4) Discuss the problems experienced by both Lia Lee’s parents and her doctors as a result of cultural and language barriers. There are several problems experienced by both Lia Lee’s parents and her doctors as a result of cultural and language barriers. The Dad thinks it is more important to spend time doing rituals, which is very different to US culture. As a result, the parents haven’t adapted to the US culture, and find it difficult to communicate with other people in America. Therefore, with little education, they do not understand that when you are sick, medicine may be a better method of treatment. As the parents have been taught to go to the shaman, they have a different perception about illness in society. However, his children want to adapt to the US culture (and learn Christianity), so they tend to spend more time working to make money, and learning in school. As the children grew up in the USA, they have understood that doctors treat the sick, and experienced a different perspective to treating those that are ill. A major issue is that Lia Lee’s Dad becomes very depressed because he feels as if his family is getting smaller. In his culture, family was very important, however in America, people are more self-sufficient, and tend to move away to find a job. Lia’s Dad hardly sees his children, and cannot adapt to the new culture of Christianity in America because he wants to stay true to his ancestors. He also had to go to elementary school in Chicago as he needed to read and write, a skill he did not need when he lived in south East Asia. The major issue with the doctors is that Lia Lee’s parents lived in a culture where treating the sick was a prime role for the shaman.
The Dad specifically doesn’t like hospitals because it is hard for him to heal there as it is not good for his spirits. He believes that if his Uncle Por’s nose is broken, he will die soon. Also, because he was the healer (shaman) in South east Asia, he finds it difficult to accept that doctors can treat illnesses, when he has been believing in the shaman’s perspective his entire life.
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