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I read this book and loved it. Shares a lot of history of the Hmong people as well as a lot of insight into the experience of trying to live as an immigrant in this country. From Amazon: "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down explores the clash between a small county hospital in California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy. Lia's parents and her doctors both wanted what was best for Lia, but the lack of understanding between them led to tragedy. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest, and the Salon Book Award, Anne Fadiman's compassionate account of this cultural impasse is literary journalism at its finest. The current edition, published for the book's fifteenth anniversary, includes a new afterword by the author that provides updates on the major characters along with reflections on how they have changed Fadiman's life and attitudes."
Contributed by Kathryn Vercillo
In the Hmong community there are many factors that are different than other cultures found in America. You may have heard from other friends what is expected from a daughter no matter what their ethnicity is, and it is exactly the same for the Hmong community. We as daughters are expected to be the perfect daughter who wakes up early, cooks for the family, cleans the house, and is in charge of all the extra required chores around the house. The men on the other hand, during their teenage years are not expected to do anything but stay home, do the heavy duty work once and a while and then continue growing up. When they are of age, what they are expected the most is that they will be taking care of their parents, along with their wife who tends the house and does everything that their mother expected them to do back in her teenage years to the family she has been brought to after marriage. The men, especially the oldest is expected to be on top of everything and is the head of the household. This is the lifestyle that every hmong parent dreams about from their kids. Especially comparing the generation now to their generation back in Loas and Thailand a decade ago.
Contributed by PC Vang