Struggles of the Family of Refugees in the Latehomecomer

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The Latehomecomer tells the story of a Hmong family’s difficult journey from Laos to America, escaping persecution and seeking safety. The Hmong people, proud and resilient, refuse to adopt Vietnamese customs and instead value their own culture, heritage, and unique perspectives on governance. Despite their disapproval of the Vietnamese communist regime, they wholeheartedly support the ideals of the United States and vigorously defend them. Even though many endured losses and torture during the war, their dedication to preserving their way of life and protecting their community remains unwavering. After arriving in America, the family continues to face challenges alongside ongoing struggles.

Upon arrival in the United States, the family faced challenges in adapting to a new and unfamiliar environment. Even after settling down, they had to make an effort to conform to the American lifestyle. While there are no laws against preserving one’s religion, values, and identity, individuals coming to America must assimilate to some extent. This situation has both advantages and disadvantages. It may be difficult for groups like the Hmong people to adjust and learn new customs, but it is positive that they can maintain most of their values and cultural identity in America. The process of adjustment and conformity would have been tough for culturally proud Hmong people and others with strong traditions. The refugees who migrated here had to learn English and find employment. Although challenging, this ultimately benefited her, her family, and the Hmong people as they escaped a land plagued by constant fear of capture, torture, and death. Those Hmong people who stayed in Vietnam and Laos after the war endured immense hardships once the American armed forces left – their only protection gone.In addition to facing initial hardships such as hunger, thirst, and the destruction of their homes, the Hmong community also had to endure ongoing difficulties caused by Vietnamese and Laos soldiers who were determined to eliminate them. Furthermore, after American aid stopped, the remaining Hmong individuals faced even more challenges as their access to food drops and medical supplies decreased, making their situation worse.

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The importance of family is highly emphasized in the lives of this particular family, as they view their family as their main source of support. They deeply value each other due to the challenges they have faced and the constant presence of death, which emphasizes the significance of their familial ties. Additionally, they are taught from a young age to show respect and admiration for their elders, recognizing their wisdom and expertise in all aspects of life. The younger members of the family greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn from their older relatives. This theme of respect for elders is demonstrated in Gran Torino, where Tao and his sister display great honor towards their mother and grandmother. However, in this specific movie, Tao’s sister takes on a more dominant role because he is naturally quiet. Overall though, I believe that girls tend to be more reserved and soft-spoken as shown in The Latehomecomer.

Yang’s grandmother had reservations about moving to America due to her strong attachment to her homeland and the admiration she and her ancestors received there. Back in her native country, she held a prestigious position at the camp where she resided. However, upon arriving in America, she quickly realizes that American society does not hold her in the same esteem as the Hmong community at the camp does. While her family members in America would still cherish and respect her, society as a whole would not recognize her role as a healer and shaman with the same level of reverence. I believe it is her immense pride in her achievements, homeland, and the people who deeply value her that prevents her from relocating.

Emigrating from one’s homeland and relocating to a different place is undoubtedly challenging. The United States has a distinct way of life that its people have grown accustomed to. Nonetheless, individuals of any race can flourish in this country by wholeheartedly adopting the American way of life. Doing so makes assimilation easier and reduces cultural obstacles. In my opinion, all immigrants in America should set boundaries for themselves when it comes to preserving their own ideas and culture while also embracing American culture.

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Struggles of the Family of Refugees in the Latehomecomer. (2016, Aug 19). Retrieved from

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