Summary Of Hmong Culture

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This story takes a look into the lives of a young Hmong girl, Lia Lee, and her family. Lia suffers from epilepsy and through her tragedies we begin to see the lack of communication and understanding from one culture to the next. Lia’s family had migrated to Merced before having Lia in 1982, Lia was birthed at the Merced Community Medical Center, where things were all but ordinary for her family. Foua had delivered all of her other children in Laos, where the customs were extremely different from those of the United States, therefor making this birth very unusual for her. They faced many difficulties during the birth and after, when it came to having Lia treated for her epilepsy. The hospital was not aware of Hmong cultures, and was unable…show more content…
The United States culture is a completely different experience for the Hmong people, something that is very foreign and unusual for them. The Hmong people and Lia’s family especially are faced with huge culture shock when it comes to the United States heath care system. They are use to more spiritual practices, while the doctors are focused on using strictly medication in order to heal patients. These completely different methods make it difficult to finding a common ground when trying to heal Lia. Many things that the Hmong culture is accustom to are not very well excepted in the US culture. We see an example of ethnocentrism when Lia’s family tries to take home the placenta from the hospital. Though this is traditional for them the hospital does not find it appropriate and fears what could happen if they were to take the placenta. Though things are much different for the Lee family, we see a bit of cultural relativism in Lia’s mom when she makes the decision to have her baby at the medical center. Though this is a completely different experience for her, she has trust that the doctor are there to help her and that she will have a safe delivery. It takes a great deal of courage for the Hmong people to instill their trust into something that is so foreign to them, but it is not until they do so that they can begin to grow and…show more content…
It is crucial that we understand ourselves, our culture and our world, but it is at the same time crucial that we are open to new philosophies, opinions and ideas. No one culture, race, or group, is superior, and it is not until we have an understanding of this that we are truly able to flourish as a society. “… the culture of biomedicine is equally powerful. If you can’t see that your own culture has its own set of interests, emotions, and biases, how can you expect to deal successfully with someone else’s culture” (Fadmin, 1997, 261) It is critical to understand the value of your culture, in each culture we have different interests, ideas, and values, things that are important to us. All of which we hope that other cultures will respect. On that note, we must understand that we want respect, so we need to respect other cultures. Each culture is unique but no one culture is superior, we must learn to work side by side in order to reach our full potential. There is a great deal we can learn from other cultures, however we are unable to do so if we remain close minded. Our way is one way, but it is not the only way, and it important to be understanding of that. A little cross-cultural communication can go along way, and can put us on the right track to a better and more equal
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