A Chinese model dresses up in Hmong attire.

A Chinese model dresses up in Hmong attire.


Fluffy haired Hmong children.

Fluffy haired Hmong children.


A trendy European girl wears a shiny-bohemian Hmong inspired mini-skirt.

A trendy European girl wears a shiny-bohemian Hmong inspired mini-skirt.


Young Hmong teens dressed in fancy Hmong clothes.

Young Hmong teens dressed in fancy Hmong clothes.


A pencil sketch of a Hmong woman.

A pencil sketch of a Hmong woman.


Le Marché de l’amour/ The Love Market

Once a year, boys and girls from the Hmong ethnic minority run down the surrounding hills towards the market. Wearing their best clothes, they start this unique day with dances and songs as strategies of seduction and romance. These flirtations carry on until late night, resulting in newly formed couples.


Every odd year or so, some Hmong children are born with blond hair.  Casual observers will wrongly assume these children have albinism.  Though Hmong children can also be born with albinism, in general, Hmong people who are born light-haired are not necessarily albino.

The blond hair of Hmong children will generally fade into a light honey brown as they grow older. However, there are exceptions to the rule, some Hmong children remain blond their entire lives. In this case, some will choose to dye their blond hair black in order to conform to the norm. Unlike people raised in Western culture where blond hair is the highest achievement of beauty and glamour, traditionally, Hmong people prefer black hair and fair skin and do not care much for blond hair.

According to geneticists, there is a particular Hmong blond gene that is a very specific gene only found in the Hmong. This Hmong blond gene has very little to do with the Caucasian blond gene.  It’s completely different from the Caucasian one, thus contrary to assumptions, blond Hmong children are not the result of the mixing of the two groups of people. 

In ancient wars between the Han-Chinese and Hmong people, the blond haired Hmong fighters were easily spotted and picked off to attack. Meanwhile, in Southeast Asia, blond haired Hmong children are coveted by other ethnic groups and often targeted for kidnappings.

In other Asian ethnicities, there are no blond genes, so it is a very unique gene among the Hmong group. If a Hmong individual married a person of Chinese, Vietnamese or Korean ancestry, there is no chance their child would be born with fair hair because throughout history, none of those other Asian groups have ever developed blond genes. However, even if a Hmong individual, let’s say, married a blond Caucasian person, they would not automatically have a child born with blond hair because, as mentioned, the Hmong blond gene and the Caucasian blond gene are utterly different.  Only marriage between two Hmong individuals who both carry the Hmong blond trait would result in a blond haired Hmong child.


The Hmong people, from China to America

The video was created by Christian Khang, with media assistance by Dylan Hubbard, and with the assistance of Cherish Khang, Nou Lo, Mai Vang, Pang Yang, and Steve Yang in research, scripting, and narration. Together these students narrate the persecution that the Hmong people have endured since the beginnings of their people in southern China. 


Hmong girls dressed in their best outfits for celebration.

Hmong girls dressed in their best outfits for celebration.


A sketch of Hmong characters in a popular Chinese videogame.

A sketch of Hmong characters in a popular Chinese videogame.


A Hmong woman in China.


Hmong women in black and white portrait.

Hmong women in black and white portrait.



Two young Hmong friends spend the day chatting and picking pretty flowers.

Two young Hmong friends spend the day chatting and picking pretty flowers.


A young Hmong lady strikes a pose for a fashion shoot. The Hmong style of clothes have not changed in several centuries and the classic elements that make up Hmong fashion continue to inspire the world of fashion. The Hmong youth of America, along with acclaimed designers around the world continue to enthusiastically embrace and experiment with Hmong fashion.

A young Hmong lady strikes a pose for a fashion shoot. The Hmong style of clothes have not changed in several centuries and the classic elements that make up Hmong fashion continue to inspire the world of fashion. The Hmong youth of America, along with acclaimed designers around the world continue to enthusiastically embrace and experiment with Hmong fashion.