The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down - David Weiss Anth...

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David Weiss Anth 207 The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down The book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down , is the story of a tragic clash between Hmong culture and American medicine. Language barriers and cultural differences between American doctors and the Hmong are the cause of an unfortunate chain of events. Doctors were unable to communicate and ask questions to the Lee family and other Hmong patients. “I asked one doctor what he did in such cases. He said, “Practice Veterinary medicine” (pg. 25).” Due to these language barriers doctors had to find the problem and diagnose it without much if any help from the patient. This book is a description of American doctors struggling to diagnose, treat, and communicate to a Hmong infant and her family. In order to understand this tragedy one must know about the Hmong culture and history. The Hmong are a minority ethnic group of Laos , Thailand , Vietnam, Myanmar (Burma) and southern China. After the Vietnam War and a communist takeover of Laos many Hmong refugees fled to other countries. “The Hmong came to the United States for the same reason they had left China in the nineteenth century: because they were trying to resist assimilation (pg. 183).” Hmong people are very stubborn, fearless, and strong willed. Furthermore, “the Hmong do no like to take orders; that they do not like to lose; that they would rather flee, fight, or die than surrender; that they are not intimidated
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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down - David Weiss Anth...

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