Hmong Culture

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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down written by Anne Fadiman has been one of the most interesting books that I have ever read. It is a book that informed me about the very interesting Hmong culture and gave me insight on how two cultures can collide because of different values that each one may hold. The book intrigues the reader by introducing the Hmong culture and their beliefs. The Lee family is Hmong family that were refugees and settled down in Merced, California. The members of the Lee family include Foua who was the maternal Grandmother and Nao Kao was the maternal grandfather. They had nine children, their names were Chong, Zoua Cheng, May, Yer, True, Mai, Pang, and Lia. The book includes history of Hmong and all the struggles they …show more content…
For one, there was a very big language barrier and that itself made it very hard to communicate with the doctors. It took the doctors around three times to know that Lia suffered from Seizures and also it was very hard to let the parents know how to administer the prescriptions. Another clash was that the doctors did not understand how the Lees saw epilepsy as a spiritual cause. The doctors believed that Epilepsy was a disease and it needed to be treated with prescriptions while the parents thought that when their daughter who suffered seizures was going to become a Shaman in the future. The lees also thought that the prescriptions should be administered with smaller doses and shamanism rituals, hence, a little medicine a little neeb. However, this was very hard for the Lee’s to communicate with the doctors. When the doctors would check Lia’s blood levels to see if the prescription was being given they would find that it was not and the doctors did not like that whatsoever, the Lee’s thought that Lia was feeling better and the medicine should not be administered anymore, but the doctors strongly believe that it should. This made the Doctors very upset and contacted the Child Protective services to take their daughter away and be put in a Foster home where her meds could be properly administered. This was a very sad time for the Lee’s and in order to get their daughter back, they had to agree to comply with the medication but they would not pass the trials because they thought that their daughter was doing fine. It was not until Lia had a big seizure that left her in a vegetative state that she was able to go home. As one can see, there was many clashes between the family and the Doctors should have been more mindful of the Hmong culture when trying to treat Lia, this non-fiction story

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