ERIC Number: ED207351
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Mien. Fact Sheet Series #2.
Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. Language and Orientation Resource Center.
The term "Mien" is used to describe several mountain peoples of Southeast Asia, who migrated from China in the 18th and 19th centuries. Their strong family structure serves their agricultural way of life. The language, though tonal, exhibits many similarities to English. Religious beliefs are animistic, centering around spirits of ancestors, the home, and nature. Mythological designs find their way into artwork, which is predominantly bodily adornments. The several names given to boys include a spirit name. Having been forced to move from place to place for centuries, the Mien are in general uneducated, though a few are conversant with Chinese and with the special knowledge needed by shamans. Recent contacts with other indigenous Southeast Asians, and with Americans, have resulted in a slight broadening of the educational base. Mien customs, many centering around fear of evil spirits, should be known and respected by Americans responsible for their orientation in this country. Conversational customs are especially important to those who want to communicate with the Mien. Teachers of English as a second language should bear in mind certain characteristics of the Mien language, such as the small number of final consonants. (JB)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Refugee Resettlement (DHHS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. Language and Orientation Resource Center.
Identifiers: Fact Sheets; Laos; Mien