Trilingual Website    ---     Sau ua 3 yam lus    ---     Site trilingue 

Hmong Contemporary Issues
Hmoob cov Xwm Txheej rau Tiam no
Les Problématiques contemporaines des Hmong

The Path of an Intellectual Hmong Woman
Belonging to the first generation of Hmong women born in Southeast Asia and raised in France, Kao-Ly Yang, even if reluctant,  decided to share her path as an academic researcher and World Culture lover in her website. Foremost, for reliability purpose: her essays on Hmong issues have been used by researchers to support their studies. What Dr. Yang has been writing is based on more than 25 years of observation within the Hmong community Worldwide. But more importantly, she wishes to inspire some of the young people to pursue the life they expect as she did herself in her youth, then to give back to the community once they reach their dream(s) as she has been trying to do too. This is why she thought her academic background, achievements, interests, and encounters may infuse to some the idea of living meaningful, useful and selfless lives.
She made sure the whole archives were not divided in several places so that scholars will find them in the one place in order to advance the study of Hmong people during this period of the 20th century.
For the Hmong minor, intensively from 2012 to 2016, she made use of her 25 years of experience of research and teaching of languages, cultures, literature to write seven textbooks to enhance the teaching quality of Hmong --Kao-Ly Yang, still part-time faculty, made the choice to not apply for any tenure-track positions in order for her to remain in Fresno to push for a Hmong minor that would greatly benefit the Hmong Fresno community. In her mind, she selflessly thought: "A Hmong program with a minor is far essential than my own career and life. When I depart, this program with a minor will still exist for hundreds years to come, and will provide opportunities for the Hmong generations Worldwide to come to learn about their culture, language and history." The Hmong culture has a rich tradition of literature old of several thousand years: she believes that the Hmong language remains a tool of knowledge capable to capture the human experiences, and to express them in a language of shapes, of sounds and of accuracy. Also, to encourage students to learn Hmong, the cost of the textbooks stays very low.
    As an indigenous anthropologist, Hmong, and former refugee who had exprienced so many losses, she believes that in order to preserve a culture or adapt it to new lifestyles, one needs to study it, to understand its challenges and stakes, and to teach it with its very own language because live in the Hmong language, humanistic values, tolerant concepts, inclusive symbols, ..., that may not be promoted in the current social practices. Since 1991, she has devoted her life to the study of the Hmong language, culture, and literature. Her choice to finally specialize in Hmong studies when pursuing in graduate studies came from a personal awakening, mainly due to her in-depth understanding and admiration of the Hmong people's skills and determination, otherwise inner strenght to survive wars, genocides, to overcome the fear of losing their language and culture, and to constantly adapt and reinvent their identity despite all tragic migrations for the past 4000 years. To sharpen her courage to undertake projects, her motto is: "It is not who you are that matters most, it is what you do for others."

Dr. Kao-Ly Yang is the owner of this website, The Hmong Contemporary Issues, created in 2002 in Fresno, CA.
    Kao-Ly Yang (Nkauj Hli Yaj) was born in Long Cheng in the beloved province of Xieng Khouang, Laos. As a child refugee, she went to France with her family in 1977 after spending more than two years in Ban Vinai, one of the refugee camps of Thailand.
    In Laos, she attended some private pre-primary schools in Vientiane where French was taught before continuing in France from second grade to her doctorate of Anthropology at the University of Aix-Marseille I where she graduated in 1999 with Summa Cum Laude. She specialized in Socio-cultural and Medical Anthropology, Linguistics, Teaching of French and Hmong, and Hmong Studies.
    During her first trip to Fresno in November 1999, CA, she was offered, on the second day of her arrival, a position of postgraduate researcher/project director at the University of California, San Francisco to conduct a research on the "Quality of Care" for Hmong patients with hypertension -- project founded by the National Institute of Health. Since then, she has been residing in Fresno where she pursues her research on Hmong cultural and religious changes, and on the teaching of Hmong language, culture and literature while earning her living as a French and Hmong instructor at Fresno City College and California State University, Fresno. Since 2012, she has been coordinating the Hmong program (since fall 2016, with its minor) at Fresno State. She also created the Hmong Voices Series at Fresno State in 2017 where she promotes the Hmong Studies at the same time gives opportunities to researchers, especially the young ones, personalities and artists to host or present their work or studies of the Hmong culture, history, literature, arts, and other issues.
   With the years passing, the two most important contributions that Kao-Ly Yang did for the Hmong Studies -- and Hmong community-- are the saving of Father Yves Bertrais' archives in 2004, and the creation of the Hmong Minor, first Hmong Language program at California State University, Fresno in 2016.

At the end of 2003, Kao-Ly stopped working. She needed to reflect on her professional life, and took a "deep breath" before deciding to totally immerge for some long years in the pursuite of the study of Hmong people in North America. She then went to Thailand, and discovered Father Yves Bertrais' life work and archives. Become aware of the importance of his archives for the Hmong community and research on the invention of the Hmong written traditions, even if with little income, she traveled twice to Thailand to make the deposit of his archives possible at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004-2005.

Dr. Yang Dao (left) giving a plaque of recognition to Dr. Kao-Ly Yang (right) during the conference of the Hmong National Development; Inc. in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she was invited from France as the keynote speaker, November, 1999, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
This picture is historical because Dr. Yang Dao is the first Hmong to have received a doctorate in 1972, and Dr. Kao-Ly Yang is the second one after Dr. Yang Dao to obtain a PhD in France in 1999.  Photo credited to Kaying Yang.

Traveling in China, in the provinces of Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan where Kao-Ly Yang reconnected with her Hmong heritage, which reinforced her interest to study the Hmong/Miao culture.
Here, in Yunnan, China. November 1994

Visiting Kiatong Lobliayao's house and grave in the city of Phav Lav, Non-Het District, Xieng Khouang Province, Laos, September 1996.

Kao-Ly Yang (3rd from left) with her French friend (5th from left) visiting Hmong students in Dong Dok University, Vientiane, Laos, 1996.

Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Aix-Marseille I, Aix-en-Provence, France, 1999 (Graduated with Summa Cum Laude), (See Ph.D. Thesis)
Diplome d'Etudes Approfondies (Master of Philosophy), Sciences of Language & Didactics of French, University Paul Valérie, France, 1993. (Graduated with Magna Cum Laude),
Master, Sciences of Language & Didactics of French, University Paul Valérie, 1992.
Licence (B.A.), Sciences of Language & Teaching French as a Foreign Language, University Paul Valérie, 1991.
Licence (B.A.), Theoretical Physics, Unversity of Montpellier II, (Not finished), 1990.
Diplôme Universitaire d'Etudes Générales, Math-Physics-Chemistry,  Montpellier II, 1989.
Baccalaureate C (Scientific), High School, Nîmes,  France, 1987.

Award & Recognition
Recognition for Outstanding Lecturer, College of Arts and Humanities, CSU-Fresno, 2014
California State University of Fresno Oustanding Faculty Publication (twice), 2007 & 2009
Certificate of Recognition, Assemblywoman, Sarah Reyes, 2002
Gardeners' Choice of the Tale of the "Blue Fish", City of Creteil for the European Contest of the Most Blooming Cities,  2002
Certificate of Recognition, Hmong National Development, 1999
Award for the Vocation of Anthropologist, Fondation de France, 1996
Award of the Best Refugee's Path, Fondation de France, 1992

Professional Experiences
+ Coordinator of the Hmong Language Program, 2012-present, Linguistics Department, CSU-Fresno
+ Advisor of the Hmong Minor, 2016-present, CSU-Fresno
+ Coordinator of the creation of the Hmong Minor, 2012-16, Linguistics Department, CSU-Fresno
+ Hmong instructor,  beginning to advanced levels, UW-Madison, CSU-Fresno, Fresno City College.
+ French instructor, beginning to advanced levels, French Linguistics and Cooperation Center in Vientiane (Laos), APAZ Association (France), CSU-Fresno, Fresno City College.
+ Instructor, HealthCare Interpreting, Reedley College, 2011-15.
+ Research Assistant, Southeast Asian Health Center, University of California, San Francisco, Fresno, 2002-2003
+ Post-graduate Researcher-Project Director of the Project "Quality of Care for Southeast Asian Refugees" funded by the National Institute of Health, University of California, San Francisco, 2000-2002.
+ Director, Center for 3-6 year old Children, Valdégour, Nimes, 1992

Present and Past Professional Activities
Creator and organizer of the Hmong Voices Series, Fresno State, 2017-
Founder & Board Director of the Hmong Language Association (HLA), 2016- now
Vice-President, Council of the Teaching of Southeast Asian Language (CoTSEAL)
Board Director of the French Alliance of Fresno (AF)
Member of the California Language Teachers Association (CLTA)
Member of the Central Valley World Language Association (CVWLA)
Member, National Network on HIV Prevention in Southeast Asian Communities, 2002-03
Writer, Hmong Times Newspaper, 1999-2001
Associate  then Corresponding Member of the Institute for
Research on Southeast Asia/Maison de l'Asie-Pacifique
Board Director, Fonds d'Action Social (Grants for Migrant population), Region of the Languedoc-Roussillon,  France, 1996-1999.

Fieldworks & Research Themes:
Fieldworks: France, French Guiana, Laos, Thailand & USA
Hmong Culture and Language from traditional and contemporary perspectives
Cultural and beliefs Changes
Theories of ethnic boundaries for stateless people
Women roles
Teaching Hmong language & French
Hmong and French Linguistics
Hmong Literature

Selected Published Articles
+ in Troubling Borders. An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora: "Three Pearls Facing Unfaithfulness", 2014.
+ in Bulletin de l'Ecole Française d'Extreme-Orient (BEFEO): Mesurer et peser chez les Hmong du Laos. Aspects techniques et notions de précision
+ in Hmong Studies Journal: Syncretisme in Hmong System of Beliefs
+ in Book "Hmong/Miao in Asia: Reinterpretation of Hmong Surnames
+ in Hommes & Migrations: The Reproduction of Hmong Rituals in the French Context

Non-Published Textbooks for Hmong Language
Kao-Ly Yang, 2014, Speaking Hmong. Hais Lus Hmoob . Beginning Level, 96 p.
Kao-Ly Yang, 2014, Speaking Hmong. Hais Lus Hmoob . Beginning Level. Workbook with Exercises, Lab and Speaking Activities,  64 p.
Kao-Ly Yang, 2015, A Hmong Family . Ib Tse Neeg Hmoob. 2015. 154 p.
Kao-Ly Yang, 2015, A Hmong Family . Ib Tse Neeg Hmoob. WORKBOOK with Exercises, Lab and Speaking Activities. Edition 2015. 47 p.
Kao-Ly Yang, 2015, Literacy and Literature in Hmong, 2015, 102 p. (Text and Lab).
Kao-Ly Yang. Hmong Grammar, 2014, 141 pages.
Kao-Ly Yang, 2015, Life in Hmong Literature. Thaum Dab Neeg Qhia Yus Sau lub Neej. 85 p. (Texts and Lab)
Kao-Ly Yang, 2016, Hmong Beliefs, Culture, Society, and History through Literature, 134 p. (Text and Lab)

Selected Conferences / Workshops
Conseil International d'Etudes Francophones (CIEF),  Winnipeg, Canada, 2015
California Language Teacher Association, Visalia, California, 2015
CoTSEAL, University of Wisconsin- Madison, 2012
CIEF, French Guiana, 2007
CSU- Fresno (several presentations)
University of Minnesota, 2005
University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2003 & 2012
University of California San Francisco, (several presentations)
Asian American Association- Salt Lake City, 2002
American Public Health Association (APHA), 2001

University of California-Berkeley, 2001
Hmong National Development, Inc, 1999 & 2001

Selected  Themes  Presented
The Hmong French and American Identities, Winnipeg, 2014
Teaching Values in Hmong, California Langages Teachers Association (CLTA), 2014
The Difficulties of Teaching French to Students of Hmong Origin), French Guiana, 2007.
Teaching Tones in Hmong, CLTA, Santa Clara, 2007
Pre-Reading Activities in French, CLTA, Saint Clara, 2007
The Adventure of Teaching a Recent Writing System: the Hmong Case, CLTA, Fresno, 2006
Where Do Hmong Women's Souls Go After Death? University of MN,  2005
The Goddess of Mercy Kuanyin in the Hmong Culture: an Example of Syncretism, CSUF-Fresno, 2005

Courses Taught
+ Hmong Language, Culture & Literature (Beginning to advanced levels + Topical courses)
+ French Language, Culture & Literature (Beginning to advanced levels + Topical courses)
+ Asian American Women
+ Healthcare Interpreting

Consultation Experiences
+ Linguist, American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), 2011- now
+ Expert Witness for Hmong culture, court case, Sacramento, 2011
+ Advisor, California Subject Examination for Teacher in Hmong (CSET-Hmong), 2007
+ Advisor, Central Valley Nursing Diversity Project, University of California, San Francisco,  Survey in the Hmong community, Fresno, CA, 2003
+ Developer, curriculum of Hmong Language for the Academy Hope Charter School, St Paul, MN, 2001
+ Linguist, Hmong dictionary French-Hmong in English-Hmong
+ Translator, Translation & Proof reading (scientific, medical, cultural, commercial)
+ Advisor, cultural consultation for the Night show of Hmong oral literature and music, DRAC (Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles), 1995

Contributions to the American Student Life
Advisor, The Hmong Language Club, CSU-Fresno, 2015-present.
Advisor, California State University of Fresno, The French Club, 2006-2008
Presenter, University of California, Los Angeles, The Association of Hmong Students, 2005
Speaker, Fresno City College, the USEAA Program 2002 & 2005
Speaker, Fresno Roosevelt High School, Graduations 2000 & 2001

Contribution to the Hmong French Community
Photo Exhibition of the Hmong in Laos and Conference, Nimes, 1998
Organization of the Nimes Hmong New Year, 1995

Contributions to the Hmong American Community
+ Owner and writer of the Trilingual Website on Hmong Contemporary Issues, 2002-present
+ Initiator and facilitator of the Saving of Father Yves Bertrais' archives,  between the University of Wisconsin-Madison et the OMI (Oblats de Marie Immaculee)- 2004-2005
+ Coordinator, the California Bill AB78 (Secret War), 2003
+ Guest of honor to open the New Year, the Hmong Marysville New Year,  2002
+ Advocate, the Fresno Metro Ministry Advocacy for Hmong Elderly Hunger, 2001 & 2002
+ Advocate, the Fresno Hmong Women Foundraising for Dr. Tony Vang 's Campaign for School Board, 2002
+ Keynote speaker, the Hmong Yang Wameng Association, 2002
+ Coordinator in Fresno, Commission Hall Towm Meeting for Asian American & Pacific Islanders, Los Angeles, 2000
+ Presenter, Hmong National Development Conferences, 1999 (Keynote Speaker) & 2001.

Online Devotion-Contribution: Creator and Administrator of the Facebook Groups:
Ethnologues et Ethnologie:
Amoureux(se) de la Culture Hmong:    (Events related to Hmong/Miao culture, literature, arts, ...)
Hmong Old Pictures.
Hmong Minor at Fresno State

Visiting Father Yves Bertrais, a.k.a Txiv Plig Nyiaj Pov in Thailand, 2003. This trip made her discover Father Bretrais's archives, and so she contributed to preserve it at the University of Madison, Wisconsin (UWM) possible in 2005.
His archives are accessible to all public at the special collections  at the Library of UWM.
Reunion with Fresno State Hmong students who greatly contributed to create the Hmong minor, 2015.
Reunion with Hmong students, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2010.
Reunion with Fresno State French Students during the French Alliance Beaujolais, November 2012.
"On the road", doing fieldwork as a graduate student in anthropology major.    Waking up at 3AM and walking hours to go to the Saturday's Market in Non-Het, Xieng Khouang, Laos, 1996. 
That day, she was experiencing a piece of the Hmong life at the beginning of the 20th century where going to the market was the happiest time for many because one could meet friends and relatives.
 A Multicultural Life Moved by the World
In addition to the work Kao-Ly Yang does, steadily and passionately, in research and teaching in Hmong Studies, far from home, she also experiences a multicultural life through her meetings with people of all cultural backgrounds, heartbreaking or unique events, soulful places that come into her ordinary life, and that have transformed her understanding of life. She wishes to share them here with her readers to inspire them to believe in a life full of optimism, and to pursue their search of meanings in their life.

Kaii Higashiyama, painter.

Arthur Rimbaud, 19th Century poet of  "Un bâteau ivre".
PaChay Vue, Hmong leader of the Madman's War against the French {1917-1921]
Bette Bao Lord
Author of "Spring Moon".
Marcel Mauss, Anthropologist & sociologist
Paj Cai Vwj (PaChay Vue), Hmong freedom fighter
Kaii Higashiyama, Japanese painter (picture)
Colette Kouchner, mentor
Marie-Claude Delafont, mentor
Films & TV Series
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (L'Insoutenable légèreté de l'être) by Philip Kaufman with actors Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche et Lena Olin. (Picture)
Three Lives, Three Worlds and Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms (三生三世十里桃花) by Lin Yufen, Yu Cuihua and Ren Haitao with actors Mark Chao Yu-Ting and Yang Mi.
Porco Rosso (紅の豚) by Hayao Miyazaki.
Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? (달마가 동쪽으로 간 까닭은?) by Bae Yong-kyun with actors Lee Pan-yong, Sin Won-sop and Yi Pan-Yong.
The Motorcycle Diaries by Walter Salles with actor Gael García Bernal. ...
A la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time) by Marcel Proust.
One Thousand and One Nights (Les Mille  et Une Nuits)
 Spring Moon by Better Bao Lord.
All books by Elizabeth Goudge, Lin Yutan, Shen Congwen, Pa Kin, Lao She, John Steinbeck, Emile Zola, Gustave Flaubert, Henry Gougaud, ...
Eugene Guillevic's poems
Anthropologie et Sociologie by Marcel Mauss ...
The Village of Ash (aka Keo Patu (Glass Door)), Xieng Khouang, Laos. (Picture)
Looj Hej (Non-Het), Xieng Khouang, Laos.
Looj Ceeb (Long Cheng), Xieng Khouang, Laos.
Nîmes, hometown, France.
The Plateau of Valensole, Les Alpes de Haut Provence, France.
Paris, France.
San Francisco, US
Muaj ib Hnub (There is One Day) by Lou Yang (Luj Yaj):
" 等你等了那么久" (Waiting For You For so Long) by Qi Long (祁隆) (Picture)
You Have Been Loved by George Michael.
Dej Ntws Tau ces Cia Dej Ntws (Let the River Run), Hmong sung poem.
. ...
Influential Events.
The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, China
The first trip to China in the provinces of Hunan, Guizhou, and Yunnan, 1994.
The first trip to the United States during 4 months touring from the East to the West Coasts, 1999.
The series of Hmong teen suicides in Fresno County, California, 2000's.
The 2007 Hmong White-Shirt Demonstrations against the imprisonment of former General Vang Pao, California.
The columns of  Syrian refugees, escaping war, 2010's. (Picture) ....

Yasujirō Ozu, Japanese Filmmaker
Ang Lee, Taiwanese Filmmaker
Jean-Jacques Annaud, French Filmmaker
Tran Anh Hung, Vietnamese-born French Filmmaker
Bourvil, French actor
Juliette Binoche, French actress
Hiroyuki Sanada, Japanese actor
Fran Dresher, American actress
Mark Chao Yu-Ting, Taiwanese-Canadian actor
George Michael, English singer
Nat King Cole, American singer
Tong Li, Cantonese singer
Xanakee, Hmong Band
Maiv Kiab Muas, Hmong singer
Marc Chagall, painter
Kaii Higashiyama, Japanese painter
Arthur Rimbaud, French poet
Better Bao Lord, Chinese American writer
Jean Giono, French Novelist