From the Book "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" Questions and Subjects for Discussion. 1. What do you think of traditional Hmong birth practices? Compare them to the techniques used when Lia was born. 2. Over many centuries the Hmong fought against a number of different peoples who claimed sovereignty over their lands; they were also forced to emigrate from China. How do you think these upheavals have affected their culture? What role has history played in the formation of Hmong culture? 3. Dr. Dan Murphy said, “The language barriers were the most obvious problem, but not the most important. The biggest problem was the cultural barrier. There is a tremendous difference between dealing with the Hmong and dealing with anyone else. An infinite difference” (p. 91). What does he mean by this? 4. The author says “I was struck by the staggering toll of stress that the Hmong exacted from the people who took care of them, particularly the ones who were young, idealistic, and meticulous” (p.75). Why do you think the doctors felt such great stress? 5. Dr. Neil Ernst said, “I felt it was important for these Hmongs to understand that there were certain elements of medicine that we understood better than they did and that there were certain rules to have to follow with their kids` lives. I wanted the word to get out in the community that if they deviated from that, it was not acceptable behavior” (p.79). Do you think the Hmong understood this message? Why or why not? What do you think of Neil and Peggy? 6. Dr Roger Fife is liked by the Hmong because, in their words, he “doesn`t cut” (p.76). He is not highly regarded by some of the other doctors, however. One resident went so far as to say “He`s a little thick.” What do you think of Dr. Fife? What are his strengths and weaknesses? The author also speaks of other doctors who were able to communicate with the Hmong. How were they able to do so? What might be learned from this? 7. How did you feel about the Lees` refusal to give Lia her medicine? Can you understand their motivation? Do you sympathize with it? 8. How did you feel when Child Protective Services took Lia away from her parents? Do you believe it was the right decision? Was any other solution possible in the situation?
THE SPIRIT CATCHES YOU AND YOU FALL DOWN Studentâ€™s Name: Professorâ€™s Name: Course Title: Date: 1 What do you think of traditional Hmong birth practices? Compare them to the techniques used when Lia was born. The traditional Hmong birth practices represent a traditional and conservative society where modernism and civilization were not available. For example, if Lia was to be born in the traditional Hmong era, her mother â€“ Foua Yang â€“ would have squatted on the floor and pulled the baby (Lia) out of her womb with her own hands. The mother would have done this without letting the baby touch the dirt floor. Further, Liaâ€™s mother would have labored in silence without alerting her neighbors. The above practices present two scenarios that indicate a traditional and uncivilized society. In stark contrast to the Hmong practices, Lia is born in an American hospital setting where everything is modernized. Another contrast is the way Liaâ€™s placenta (...