Cultural Itis : Two Cultures

Decent Essays

Cultural-itis: Two Cultures, One Illness

A person may ask a friend, “What color is this book?” The friend would say the cover is black, but the first person would argue that it is red. The truth is, they are both right. The color of the book depends upon which side of it is exposed to the person. This situation is comparable to the difference in world views. Depending upon which side one looks at a situation, will determine the actions that a person would take. In the story of Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, the relationship between the family of a sick Hmong child, Lia, and Lia’s doctors, Neil and Peggy Ernst, seems to be harder to remedy than Lia’s illness itself. When looking at Lia’s dad, Nao Koa, and one of the main doctors that Lia is treated by, Neil Ernst, the difference in world views are opposite ends of the spectrum. Although Nao Koa and Neil Ernst want the same thing for Lia, their conflicting world views on the nature of life and the purpose of life are the most challenging component of treating Lia’s rare form of epilepsy.
The nature of life can be described as how someone experiences the world around them. Depending on a person’s beliefs, the nature of life can be composed by questioning the understanding someone has about the mind, body and soul (quote text book). The understanding of the mind, body, and soul between Nao Koa’s perspective and Neil Ernst’s perspective run the gamut. Nao Koa’s nature of life is based primarily off of the Hmong culture.

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