"Yao Refugees: From Highland Southeast Asia to California"

Eric Crystal (University ofCalifornia at Berkeley)
15:00-17:00, November 7 (Mon), 2005
E207, 2nd Floor, CSEAS East Building

In l980 several thousand Yao villagers were flown to northern California as part of the American endeavor to support former allies in the Vietnam War. Eric Crystal has worked with the Yao community in Oakland, California (his hometown) for a quarter century. Of the 22,000 Yao flown to America in the l980's none had higher education, less than a dozen had completed high school, and the vast majority were unable to read and write Lao, much less English.

This presentation will discuss crucial aspects of traditional Yao culture, religion, and expressive arts as observed by Dr. Crystal in highland Southeast Asia (Vietnam) in recent years. Adaptive strategies off U.S. Yao refugees, maintenance of traditional religious beliefs and ceremonies, and the results of engagement with the U,S. educational system will be explored.

This presentation will be illustrated with photographs in power point format.

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