For the presentation on Second Generation and Shamanism, I’m clearly impressed with their approach at interviews individuals and critical analysis of the movies. Honestly, I find it hard to criticize or suggest further information, as their project seems almost complete. What stay with me is the questions surrounding “possession” and “spiritual healing”. Growing up in Viet Nam, I have seen with my own eyes two cases of someone being “possessed”. The Vietnamese believes highly in the afterlife, and in the wandering souls of the death among the livings. When a person is being possessed, or “bi ma nhap”, s/he is able to do extraordinary things, to speak odd sentences, or to shake body violently. Perhaps science can explain these cases as either Tetanus or Sleep-Walking. Yet, how will they help explain when a young female able to climb down from the 2nd floor balcony to the first floor, walk around in circle for a while, then climb back up in her sleep? There’re so much mysteries that I have constantly questioned and interested to find the solid answer. The second is “spiritual healing”. A human body is a miracle of nature, and a person’s mood affects greatly on his/her health. Shamans may or may not bring cures from gods to people, but they are able to give them hopes. Positive feelings along with healthy diet may improve a patient’s condition, or at least trick the mind that the body feels better. Each second generation individual has different experiences and belief, thus affect greatly on their views toward their parents’ tradition practices. Overall, “western view” usually apply on younger people being educated in the American school system.On the topic of college create a double identity for a person being as both a student and as a son, the presenters make critical connection for the role of media and American’s culture onto the behavior of children and teenagers. Drawing example of Pokemon and Fairy Godparents is an interesting approach. Yet aside from media, the education can be another factor. Children used to be submissive back in their native country taste a different kind of power when they enter United States. With parents rely on children for translation, the role of who is in control flip dramatically. In addition, since the child cannot rely on his parents for help and suggestion regarding new studies and knowledge, they learn to be independents in various ways. Being in college, away from their households, allows young adult to taste the sense of freedom and being in control of their lives. As a university student, I also live a double identity. My weekend at home tells me to play the role of the oldest son in the family, working for additional incomes and taking care of paper documents. My weekdays are living in the apartment, separate myself from the family. This gives me the feeling that the parents have less impact on my decisions and what I can do. Education gives me a lot of freedom, yet it also helps me understand about my parents and their sacrifices. Rather than detach from the family, I use the knowledge to teach my younger brother to appreciate,a nd to encourage my mom to pursuit her desire for education.
By Tien Mai