AskDefine | Define mien

Dictionary Definition

mien n : dignified manner or conduct [syn: bearing, comportment, presence]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Demeanor; facial expression or attitude, especially one which is intended by its bearer.
  2. A hilltribe in Southeast Asia. Also called Iu-Mien. Part of the Yao peoples of China.



From the neuter of Latin meus


  • lang=fr|/mjɛ̃/
  • SAMPA: /mjE~/


le mien , la mienne , les miens mpl, les miennes fpl

Extensive Definition

Mien Americans are primarily Indochinese refugees that may have been born in or have become naturalized citizens of the United States of America. This group arrived in the early 1980s as the last wave of refugees post-Vietnam War.
Many Mien American elders fought alongside the United States CIA during the "Secret War" of Laos in an effort to block weapon trails to Vietnam. When the American operation pulled out in 1975, hundreds of families were forced to seek refuge in the neighboring country of Thailand. Hundreds died during this heart-breaking journey on foot through the deep jungles of Southeast Asia. In the next few years, thousands settled in Thailand refugee camps awaiting uncertain fate. Through programs from the United Nations, roughly 60,000 were sponsored to western countries such as the United States.
Approximately 50,000 Mien settled along the western coast of the U.S. in states of Washington, Oregon and California.
Approximately 10,000 settled in other parts of the country, in states of Alabama, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois and other states.
This ethnicity group has yet to be included in the United States Census and consequently, current population numbers have been skewed anywhere from 50,000 to 150,000.


Most Mien Americans arrived in Laos from Northern China during the late 1800s. Reasons for this migration remains controversial, varying from political to socio-economic ventures.
Since resettlement in America, historical contacts have been and continue to be made, between Mien Americans and Mien in China and Vietnam. Many Mien American relatives still remain in the countries of Laos and Thailand.
As a people from ancient, isolated farming societies, first Mien American Generations struggled through obstacles of language, acculturation and more as they resettled in bustling, modern cities. As younger generations Americanize, they face generational gaps, loss of language, loss of culture, lack of identity and more. Community-based organizations formed among communities in Washington, Oregon and California to provide direct services, catering to resettlement issues.
They celebrated their 31th anniversary celebration in Sacramento, California on July 7, 2007. Achievement awards will be given to Mien American doctors, lawyers, educators, scholars, leaders and many, many more.


- - LANGUAGE: Mienh - - ETHNICITY: Iu Mien, Mien, Yao. - This group is also under the "Yao" classification in China. It has become apparent that the term "Yao" is no more than a longstanding name used by host Chinese. These peoples traditionally do not call themselves "Yao" and not all "Yao" are Mien. - - The Republic of China made the name "Yao" official in 1945 by classification for government purposes. The classification associates minorities that may or may not have related ancestry. Although they share festivities of the same creation story, PanHu (Pien Hung), it is hard to determine what relations are beyond that fact. Through recent contacts, some spoke the same language as Mien Americans while others did not, with unintelligible conversation, clearly distinct cultures, food, dress and more. There continue to be various names under the "Yao" classification for these differences, named by the Chinese, such as: Bunu, Dongnu, Panyao, etc. - - It is extremely difficult to find history behind Mien origins when the term "Yao" is used. So many sources (both Western and Chinese) describe the "Yao" history, yet the particular language and people is never defined.


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