Anthroweek12 - function somewhat in such a different...

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Summary: Week 12 This week, we needed to finish reading the second half of, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down . The second half of the book starts with the story of the Hmongs walking from Laos to Thailand. They faced many hardships during this journey; starvation and persecution especially. It wasn’t uncommon for friends and family members to die on the way and be left, as the Hmongs needed to take on an “every man for himself” attitude to survive. They even killed off children if they thought they’d be too loud and would give their location away. Then the book goes back to Lia’s story, with her in a vegetative state, at home. The Hmongs tried desperately to rub herbs on her and try to get her health back, but it was to no avail. When the Hmongs traveled to America, they refused to assimilate into American culture. They had to be taught all kinds of social norms, even toilet training, in order to
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Unformatted text preview: function somewhat in such a different society than their own. Theyve stuck together, living near and around their clan members who provide financial and emotional support for each other. According to Hmong beliefs, Western medicine interferes with the harmony of the soul, disrupting its balance. This is thoroughly discussed in chapter 18, where the debate of whether the soul or life is more important. To the Hmongs, if a person dies because they go untreated, at least their soul is alive and at peace. The last chapter relates this to Lia in that they discuss a sacrificial ritual they performed where they sacrificed two pigs in hopes of finding Lias soul. This entire book definitely was an eye opener in that it almost seems like the Hmongs are from a different time....
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This note was uploaded on 05/09/2008 for the course ANTHRO 104 taught by Professor Bowie during the Spring '08 term at Wisconsin.

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