COMMUNITY VOICES | The Truth Behind the Hmong Bride Price

This paper is written in reaction to the 18 Clan Council’s decision to re-negotiate the bride price and to those who are not aware of why there is a bride price in the first place. Before I go into the symbolic nature of a bride price in the Hmong culture, it is important that you all know who I am. I am a Hmong woman, a daughter, a wife, a nyab, and a mother of a spunky little girl as well as two wonderful boys. I am an activist and a feminist. I am in a doctoral program in psychology and started researching my culture years ago in order to help other therapists understand the nuances in the Hmong culture and thus better council my people. It appears even members of my community have forgotten the reasons behind traditions like the bride price, so I wish to share this with you all. Losing the meaning behind the practice of paying a bride price has affected the self-worth of Hmong women everywhere, hence the reason I have decided to write this. We get so caught up in acting out traditions; we lose sight of why we have them in the first place. Continue Reading