Sunday, January 24, 2010

McCall’s article, "Speaking through Cloth..." was interesting as she ties Hmong clothing with their history and culture. McCall states that in learning about different cultures, we must include their history, culture, and finding resources that provide many voices and perspectives (230). It is important to understand how certain dresses come to be in different cultures. For the Hmong, the patterns and textile on their clothing transcends their background and history. Photographs of clothing created by Hmong women can introduce the concept of textile art on clothing as one means of cultural identification for the family (232).

Since Hmong migrated to the United States, Hmong women have faced additional responsibility of contributing economically to their families. The additional responsibilities limits the time available for creating textile art and for maintaining the Hmong culture. For Hmong, it is important to introduce the continuation of these traditions of textile making in their dress. Following tradition is very important, even the Tossing Ball game that my friend tells me about. My friend, who is Hmong, participates in these New Year activities and attempted to explain to me what this game is about. After she unsuccessfully tried to explain it to me, we just left it as is. As stated by Gary Lee, Hmong history, agriculture, and economic system have been determining forces affecting their social customs. History and other economic forces can influence textile making, and the importance of keeping tradition is imperative. There are traditions that others may never understand, and the ability to use clothes to represent one’s culture is fascinating.

As for the Compact Challenge… I’m happy to say that I spent only $14 dollars this week aside from the items excluded from the challenge. This was not easy! While all my friends were out Saturday night, I stayed in because I was sick. I was really bored and decided to hop onto my favorite website: AMAZON! I was browsing for things to buy (I don’t know what I was looking for!), and ended up adding clothes and other junk to my shopping cart. When I was able to checkout, I thought to myself… Do I really need this? Will I even wear/use it? Shouldn’t I be “saving” money? It was like an angel vs. devil debate on my shoulders. The angel won this time! I closed the Amazon box and turned off the computer!

Although I haven’t fully complied with the compact challenge, I am fulfilling it in another way. I have always been this way, and family and friends have made fun of me for this for YEARS! My apartment is ALWAYS filled with papers, boxes, magazines, cereal boxes, bottles, and cans ready to be recycled. I actually have a section in my apartment dedicated for recycling. I love recycling and feel it is important for the future of our planet. Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle!

Blog # 4

Maggie Chui

Works Cited

Lee, Gary Yia. “The Shaping of Traditions: Agriculture and Hmong Society.” Hmong Studies Journal 6 (2005): 1-33 . Web. 24 Jan. 2010.

McCall, Ava L. “Speaking through Cloth: Teaching Hmong History and Culture through Textile Arts.” The Social Studies 90.5 (1999): 230-236. Print.



1 comment:

carolina said...

good. keep up with the challenge. offer more critical analysis of reading. 3/3