices the story of the Hmong people and their plight. From every stage of their journey, from the mountainous jungles of Southeast Asia to the freezing winter of Minnesota, Yang and the Hmong were compelled to redefine their identity, willingly or unwillingly. While growing up, Yang’s parents would often ask her, “’What are you?’ and the right answer was always, ‘I am Hmong.’” (Yang, 1) For “Hmong” to be the right answer, then what does it mean to be “Hmong”? From the personal story shared by Yang, and the universal story of the Hmong people, the Hmong identity cannot be contained in
The United States and its people take great pride in knowing that the U.S. is the greatest nation in the world. That is why it’s our duty to father the rest of the world when conflicts arise. American culture and ideals are also thought to take precedents over all other cultures and ideals. In the book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall down, written by Anne Fadiman, there are many great examples of how American culture is imposed on the people residing with in its enclosed boundaries. The U.S. going to war in Vietnam is also a great example of how the U.S. tried to impose American values on the “less fortunate.” Through understanding America’s so called “duty” in Vietnam one can interpret the intervention of American idealism in the life of a Hmong family.
Over the past three decades these ideals, although they are still recognizable, have been drastically modified across all social classes. Women have joined the paid labor force in great numbers stimulated both by economic need and a new belief in their capabilities and right to pursue opportunities. Americans in 1992 are far more likely than in earlier times to postpone marriage. Single parent families--typically consisting of a mother with no adult male and very often no other adult person present-have become common. Today at least half of all marriages end in divorce (Gembrowski 3). Most adults no longer believe that couples should stay married because divorce might harm their children. Of course, these contemporary realities have great consequential impact on mother-ch...
According to the author of “The Changing American Family”, the divorce rate “began falling in 1996 and is now just above 40 percent for first-time marriages” (Angier). Author of a The Atlantic’s article on marriage, Gillian White, agrees with both Kimmel and Angier. White uses the results of a recent Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll, where seventy-four percent of the participants “felt that marriage was still relevant and led to a happier, healthier, more fulfilled life” (White). This means that marriage is still a valuable institution even if its traditions have changed in the past few decades. The poll’s results show that more than the sixty percent of the participants agreed that “the ages of 25 to 30 were optimal for tying the knot” (White). One of the reasons to delay marriage is the economic situation of the country and the uncertainty of financial security once married. The rising cost of living makes it difficult for one person to live on their own, picture it with someone else. Nonetheless, Americans are still eager “to have stable, long-lasting relationships and families”
More traditional marriages survived longer than today’s modern marriages; however, the traditional marriages that ended years later left many housewives feeling discarded. These wives who were used to staying at home with no careers were left trying to figure out survival while their husbands moved on to younger, beautiful career oriented women. The women they started to become attracted too were women with less stress who could devote more attention to them at the end of the day.
More than anything, courtship is the start of a family. Family is the foundation of culture, and the centerpiece for new life. Each countries have roots set in traditions that set them apart, and a different practice of how to start a family. This paper will be a comparison and contrast between the common American, Amish, Puerto Rican, Greek, and South Koran courtship traditions and the value of marriage in society.
In the article, “To Arrange or Not: Marriage Trends in the South Asian American Community” by Farha Ternikar, which explorers the occurrences of arranged marriage among the South Asian immigrants in America. The author investigates the differences in arranged marriage by interviewing second generation South Asians of three different
Since the 1950s, singletons have increased worldwide and Klinenberg explicates that it is due to improvements in society. Klinenberg first points out that women currently uphold the solo living population. Studies show that the women population is at about 18 million in comparison to men who only have about 14 million. A contributing factor to this is simply the change in each generation’s outlook. The current generation has a very different outlook on marriage than the generation back in the 50’s. When Klinenberg started his studies, women were looked down upon if they were not married by their late teens, early twenties. Now, it is very common for marriage to be out of the picture until one is ready. Another improvement that contributes to the singletons population rising is technological advancement. Nowadays it is very easy to communicate with other via text, call, FaceTime, tweet and even live streaming, making living alone not as lonely as people might think. Additionally, the expansion of cities also lures in singletons on the behalf of the desire to intermingle with the public. Klinenberg’s studies showed that singletons associate with society more than couples do because they have less responsibilities on their hands and more free time. Lastly, Klinenberg touches on how human lifespan is a contributing factor in the rise of singletons as well. Since 1950 the length of human existence has
In the article “The Radical Idea of Marrying for Love” the author, Stephanie Coontz, talks about how love has rarely been the motivating reason for marriage, and how in many cultures it still isn’t. She also informs readers of the reasons why people got married in ancient cultures, different types of motivations for marriage in modern cultures, how the union between spouses often isn’t the most important relationship in other countries, and how marriage is often not monogamous.
Our culture impacts our everyday lives, and with intercultural romantic relationships, meeting your partner’s parents can create anxiety (Montagne, 2011). According to the authors of Communicating with Strangers, romantic love is less likely to be considered an important reason for marriage in collectivistic cultures than it is in individualistic cultures. Comparing individualistic cultures, like the United States, to collectivistic cultures found in Asia, shows that with collectivistic cultures, having a family tends to be the main reason for marriage. If having a family is the most important consideration, the acceptability of the potential mate to the family is critical, whereas individualistic cultures take pride in marrying a partner for love (Gudykunst & Kim,
Philippine pre-colonial society was egalitarian in the sense that both women and men enjoyed equal rights and played important roles in the community. Women were businessmen, healers, and warriors alongside their men. Daughters of datus, or tribal leaders, were part of the line of succession, and women in positions of leadership could hold pacts and act as representatives to agreements. In some tribes, such as the Ifugao, divorce was acceptable on the basis of infidelity or infertility, and either the man or the woman were allowed to seek divorc...
Finding a compatible partner and getting married is the dream for the majority of people in America. Statistics show that approximately 95% of all people will be married at some point in their lives (Cherlin, 2002). However, marriage is coming to be considered more of a short-term and an economic arrangement by many and less of a life-time commitment (Risch, Riley & Lawler, 2003; Seltzer, 2000). It is true that divorce is becoming less stigmatized and is a more frequent event with a current divorce rate of approximately 40% for first marriages (Risch, Riley & Lawler, 2003). It is also true that cohabitation is becoming a more common and accepted way to live.
Carstens (1995) explains in her article: the substance of kinship and the heat of the hearth: feeding, personhood, and relatedness among Malays in Palau Langkawi how their ideas of kinship challenge the Western notion of what kinship/relateness. In Langkawi, ideas about kinship are conveyed in terms of reproducing, nourishment and the obtaining of substance and are not based on any difference between biological facts and sociality facts. The house in this society plays a significant role. A house may consist of many different couples but only one “hearth”. These couple cook and eat together. Females spent much of their time at home while the men are out fishing. House are also associated with children, a house only becomes established when a couple have at least one child. Older brothers sometimes have loving relationships with younger sisters. This has an important model connection between husband and wife. A married couple normally call each other “older brother” of “older sister”. Marriage is formulated be means of sibling ship. In western society marring one brother of sister is taboo/incest but in this culture if an in-marrying man marry a woman who’s older brother is unmarried, this man is said to be violating the honour of the house.
(672) People that are single encounter many disheartening circumstances such as rejection and disappointment. Diane Medved also points out that as a single person one must live with the reality that “the Mr. and Ms. Right you assume waits for you may be only a futile fantasy.” (672) Living single, one doesn’t have the stability, security, and certainty that marriage provides. Sarareh Mirbagheri says, “Lack of support, not having children, and loneliness are some of the most common disadvantages of being single.” (Mirbagheri, Sarareh. “Disadvantages of Being Single.”) So even though in the eyes of married persons the single life may be alluring, there are many drawbacks that are often overlooked such as loneliness, anxiety, and lack of