The United States and its people take great pride in knowing that the U.S. is the greatest nation in the world. That is why it's our duty to father the rest of the world when conflicts arise. American culture and ideals are also thought to take precedents over all other cultures and ideals. In the book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall down, written by Anne Fadiman, there are many great examples of how American culture is imposed on the people residing with in its enclosed boundaries. The U.S. going to war in Vietnam is also a great example of how the U.S. tried to impose American values on the "less fortunate." Through understanding America's so called "duty" in Vietnam one can interpret the intervention of American idealism in the life of a Hmong family.
Lia lee, a little Hmong girl, has a severe case of epilepsy. She is the daughter of Nao Kao and Foua lee who are among the many Hmong refugees that fled to the U.S. The Hmongs are very simple and proud people. They take pride in the fact that they have never been ruled by anyone. Even though they have been driven away and separated many times they always seem to find themselves and their culture, never seemingly adapting to the major culture. Even when French missionaries settled in their area and brought their western ideals, medicine, religion, and values they never really accepted them. Fadiman stated in her book that in reality, "no Hmong is ever fully converted" (35).
The Hmong believe that the human soul is a prized possession and should always be kept happy. They believe that the soul has a domain where it rests usually where they were born. After a Hmong woman gives birth, the father digs a hole and buries the baby's placenta. "If it was a girl, her placenta was buried under her parents' bed; if it was a boy, his placenta was placed in a place of greater honor, near the base of the house's central wooden pillar." (5) Once a Hmong dies,... [continues]
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(2002, 04). American Intervention. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 04, 2002, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/American-Intervention-40362.html
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