Week Ten: Blue Collar and Buddha.

The documentary starts off with a news watch report of a bombing at a Buddhist Laos temple in Rockford Country. This was not the first bombing attempt, but of several bombings. From then on, the documentary shifts overs to Laos and their part in the community.
Throughout the documentary, a display of criticism is targeted towards the Laos people, by the white population of Rockford. They criticize these people because they are not like them. They do not speak English, live off the government, do not pay taxes, like the rest of the population and etc. Laos also face criticism due to the involvement in the Vietnam War, and a majority of the population can not get any jobs, as Laos are given more job opportunities than the Americans. Another factor is they live their lives in luxury. When in reality they do not live in luxury but are struggling.

In reality, Laos are facing a far worse scenario, than Americans can imagine. Laos immigrants express their regrets and remorse in coming to the United States. For instance, in the documentary, one Laos immigrant is disappointed that he not able in achieving his dream of becoming a painter, and instead has to work in a GoodWill factory making furnatre to make a living, due to the little education he has recived in his life.

In the 1970s, an economic depression hit Rockford country, causing high unemployment, lack of jobs, and many businesses closing down. To be honest, this part of the documentary really stood out to me. Over time, the Laos were able to blend into the communities, but tensions arose. The section in where it talks about the tensions between the American verterns and the Laos, really stood out to me. The verterns describes in the documentary that they should simply be sent back home, because they did not want them. All honestly I understand with Viteman, but that does not mean that we still imbrace new cultures and values. Either way, a monk, deeply emphasizes the express the concerns bought on by Americans towards their cultures. Which if you asked me, felt like it was awarked and very difficult at times. I felt like that he was simply trying to get the Americans to see the postive side of his culture, and to see you they really are in life.

Another part of the documentary that really stood out to me the most, was the part of the investigation involving the bombings of the temple. The police department did not seem to want to be involved with the case, given the fact that Laos had to prove themselves to the community. The part where it states that refugees must be treated differently than those immigrants really stood out to me. I felt that like that this part really shocked me the most, because further on we see the amount of work these people contributed to the workforce, especially to the Goodwill company. This shows the amount of hard work these people contributed to a company.

While much of the documentary emphasizes the troubles of the Laos population, there is an insight into the celebrations. When watching this part I was very fasctinated to learn that they eat for the monk and the spirt. It was also very fasctinating to see how they use water when praying to the spirts. I was surpised to see that some American churches offer some resources and gifts for them. Which in all honestly this is just a way in bring and promoting christainity into their culture.

The value of family is mention as well. A Laotian family is large, in where the children take care of their parents until they pass on. Here in America, when are parents are aging we decide that the best option is put them in a nursing home weather than to take care of them at home, until their passing. I found quite interesting to lean that some men become Monks just to help in taking care of their families.

In all honestly, I found this documentary to be interesting, because not only are we seeing the special treatments they received, but their lifestyle and culture. This just shows that the Laos population is not afraid of anything that comes their way, and is proud of their culture, and how they learned to embrace their culture in American, without assimilating.

3 thoughts on “Week Ten: Blue Collar and Buddha.

  1. I agree with you that in America there is a different family standard where Americans generally place their parents in a home once they are too old to car for themselves. However, for Laotians and other minorities it is different and they care for their parents until they pass away. It could be in part to religion or mostly because it is seen as giving back to your parents who did so much for you while you were growing up.

  2. I agree with you, it was interesting to see these people living in a new community. This documentary confronts the idea of racism against Asian refugee and immigration rather than the European immigrants to the same area. Also, religion is taken into account when it comes to these people as it is a sense of cultural community rather than an abstract faith that binds them together. This is told by some of the people becoming Christians.

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