First presentation: Hue and Brenda
I thought the first presentation was really well presented. The little documentary that they showed was totally awesome. The topic that they presented on was very interesting and creepy. I thought the reading was interesting but a bit boring. They also bring up a really good point about how the media likes to portray certain ethnic groups in a particular way and that portrayal becomes mainstream and turns into a stereotype.
One thing that I did not really agree on was the idea that Shamanism defines how Hmong a person is. I mean it is a unique thing but there are also other ethnic groups who practice Shamanism. Take the Mien for example, their rituals are similar but not quite the same as the Hmong rituals. So I can’t really agree that Shamanism is unique only to the Hmong and that’s what defines a Hmong person. Like one of the interviewees said, it doesn’t really define how Hmong a person is because you can still be totally Hmong without believing in Shamanism. So I don’t think it’s fair to classify how Hmong someone is just by seeing if they follow Shamanism.
Also, a question that was brought up by Professor Valverde about epilepsy in the Hmong population; I do not necessarily think that epilepsy is a prominent/common illness among Hmong people. Just because it gets more coverage than other illnesses does not make it more prominent. Similar to how most news channels report deadly car accidents but those are not as prominent as typical rear-end accidents that do not really get reported on.
Something that the presenters can consider is using the perspective of a non-Shamanist Hmong because I feel like their views are a bit biased.
Second Presentation: Boon and Mai Moua
I thought the presentation was a little rush (especially because the first group took a bit more time). The article was interesting but I disagreed with it because I thought it was basically like “your way of parenting is wrong” but who’s to judge whether someone’s parenting is bad/good especially when culture plays a huge role.
I thought it was a good idea to discuss about the issues of growing up in the more poverish areas where the parents feel like they must shield and shelter their kids from the harmful influences from the outside world. Also how this basically evolves into misunderstandings that the parents are too overprotective and won’t allow their children any freedom (especially since they see freedom often portrayed in the cartoons that they watch such as Pokemon).
I think something that they can do to help out with their research paper is to interview people about their difficulties about being a student and taking on the traditional role of a son/daughter as well as any conflicts that can come out of not being able to be take on the role of both.