Chapters 9 & 10

The recents chapters of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, continue to provide information about Lia’s life once she is returned to her family from foster care and go into more depth about the Hmong history and their difficult times during the Vietnam War. Chapter 9 begins with Lia returning home to her parents after a brief stint in foster care. She is still struggling with her epileptic seizures, but now they are producing more neurological effects on Lia’s well-being. She is not behaving in the ways she did before being taken into custody. The Lees blame this enhancement of Lia’s condition on her being sent away from them and placed into foster care. They blame her deterioration on them not being able to take care of her consistently and give her the attention she needs. Due to Lia’s predicament, the Lees decided the next step in helping Lia get better was to take her to see a txiv neebĀ in Minnesota. It seemed like for awhile Lia’s seizures were under control; this could have been due to either theĀ txiv neeb or the constant use of Depakene. Unfortunately, the good times did not last. Once Lia fell off the swing and hit her head, her seizures started lasting much longer and progressing at a dangerous rate. It is difficult to imagine what will happen to Lia at the end of all this. However, I did find it interesting that despite being in America, the Lees still steadfastly believed in the power of their scared rituals to heal any wrongdoings in a persons body. Neil and Peggy never thought to question what the Lia’s parents were doing to heal her. In fact, it seems the idea of people coming to America, but still believing and practicing sacred rituals is strange. People never stop and think that just because refugees come to America doesn’t mean they completely abandon their culture.

As we move into Chapter 10, we start to learn about how the Hmong tribe can to be situated in the mountains. The Hmongs were farmers, which meant that everyone did the same work and no one was better than anyone else. No one was literate and as a result, everything that needed to be learned was passed down orally to the next generation. The best product that could be grown in the temperatures of where they were was opium poppy. The Hmong kept 10% of the opium that they grew for themselves and sold the rest. It was a very prominent business for them. The people living in Laos lived peaceful lives amongst each other. It was not until foreign invaders came with their corrupted motives, that the country went through turmoil. The Vietnam War is always seen as the most controversial war in history, due to the unnecessary lives that were lost. However, it seems as though most of those lives were actually Hmong people. It is truly sad to see a country destroyed just for political reasons.

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