The story of Mai Ya Xiong and her family and their journey from the Ban Vinai refugee camp in Thailand to a new life in Madison, Wisconsin, is extraordinary. Yet it is typical of the stories of the 200,000 Hmong people who now live in the United States and who struggle to adjust to American society while maintaining their own culture as a free people.
Mai Ya's Long Journey follows Mai Ya Xiong, a young Hmong woman, from her childhood in Thailand's Ban Vinai Refugee Camp to her current home in Wisconsin. Mai Ya's parents fled Laos during the Vietnam War and were refugees in Thailand for several years before reaching the United States. But the story does not end there. Students will read the challenges Mai Ya faces in balancing her Hmong heritage and her adopted American culture as she grows into adulthood.
About the Author
Sheila Cohen has taught English as a Second Language in the Madison Metropolitan School District for twenty years. She is a freelance writer and has served on the Board of Directors of United Refugee Services. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
Table of Contents
|Meet Mai Ya||xi|
|1||Mai Ya's Parents Grow Up in Troubled Laos||1|
|2||The Xiong Family's Life in Thailand||12|
|3||Mai Ya and Her Family Come to Wisconsin||18|
|4||Mai Ya Grows Up in Two Worlds||22|
|5||Hmong Traditional Beliefs||39|
|6||Mai Ya Continues Her Journey in Two Worlds||46|
|Hmong Time Line||62|
|Mai Ya's Time Line||64|
|Reading Group Guide and Activities||70|
|To Learn More about the Hmong||72|