Title: Hmong of French Guiana and Hmong of France: from family and roots tourism towards tourism experience of existential authenticity
Authors: Marie-Odile Géraud
Addresses: University Paul Valéry Montpellier 3, LERSEM EA 4584, F34000, Montpellier, France
Abstract: French Guiana is a French overseas department located between Brazil and Surinam. Hmong refugees have been settled there in 1977 and 1979 and Hmong villages have become an important tourist attraction. Most of these tourists are Hmong from mainland France or US relatives. This family-oriented tourism has gradually shifted towards a form of roots and nostalgia tourism in which Hmong tourists aim to rediscover a setting and a way of life lost during the diaspora. But in the last ten years, another reason to visit Guiana has emerged: living the yuj siab life or, to quote the Hmong, "living according to one's heart." This article intends to explore all these tourism experiences and practices, and how identity tourism shifts towards this new form of inward-looking tourism focused on the emotional experience, released of any clear reference to Hmong culture and history in an Asian context.
Keywords: Hmong refugees; French Guiana; VFR tourism; diaspora tourism; roots tourism; memory tourism; authenticity; Hmong heritage; Hmong; tourism experience; diasporic communities; nostalgia tourism.
International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2018 Vol.6 No.2, pp.172 - 190
Received: 21 Nov 2017
Accepted: 13 Mar 2018
Published online: 18 May 2018 *