22 May 2012
Reflection on Hmong Identity and Culture
Brenda and Hue’s presentation illuminated softly (yet actively) many of the nuances of a hybridized shaman practice and how these practices have been consumed through media and popular culture.
I thought it was thoroughly done. Although I know that I have no prior knowledge about shamanism, I might have thought I got more of an understanding due to their familiarity with the practice. That said, I thought that the documentary gave a lot of personal insight to how shamanism has been shaped and reshaped within generations. I thought consulting individuals from different age groups and genders were really interesting because they all gave a different perspective to their research. I wished that there were some older male Hmong interviewees so that we could see how the generational change has affected the generally more traditional men and how they see the generally lack of practice for the 2nd generation. Although this is a personal preference, I do understand that the group had to also take out some commentators and may be why an older male’s perspective was not portrayed in the video.
In terms of areas of improvement, I don’t know too much about their research to offer insight. I can only suggest creating a theoretical foundation for the analysis. I wished that I could’ve heard them elaborate more, but that’s it. I’m sure they’ll get enough analysis for their paper.
For Mai Moua’s and Boon’s presentation, I felt that it was done well too. Again, I didn’t have much information about the topic so the ideas of patriarchy within the family structure made sense to me, but was different to me because I am not Hmong and do not have that shared experience.
In addition, I also understand my limitations in offering research advice or critique because I don’t have too much idea on what exactly their topic is and how I should go about presenting critique when I don’t know anything about their topic academically.