The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Dwn

2608 Words10 Pages
The entry book “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” is about the cultural conflict between the Hmong culture and the American culture. These differences are caused by the strong beliefs held by the Hmong culture, and their inability to accept a new culture. There are a lot of misunderstandings and conflicts between the two cultures in the book. This is seen especially when the doctors are trying to convince the Lee family about Lia's treatments. The Lees are stuck in their ways and it is really hard for them to accept what the doctors have to say about their beloved daughter’s health. They believe in their own ways, whether it is helpful or not. They refuse to accept the doctors' ideas, and because the treatments that the doctors give are based on the scientific experiences, and not traditions or culture, the doctors believe that the Hmong's ideas are unreasonable or even stupid. However, when the cultural conflicts are faced with love, their differences become meaningless, which leads me to think that love is the only way to cause these cultures to connect.
The Hmong cultural/religious belief in shamanism animism claims that wicked spirits are continually searching human souls, mostly those of defenseless or unappreciated children. For the Hmong culture, epilepsy is known as qaug dab peg which means, "the spirit catches you and you fall down" in English (Fadiman, 1997, p.3, 4). Epileptic episodes are seen as affirmation of the epileptic's capability to enter and

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