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Orphan boy the farmer: evaluating folktales to teach safety to Hmong farmers.
Schermann MA; Bartz P; Shutske JM; Moua M; Vue PC; Lee TT
J Agromedicine 2008 Oct; 12(4):39-49
Many Hmong refugees continue their cultural tradition of farming in the United States. The purpose of this project was to evaluate culturally based storytelling as a method to convey farming safety information to Hmong families. Hmong have an oral tradition; spoken stories are used to teach about heritage, as well as personal and social values, and end with a lesson or moral that can apply to their lives. Stories from "Orphan Boy the Farmer" illustrate hazards, behaviors, consequences, and control strategies related to farm work typical of Hmong farming in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The message of the 3 stories is that the successful farmer works safely and keeps his children safe from injury. Three stories were read, in Hmong, at 6 events in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Data were collected from 118 participants using focus group discussions. Transcripts were translated and analyzed to identify ideas and reactions to the stories expressed by participants. Findings indicate that storytelling was an appealing delivery method for most of the participants of this study. Participants were able to recount story content pertaining to farming safety and relate messages to their experiences dealing with hazards; unanticipated findings uncovered barriers to adopting safe practices. Several aspects of the storytelling performance influence its effectiveness. Development of folktale content and implementation of storytelling performances are described.
Racial-factors; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Children; Work-practices; Behavior-patterns; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices
Issue of Publication
Work Environment and Workforce: Special Populations
Journal of Agromedicine
University of Minnesota
Page last reviewed: May 13, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division