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The Hmong People of Australia:
Culture and Diaspora

Edited by Nicholas Tapp and Dr. Gary Yia Lee

Canberra: Pandanus Books, 2004

The Hmong first arrived in Australia in 1975 from war-torn Laos, settling in Australia as a small population of under 2,000. In Australia, as in other resettlement countries, the Hmong have been active in founding local and national associations, and there is alarm about the younger generation's loss of traditional cultural heritage. The Australian Hmong is a small community, but a dynamic and rapidly changing one.

This collection of interdisciplinary papers - ranging across anthropology and linguistics, musicology, material culture, gender issues and sociology - gives the general reader an introduction to this fascinating and relatively unknown community as well as an understanding of the wide range of issues which research on the Hmong in Australia has covered to date.

Both editors have extensive experience of Hmong populations in Asia and bring this experience to bear on a project that deals solely with the Hmong in an Australian context. The contributors to the book represent virtually all the serious researchers who have devoted their attentions to the Hmong in Australia.

In many ways the book is a tribute to the richness and importance of the cultural system the Hmong of today have inherited. In other ways more abstract issues to do with the effects of globalisation on local communities, social changes and the relationship of minority groups to the state, are also addressed. As such, this collection contributes to general understandings of processes of social change among recent immigrants to new countries of settlement, the relations they may hold with homelands and the new relations forged with other diasporic communities overseas.

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