The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down - Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

Anne Fadiman
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Chapter 2 Summary and Analysis

The culture and fate of the Hmong people is seeped in years of tradition. Their current state is impossible to separate from their past. When asking a Hmong a question, it is likely that the answer will include information about their ancestors. While this may seem irrelevant to the listener, the information has bearing when one considers the perspective of the speaker. This is exemplified in the English translation of a Hmong phrase meaning "to speak of all kinds of things". Thus, in the often fast-paced nation of America, speaking with the Hmong may require patience and grace.

The history of the Hmong people is a combination of many wars with relatively small segments of peace in between. They are thought to have arisen in Eurasia and traveled to China. In China they were considered outsiders and were known as the...

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