Pronounced: Buh-Ong / Spelled in Mien: Mba'ong; Mbuo'ong
Ong means "grandpa" in Mien and combined BAONG means thunder god.
One of the biggest problems we hear about in the community is that Mien people do not support each other or that there's an invisible wall creating separation amongst our people, so we decided to do something about that.
We choose BAONG because it carries a thunderous sound when you say it and it's the kind of positive impact we want to make.
Hi, my name is Michael Saelee and I'm the co-founder of BAONG.
Now I’m guessing for a lot of you that have stumbled upon our page you might see yourself as one of the following:
- You were born into a traditional Iu-Mien family (siepx-mienh life)
- You're the 1st-generation born from immigrant Mien parents (like me)
- Maybe you've entered that stage in your life where you feel a strong desire to trace back your Mienh roots
- Maybe you grew up in a town with a few Mien people or a limited Iu Mien community
- Or maybe you just weren't given the opportunity to learn how to speak Mien or learn about Mien culture, but still want to be part of something you cherish deeply (most of us)
Whatever the case, you've come to the right place and I am happy you are here.
The first thing I want to say is that if you’ve ever felt or experienced like you didn't belong or was out of place, or that there wasn’t support from Mien people in your life then it’s not your fault. For many of us, we're taught to mistrust, look down on others, and put ourselves first and that comes from an old way of thinking based on survival.
Our parents and grandparents came from a war-torn country (lookup "Secret War in Laos"), fighting to live every day and living a life full of hardship, sickness, and poverty. As you can imagine, this creates a stressful fight-or-flight way of life and was once necessary to ensure self-preservation and survival, but this is harmful and it prevents us from learning to trust each other. It's okay though.
The times have changed, and holding onto the past, the old way of life, well that isn't going to work in today's world. The new generation of Mien people know it and its hardly a surprise. We often hear things like, "why do mien people hate on each other?" Or "Why can't we be like them?" Looking at Americans or other Asian groups. So if you’ve ever wondered in the past how Mien people don’t pull each other up, then I want to put that fear to rest. We can do this. You just needed the right person to show you.
The old way of thinking wants you to believe you are still fighting to get by and that you need to put yourself above others. I’m here to tell you that’s wrong. The old way has its own reasons for wanting you to think that, but it’s not true.
If you’ve ever thought jealously, envy, and greed played a role in shaping our community then you're probably right. They don't want to see you succeed because that means you won’t be under their control and it keeps you from reaching higher. They want you to doubt yourself so you can keep struggling alone. The difference with us is that we actually care about your success and truly want to see you living the life of your dreams.
So that’s what we’re here to do. I know you have a dream to change the world and make an impact, and I want to show you how we can make that possible, by moving forward together as a new Modern Mien community, encouraging and supporting each other to be better and do better (checkout BAONG Network - free business training, and networking for Mien businesses and professionals).
As a nationless, flagless people spread out across the world (discover our roots here), the last thing we need is separation within our communities.
That's we why created #BAONGFAMILY to signal the beginning of change. It is also a flag and a rally, to call for all Mien people to unite.
BAONG is focused on elevating Mien communities through entrepreneurship, for the individual that means work opportunities and a better life. We're hustlers, grinders, work-hard and play-hard types.
It's easy to talk, but we like to walk the walk. Check out our latest project, KoysCoffee.com, a fair-trade relationship where we work directly with Mien farmers in Thailand/Laos/Vietnam. We're cutting out the predatorial middlemen, helping farmers break-out a cycle of generational poverty, and creating jobs overseas and at-home.
We're here to share success stories, how to advance in your business, as a professional, as a student, and as forward-thinkers.
We're here to pull each other up, give back, and give thanks. We believe the more success we can create in each other's lives, the greater the impact we can achieve together as a united, Modern Mien community.
It's time we put our own Mien people first.
Now take action and make your first purchase as a show of your commitment for wanting more for yourself, for your family, and for your people..
- A better Mien community
- A united Mien community
- A supportive Mien community
BAONG is our banner, our flag, and marks a turning point.
Join the movement #BAONGFAMILY
Be part of the change that is happening, now.
Hum….very interesting. I am a refugee and not of frist generation born here. Throughout my lifetime 52yearold Male, i have never hear anyone family stories that said or say stepping on others to get ahead. In our generation we look out for one another to get through the horrible situations our culture was put through. Yes, mien ppl are not supportive because we do not have great leaders unlike other groups. Then again you might be right. But the mien people and families that i know are not as you described (shady). Because being shady, you already know our ancestors will tuch you when you are shady and other people know they will ask in their ceremonies.