Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Week 8: Culture and Identity

For this week presentation, I am really impressed with the interviewing video made by Brenda. If she did not introduce it in the beginning, I would think that she got the video from somewhere else. The video tells that Brenda has a passion in this topis, and she also put a lot of effort into it. I honestly did not know or hear anything about the term Shamanism. Thanks to this week presentation and articles, I have a sense of what Shamanism is. Shamanism is the idea that there exists a spirit world. Thus, Shamans have connection to the spirits. The belief in spirit is the religious way that many Hmong people live with. According to Hmong Shamans, spirits can be either good or bad. Hmong Shamans also believe that spirits can heal sickness. Shamanism is a Hmong traditional culture.  In the video made by Brenda, a woman said that because mostly Hmong people live in the mountains, they do not have doctors that cure their illness. Thus, the belief in spirits is the way for them to get better. I agree that there exists another world, which is the world of spirits. However, I disagree that spirits can cure sickness. I personally think the belief in the healing by spirits is superstitious.  Some Shamans even take this advantage to make a lot of money from their customers. They make money by performing rituals.  I think people should stop wasting money on this. I mean believing in spirits is fine, but people should not pay a single penny for this. Believing in spirits helps people not to feel lonely. Also, Shamanism gives them the strength to get over some obstacles.

There are still many Vietnamese who live in Vietnam and even the U.S who are superstitious in this twenty- first century.  They come to those people who call themselves “fortune tellers” to listen to advises for their future. Those “fortune tellers”, based on the idea of spirits, threaten their customers. This is how those “fortune tellers” make money. People blindly keep listening to them; therefore, they joyfully keep making easy money. I think that those people who are superstitious do not have enough knowledge know the truth.  

Thanks to the presentation on Hmong culture identity; I have a sense that most Asian cultures value the idea of discipline. Also, according to the article “Caught between Cultures: Hmong Parents in America’s Sibling Society” by Kaiser, children who do not listen to parents disgrace the family.   The discipline that parents teach their children helps children to grow up in parents’ protection. Stronger connection to parents will help the children succeed in school and life. For example, some immigrant students are more successful because they listen to their parents more than children who grow up in the U.S. Discipline also leads to filial piety of children to their parents. Filial piety is the unquestioned obligation to respect, obey, and care for parents. Filial piety is a cornerstone of many Asian families because parents already sacrificed for their children. Thus, it is the obligation for children to repay their parents. I believe that anyone who value filial piety will succeed in life.

Question:  What is the difference between the beliefs in spirits of Shamans and Christians?
Trieu Nguyen

1 comment:

  1. More constructive feedback would be appreciated. -Prof. Valverde 3/4