Title: Nraug Yaj Caiv Plawv aka Kev Hlub 1,000 Xyoo (It’s hard for me to translate the first name but I’ll give you the meaning of each word and you can figure it out the way you want it:
Yaj: Yang Clan (Has other meanings but in this phrase, it means the clan name. If I give you too many meanings, it will confuse you instead.)
Caiv: refrain, forbid
I know it’s kind of weird, right? How does these words make a sentence? Basically, Male from Yang Clan refrains ( or is forbidden) to eat hearts (of animals). Strange, strange indeed to those who are not familiar and also confusing, I agree. But it’s just the Hmong way. I will explain more in-depth later on.)
Okay, for the second title, it is “Kev Hlub 1,000 Xyoo”.
Word for word translation:
Kev: Path, way (Or pathway, lol) (But doesn’t really mean that in this title)
Hlub: love ❤
1,000=1,000 (LOL 😉 )
Xyoo= year or years
So all this sum up to: Love for 1,000 Years, no it actually is not Pathway of Love for 1,000 years. Despite in Hmong, they don’t have the extras like for, or, to, etc, it will still need to be added when translating it into English. “Kev” here actually just to help the express the word “Hlub” more, here it is basically use the same as the word “the” is used in English writing. Isn’t this interesting? It is to me, lol.
This is Tiam 1, which means 1st lifetime. There’s another post for the second lifetime: https://faladascreations.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/hmong-nraug-yaj-caiv-plawv-tiam-2/
So I doing a review/summary on this. This is a Hmong series. This relates to the Yang Clan, but I will explain that after I explain the series first. There are 8 parts. I have actually saw this series for a while, just trailers. But it wasn’t on YouTube and there was no way I was going to buy it, so I waited. And finally, someone took mercy on me and upload. P&P Production, yes!
Link to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwP7snlQ_jM
(If you don’t want to read my review, go ahead and watch it! 🙂 )
I will be telling the whole series so if you don’t want to be spoiled then refrain from reading it. I will have some Hmong words written, mostly names, but then I will try to translate it into English. Warning: My Hmong and English are certainly not perfect so don’t expect everything to be correct.
In this series, there are two lifetimes
(lol made me remember Three Lifetimes, Three Worlds Ten Miles of Peach Blossom and what QuippeQuest said in her video “As if one lifetime isn’t enough, but three lifetimes!”). This series is set in the more olden days (for 1st lifetime only), not modern. So here they are wearing Hmong clothes even though it is still common for Hmong people to be wearing the Hmong clothes in modern day but not very much do. More civilized girls will wear pants and jeans. But there are still Hmong people in the mountains that will wear the Hmong clothes or for the girls, they will wear a long skirt called tiab ka poom, which basically translate to skirt. But it is not just an ordinary skirt.
It’s not like this one, which was the one worn in more olden times. I just can’t find a picture of it on the internet but the girls in my house, including me, have those skirts. We actually use it as towels instead or wearing it everyday since we’re in the U.S.
Oookaay, so back to the story. There are gifs. (The videos/images does not belong to me, only the edits. Please do not re-post or take gifs without my permission, thanks. This is just a review for others to get to know the Hmong more and is not a way for me or others to make money off of it).
The first lifetime, the main guy, known as Tub Ruam (Basically, they call him “Dumb boy” ( Tub= son, boy Ruam= dumb), but it it’s not rude or meant to be mean/bad in Hmong as it may sound in English. Even his loving mother calls him that.) He is deaf and mute. His mother and him have followed their Yang Clan around but the clan did not care much about them nor acknowledge mother and son at all. They were left helpless and poor. But the village chief had Tub Ruam working for him. The village chief did not have any son but a daughter called Zuag Paj/Zoua Pa (Her name is kind of hard to translate. But Zuag usually means “comb” and Paj is “flower”. So basically “Comb Flower” right? Not exactly in Hmong, but it’s kind of complicated and weird. It’s a very beautiful name in Hmong and a popular name because it is the name of the protagonist in one of the well known Hmong folklore called Zuag Paj thiab Ntsuag (Zoua Pa and Orphan (literal translation))
Zuag Paj liked to tease Tub Ruam. Right here, just the start of the movie and she already teased him. Poor boy, I feel bad for him. The truth was, she found Tub Ruam to be handsome and liked him, however she does not admit it because she is of high status while he is just a peasant.
Also, Zuag Paj also have a fiance who is also her cousin. In the Hmong culture, it is alright to marry your cousin as long as you don’t share the same clan name. Most Hmong people although, do marry their own cousins.
In this scene, Zuag Paj’s fiance and cousin, Tub Tsheej Yim / Tou Chang Yi (I think that is how you spell it. Tsheej is one of the clan names, but can be use in a name. It doesn’t particularly have a meaning by itself like this but does if you add other words to it. It can be a first name by itself. Yim is the same as Tsheej, however, it is not a clan name. It can also be a name by itself. ), came to visit her. She however is not happy to see him and that displeased him a lot. Her friend, Ntxawm (known as Yer in English), taunted Tsheej Yim with a popular Hmong folklore known as Nuj Nplhiab (Nu Plai) thiab (and) Ntxawm (Yer). She practically stated that Zuag Paj has given her heart to someone else. That angered Tsheej Yim a lot and he sexually harassed Zuag Paj.
She ran back home, crying. Her parents asked her what happened but she chose to be silent, causing a misunderstanding. Her father then misunderstood that it was Tub Ruam that sexually harassed his daughter. Therefore, he ordered his people to drag Tub Ruam to his house, where he beat him up without hearing from Tub Ruam’s side. Zuag Paj then found out her father was beating the wrong person and went in to interfere. She then told the truth that it was Tsheej Yim and not Tub Ruam. That angered his father because he had hurt the wrong person. However, Tsheej Yim did not get any punishment because he was family. Zuag Paj got scold by her father and admits that she liked Tub Ruam to irritate her father, which worked but caused more harm to Tub Ruam.
Later on, Ntxawm asked Zuag Paj if she really do have feelings for Tub Ruam. She lied and even accused her friend of not understanding her. (She is pretty annoying at this point. But even if she admits it, they won’t ever get to be together. Her father is so unfair and evil. And her soon to be husband is no better. Their family is just like that). Tub Ruam comes back home, all beaten up. All he have is his sick mother to take care of him. It is so sad to see this scene. I feel so bad for both mother and son.
Tsheej Yim, envious that Zuag admits she had feelings for Tub Ruam, was infuriated and went to Tub Ruam’s house to beat him up even more. No matter how much his mother begged, Tsheej Yim had no mercy and keep on beating Tub Ruam.
After this, Zuag Paj felt even more bad and went to see Tub Ruam. (I think she should stop because she was the cause of the problem.)
Doing this have added more fuel to the village chief and Tsheej Yim’s anger. They had Tub Ruam and his mother kicked out of the village. They had nowhere to go and thus rested in some villagers’ farm house. However, the owners were displeased and had some men of the Yang clan come chase them out. The Yang clan men openly disowned them as one of their clans member and chased them out without care.
Since the village chief had made a mistake and beat up Tub Ruam that one time because he thought Tub Ruam had sexually harassed Zuag Paj, he reluctantly invited both mother and son back to the village as an apology for his wrongdoing. Choj (means bridge), a friend who is also a Yang, wanted to help Tub Ruam regain his voice. He believed that Tub Ruam wasn’t born dumb but something had happened that caused him to be like that. So they decided to go in search of the medicine to help him. However, Zuag Paj heard and wanted to go along. The men refused to take her because they did not want trouble. But this girl cried and accused them of not understanding her again. Seriously, if they get caught, she won’t get punish but they will. What part of it does she not understand????? So angry at her. Just stay away from him and everything will be fine. They were going to return but she ran off. Tub Ruam had no choice but to follow after in case she gets lost or hurt. And yes both things did happen to her. This cause them to spend the night together. Tsheej Yim and her father were enraged and beat up Tub Ruam. But a nicer and respected Yang clan elder stopped them and helped Tub Ruam out with the situation.
*After this point, I skim through the rest of the first lifetime, so my summary might not be a whole lot accurate.*
However, Tsheej Yim sure enough, found another way to accuse Tub Ruam. He probably hid his money and said that someone had stolen it. So they have this trail, which is to boil a pot full of water and have people put their hand in it (This is a tradition in Hmong.) If they are not guilty, it won’t burn their hands but if they are guilty, the hot water will burn their hands. This was an ancient thing back then that Hmong people use for trails that involves stealing and other crimes I think. No explanations needed, just this. A shaman also chant some magic words so that it won’t burn the innocent and only the guilty. This in my mind is complete craziness. Guilty or not, I will still be scared of putting my hands in the pot. I probably won’t because just the though is frightening enough. And keep in mind, it’s just not warm water, but extremely boiling hot water. Sometimes it’s not water, but oil. Every villager was forced to put their hands in the pot. Tub Ruam was the last one. He ,however, refused to do it and they finalized the case and blamed Tub Ruam. They beat him up severely. Seriously, how many times will he get beat up?
So I think after this, Tub Ruam’s mother died. However, Zuag Paj still chose to stay by his side. Doesn’t she realized that she hurt him enough and that he doesn’t need the pain anymore? But no, she’s so in love with him that she stayed by his side.
This caused the already enraged Tsheej Yim to be more angry. He decided to take Tub Ruam’s life. A Yang clan man took his life, and I think his heart. It was suppose to be like this. This then forbids all men (and yes, only men and boys, all the male descendants of the Yang Clan, does not affect other clans, only. This does not affect the females. So yes, me being a Yang and also a female, I am still allowed to eat the hearts of the animals. But not my father or brothers) of the Yang Clan from eating hearts of any animals or they will be cursed to become deaf and mute like Tub Ruam. (Now do you see why it relates to the title? The first one. If not, then go back and re-read it again. This is part of Yang clan tradition and cannot be violated.) This was because they had taken the heart out of a deaf and mute person.
So Tub Ruam died from this. I don’t know what happened to Zuag Paj. But then the first lifetime ended.
So a little bit of history and connection, this series relates a lot to the Hmong customs and especially to me. It focused on Yang Clan, one of the 18 Hmong Clans. The primary focus was on the this Yang Clan superstition of the Yang Clan male not being able to eat the heart. The story is actually told in different ways but it hold the same message. I’ll share a story I found online by another blogger.
Credits to: A Hmong Woman
And here is her version:
Yangs can’t eat chicken hearts.
A long time ago, the Yang clan was having a party. They killed cows, pigs, and chickens to celebrate. They left a young man who was deaf and mute to tend the pot of oil where the chickens were frying in. Later, as the men of the clan came to get the chickens, they couldn’t find the chicken hearts. They accused the young man to have eaten them all, so they killed him. As the men emptied the pot of oil later, they found that the chicken hearts had sunk to the bottom of the pot. From then on, males from the Yang clan cannot eat chicken hearts. If they do, they will become blind, deaf, and/or mute.
And yes, about the names, Hmong names do have weird meaning. You can literally call your child “bridge”, “Dumb boy” and it’s not weird. This is very natural for Hmong people and maybe even in the other Asian races as well, but it may not be for others. It actually sounds very beautiful in Hmong as I’ve mention. It’s good that their name have meanings whereas my name, even though it’s Hmong, does not have a meaning. It’s Phuab, which is the high tone. (There are 6-8 tones in Hmong: high, mid, low, high-falling, mid-rising, low-checked (creaky), and mid-falling (Cr: Wikipia: Hmong Language)) Some people who are not familiar with the tones may mistaken my name and think that it means “towel” which is phuam, which is a low-checked (creaky) tone.
Any questions and comments? Please ask away. 🙂