Do you understand the teachings of your culture? Personally, as I’m growing older I have lost touch with my cultural heritage. I no longer speak my language fluently, nor do I understand my family’s customs and traditions. I’ve been adapting to the American culture and forgetting my own Mien culture. The Mien culture is a lost culture that’s not well-known in the Western Hemisphere, due to wars which resulted in the loss of their homeland. Many Mien youth are impacted by the three concepts: materialism, maturation, and image. Being a high school senior and a part of the Sac BHC Youth Media Team, I’m aware of the surrounding influences the youth are affected by. My name is Lily and social media plays a big role in the youth embracing superficial values.
Due to the exposure to Westernization through media influences, the youth are slowly assimilating and becoming more Americanized. TV, radio, schools, advertisements, etc. are some good examples the Mien youth have been affected by. Money is one materialistic value they desire to gain expensive, brand name things. However, laziness prevents them from being motivated to work and earn their luxuries. Also, puberty paves the way for the youth to mature and grow up faster. Girls begin wearing makeup and provocative clothing, while boys become obsessed with their physical image and sexual relations. Through these things, they’re misled into the “Hollywood” image. Fashions and trends sway them to conform into the youth culture, which are the way adolescents live, and the norms, values, and practices they share. Piercings and tattoos are symbols of fashion as well as an act of defiance. Many are forgetting their native tongue because English is present everywhere. These specific ideas in the media allowed many of the Mien youth to integrate into the Western culture, leaving behind their customs and beliefs.
Through generations, traditions have been lost. But eventually, the upcoming generations will want to learn more about their culture through attending classes. These classes, offered at the United Iu Mien Community Center on 6000 Lemon Hill Ave., teach the youth about the Mien history, language, and present-day situations in the Mien community. The Mien youth have become accustomed to the youth culture by following similar morals.