Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Montagnards

Montagnard is French for mountaineer or mountain people. They are also known as the Hmong, the Vietnamese call them Moi, or savages.

They call themselves the Dega or Hmong and they are the indigenous people of the highlands of Southeast Asia. One Dega said, "Like the American Indians in the United States, we have lived for centuries in the Southeast Asia, long before foreigners ever touched our shores. When the Vietnamese overran the coastline, we settled peacefully in the mountains known today as the Central Highlands of South Vietnam".

They are not an oriental people. Many appear Polynesian and their language is non-tonal, resembling the group of languages which includes Polynesian. Once there were more than forty distinct and recognizable aboriginal groups that inhabited the Central Highlands of Vietnam and may have numbered 3 million persons, but now have dwindled to only a few hundred thousand survivors.

Today the Government of Vietnam seeks to destroy their culture by the policy of cultural leveling in which the differences among people are suppressed, diluted, and finally erased. Their world revolves around small villages where resources are shared and kinship is important. They farm the plateaus, the slopes, and the bottom land of ancient rivers. They fish the streams and hunt the forest.

Their lifestyle would almost seem idyllic, except for one thing. The Communist Vietnamese.

Over 200,000 had died buy the time of the fall of Saigon, many of them fighting along side of American Special Forces which still hold a special place in their hearts for these simple brave people. The children of these brave fighters are now trying to survive under Communist rule which represses their culture and punishes them for their practice of Christianity. The Dega are engaged in a battle of fighting off malnutrition, disease, and trying to cope with the ever encroaching Vietnamese population. The government of Vietnam has even admitted to the forced sterilization of female Dega.


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18 comments:

Warren said...

Michael, for you. ;-)

beakerkin said...

I have been wanting to read about
the Montagnards. They are the forgotten story of the Vietnam War.
Indigenous people around the world suffer while the left creates fictional indigenous people.

There is a disrespect for genuine
suffering. How many College students even know about Hmong , Montagnards, Karen , Copts ,Assyrians but every last one knows vollumes about Palestinians and none of it correct.

If you get a chance check out Vietpundit.It is a good site.

Warren said...

I once asked Huang about the Hmong.

He told me that they were "wild men" and that if you made love to a Hmoung woman, she always controlled you. I doubt that he ever knew one and was probably repeating what we would call urban legends.

There is no love lost between the Vietnamese and the Moutagnards.

beakerkin said...

This is actualy common in Sociology to give perceived lower classes extra sexual potency. It is an allegedly world wide phenomena. In Eastern Europe Gypsy women were said to be the most alluring.

Elijah said...

hey warren, you got that right!
LOL

kajando said...

Not to make light of a serious subject, but are there any Hmong women living in florida???

Warren said...

Kajando,
Why, you lookin for a hot date?

If you're looking for a little B&D, I might know the whereabouts of a little Latino number in Miami. She ain't much to look at but its hard to see through a blindfold anyway.
LOL!

I'd better put Elijah's comments in context.

He's a young Canadian, (about Drummaster's age), that owns a blog. He was talking about a comment I made on his blog about Spielberg and the Star Wars double reverse trilogy or, whatever the hell, 6 in an out of order sequence is. Beak's nephew at Nicotine and Rock had Elijah's blog, BLAAG, linked and I paid him a visit.

His blog is well written and he seems to favor the kind of dry disrespectful humor we all know, (and love), so well.
:-)

Elijah said...

thank you for clarifying my misplaced post!..lol

Warren said...

Elijah, you are welcome here any time.

Even though your post must have seemed a little strange out of context, it was far better that the anonymous posters, "FASCIST PIGS", posts we receive at The Beak Speaks.
:-D

Elijah said...

Excellent post warren. i read The Oath by Khassan Baiev, a surgeon who remained in Chechnya during the fighting, an illuminating read. Here another example of a people who suffered repeatedly over the last century.Deported en masse by Stalin.Yeltsin and now Putin continuing the persecution.Branded by Putin as terrorists. Do you really think russia would spend so much resources on such a tiny province because they want independance?
It is a strategic location that links to the caspian basin "OIL"

Warren said...

The Soviets originated the policies used against the Hmong and the Chechnyians are just one of many people displaced while Russians were moved in to take control of resources.

The world is full of repressed minorities, yet the political left turns a blind eye to those who are repressed by Totalitarian regimes in favor of those in far better situations inside countries with Democratic forms of Government (Blacks, Indians et al). Blacks, in the US, actually receive preferred status in the hiring and admittance policies. Black owed businesses receive preferential treatment in governmental contracts. Indians, (myself speaking as a "breed") suffer more from indifference and the policies of the US Governments, Bureau of Indian Affairs than any actual discrimination.

(I could go on, but that's a subject for another topic.)

Yet we hear nothing about the Hmong, Copts Assyrians, (the Beak has a whole list of them) et al. There is 'Real' genocide going on in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, yet we hear this endless bloviation about racist America and Israel and the oppression of minorities

Is there racism in the US and Israel? Yes, of course there is, its an individual thing that spans all races. It is not government policy.

I have been the target of it myself. Sometimes I'm way too White and others, I'm not near White enough.

My intention was to bring the plight of the Montagnards to the attention of others. In view of the politics involved, I don't know if anything substantial can be done.

It is all very sad.

"The Oath", Oh great, another book I need to read! :-)

Elijah said...

The oath is a great read, I think you would enjoy immensely considering your knowledge of these matters. The american Indian of course another example of a people systematically removed. A bunch of savages..no,
they were just, in the way.In the way of greed.Easy for a bunch of rich white men far removed to say "get rid of them"

Warren said...

Elijah,
There is truth to what you say, but all events lose meaning out of context.

My Taslagi, (Cherokee), ancestors first contact with Europeans was the Desoto expedition in 1540. There was gold involved, need I say more?

Indians were not the idyllic people living in harmony with nature, which seems to be the revisionist viewpoint, that many envision.

Truthfully, there is not a square inch of arable land on the face of the Earth that hasn't been fought over, lost and fought over again.

Indians fought wars against each other over land and hunting rights, took and were taken, as slaves, life was brutal and short.

The past is dead and gone, we cannot change it. We must move forward from here remembering the lessons of the past.

Some Indians are bitter but it does them little good. They dance the Ghost Dance and dream of the day when the white man will be destroyed.

They need therapy!

The Cherokee have been a war like if progressive people and more has been written and documented about them than any other Tribe. If you are interested, here is a very good online Cherokee History.

kajando said...

I can never pass up a humerous aside. I guess that makes me a minority. Plus if you know my wife, you know I'm oppressed too.
See threre I go again.

Warren said...

Guys are a minority and our women oppress us unrelentingly.
(I'm sure glad my wife don't read this thing! Ole Shortfuse.357 might ventilate me.)

Excuse me, I have to go rub her feet now.

Elijah said...

LOL

Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Back on Nov. 21st last year there was a Hmong immigrant in Minnesota that shot 8 people, killing 6 from a deer hunting tree stand with an SKS "assault rifle" on one of the victim's private property.

::cue Eric Cartman "Watch out for Charlie! In the trees!"::

Okay, joke time's over. Anyway, I remember the media trying to rationalize why this man would climb someone else's tree and shoot people by saying that the Hmong do not understand the concepts of "trespassing" and "private property," a notion I found laughable. Hmong are the only subset of humanity that doesn't behave as humans do? He used his own rifle, didn't he?

Put two infants in a play pen with just one toy and watch the war of wills begin. "Property rights" are instinctual. Communism is unnatural.

Warren, we may be distantly related somehow. My great-grandfather was full blood Cherokee. I don't claim any tribal affiliation because I'm basically a mutt.

Warren said...

Mr Beamish,

Yea, poor stupid minority, boo hoo, boo hoo.

Now let's give him a fair trial, then hang him.

Beamish, I'm nothing but a mutt myself! I just have marginally more blood quantum than you and how much more I don't really know. I'm not enrolled in any of the Bands, pretty much for the same reasons as you. I'm just real conscious of the heritage because I was around grandpa a lot and he used to tell me stories that I later found out were tribal tradition.

I played with a bunch of urbanized Indian kids growing up and family attitudes were re-enforced.

Even Sequoyah was a "breed", by most accounts. The Cherokee weren't exactly zenophobes and many whites were adopted into the Nation. You can see this quite readily by the many white surnames listed in the Dawes Rolls.

My wife has more blood yet (her Cherokee grandfather was a reservation Indian and her grandmother was half Apache). She and my son have struck for enrollment and should be accepted before the end of the year.

That's their choice.

Anyway, Welcome cousin!