Journal of Undergraduate Research


converting gendered expectations, emerging feminist discourse, Protestant, Seventh-Day Adventist, Hmong


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




During my second week living in a Hmong village outside of Chiang Mai, I sat down with a middle-aged woman while she was working on her embroidery. She is a Protestant Christian who has been married twice, once to an old culture Hmong man, and currently to a Thai Buddhist. I was surprised to hear that she didn’t follow the Hmong traditional expectation of converting to either of her husband’s belief systems. When I asked her why she never relinquished her faith in Christianity, she said that she was afraid to follow her first husband in old culture traditions. Her grandmother, the first Christian in her family, had told her how she had “suffered as a woman in the old culture.” This confident woman testified to me that Christianity is the only way for Hmong women to be truly liberated and freed from the constraints of traditional Hmong beliefs and rituals.

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