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Language and Culture: A Mien Refugee Perspective

Throughout Southeast Asia the coasts and fertile plains are peopled by large ethnic groups that make up the majority populations of the nation states. These lowland peoples have been influenced by the world religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity and have been connected by trade, cultural exchange, and political relationships with distant nations and cultures for many centuries. By contrast, the peoples in the mountain hinterlands are divided into many distinct ethnic groups, who speak a plethora of mutually unintelligible languages and must struggle to preserve their ethnic identity in the face of cultural and political ...

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