The Spirit Catches You and You Call Down Essay

4621 Words Nov 22nd, 2013 19 Pages
09/09/2013
Assignment 1
1. What do you think of traditional Hmong birth practices (pp. 3-5)? Compare them to the techniques used when Lia was born (p. 7). How do Hmong and American birth practices differ?

I find the traditional birth practices peculiar and very unsafe. The conceiving of a child should be done in a sterile environment by professionals, so that the risks of negative effects like infections, wounds, etc. is minimized. Nevertheless I think the tradition, that the placenta is buried by the father, so that the soul can return to it’s first jacket, in order to continue it’s after death journey, is a wonderful way of believing what comes after death.
Professional doctors handled Lia’s birth the American way, with her mother
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They want to be accepted as free men with the right to live in this world and history has made them proof their will to achieve this status several times up until today.

3. Dr. Dan Murphy said, "The language barrier was the most obvious problem, but not the most important. The biggest problem was the cultural barrier. There is a tremendous difference between dealing with the Hmong and dealing with anyone else. An infinite difference" (p. 91). What does he mean by this?

While the language barrier became very obvious to them as the Hmong language has very long descriptions for even the simplest words, the cultural barrier lead to a cultural bias in regards of western medicine. Hmong patients expected to be released of the ER with any kind of medicine they wouldn’t need. In addition to that the Hmong had a negative attitude towards surgery or any other invasive treatments, as it was frowned upon in their culture. One aspect that made it even harder was that pregnant Hmong women preferred to stay at home till the really last moment, so that often Hmong children were born in the parking lot or the elevator. They distrusted the western medicine so much that they preferred not getting better by gratefully accepting the medicine and diagnosis to save their pride and dignity. Just as history showed, they would rather die than give up their pride.

4. The author says, "I was struck...by the
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