The Significance of Mien Generational Names (Buic)

By David Saechao (Chao Yao Tzio) While generation names (buic) are becoming less popular—in terms of personal use—they still remain the basis for naming children born into Mien families. How Mien Generation Names Work Traditional Mien names—not always in this order—are usually composed of the clan name, first name, and personal name. For both boys …

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Yao Daoism: Five Things to Know

By David Saechao For many Mien-Americans raised in the "old" religion, Yao Daoism is somewhat of a mystery. Even as they participate in the sipv wuonh ritual and receive the small ball of paper or assist family members with preparations for large ceremonies, there is a sense of bewilderment that some questions have not been …

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An Interview w/ the Owner of Chiew Insurance Services

Chiew Saechao—of Redding—opened up Chiew Insurance Services in 2015 to offer affordable auto insurance options and has since become one of the more successful companies in Shasta County. I sat down with him to talk a little bit about his business and what it took for him to get it started. Where were you born …

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The Elephant Hunter of Yunnan

By David Saechao It was a harmonious spring morning in Huibu. The tea trees, hiding beneath the lush evergreen tropical landscape, were breathing comfortably beside the rising sun. Some of the villagers from the adjacent mountain were dispersing from their homes and anxious to tend their crops a few li away. But among the cluster …

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Why Mien People Can’t Keep Quiet During Speeches

Just a few days ago, I had the privilege of attending a Mien scholarship fundraiser party in Sacramento, California. The event was well-organized and emceed by two of our community's finest. It began with an apparent atmosphere of excitement for both scholarship recipients and the Chinese-Mien delegation in attendance. However, as speeches were given, there …

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Do Mien People Really Hate on other Mien People?

By David Saechao It is truly remarkable that the Mien (Yao) have survived as a nationality. In spite of the continuous presence of overbearing governments and centuries of cross-culturalism, the Mien are a resilient people and caretakers of a proud culture. Even as they dispersed throughout Southern China and Southeast Asia and cultivated different dialects, …

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The Yao Nationality and the Iu Mien

By David Saechao On October 1, 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong stood atop Tiananmen Gate in Beijing and proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China. The civil war between the Red Army and Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists had ripped the country apart, and one of many announcements was a call for unity—all Chinese nationalities, even those …

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A Nightmarish Dream or an Encounter with Ong Aiv

By David Saechao My eyes are wide open. I am restless—frightened. I stare into the darkness of my room wondering what the heck just happened. It was just a dream, I thought, yet it felt so real. The dream resumes with a feeling of joy and excitement and the opportunity to spend some time with …

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Kaoliang-Fen: So where did it come from?

By David Saechao Kaoliang-Fen—one of few dishes that can usually get Mien girls—and some guys—excited.  For many, just the mere thought of kaoliang-fen brings about an uncontrollable mouth-watering sensation.  Perhaps, it's the thought of that “pleasant” aroma of the flour jelly, the sour tamarind and tomato soup, or the fusion of dopc zeic, peppers, garlic, …

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