I believe that I should learn how to read, write, and know how to speak in Hmong. As for writing and reading, hardly any of us know how because we’re not exposed to the real written language. We have our own written language in which years ago we refused to accept it. I understand that now we’re in America and it’s hard for us to keep our language going because English is the dominate language here. However, I believe that the most important thing is to know how to speak Hmong first, and then read and write.
I believe that I should know how to speak in my language because it’s one of the most important elements of any ethnic group. I find it quite embarrassing when one doesn’t know how to speak their native language. If you don’t know how to speak in your own language, others will think that you don’t value your language. This also depends on how you were raised too — I understand if you were not taught as a youngster. What if you were asked to translate to a Hmong Elder for a non-Hmong? What happens if you turn down that person because you don’t know how to speak Hmong? At least if you’re not proficient, know the basics of your language.
Knowing how to read and write in Hmong is not a must. I would say that if you want to learn then you should try, but you shouldn’t turn it down and see it as an unimportant attempt. I’m not saying that whatever you do is wrong, but you should consider it. You don’t have to do everything but value some of the things. I am a person with pride and I enjoy doing as much as I can do as who I am.