Health Theater in a Hmong Refugee Camp

In reading the article “Health Theater in a Hmong Refugee Camp” I was struck by the idea of performance used as a tool to create (or re-create) a sense of self, society, and culture within disconnected populations. The article discussed how cultural performance and intense creativity are generally features of refugee settings. Through this, the expression of traditions and folklore are able to help reaffirm, unite, and inspire the populations to adapt and create to a new environment.  All this is based on the idea that “Through its reflective capabilities, performance enables people to take stock in their situation and through this self knowledge cope better.”

To me, this related back to the idea of co-construction in education. As discussed in class, when teachers act as facilitators in education—connecting with the students to determine what knowledge is and how it can relate to them—all students are able to better engage and learn.

Another point brought up in the article, is the use of performance as a culturally sensitive way to educate people about health. Again returning to the idea of how people learn and their feelings of connection to the teacher, it could be a very effective way to teach people about health issues.

Below is a link to a performance in a refugee camp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGHjT3KhSPg

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