Posts tagged spirit
Metmany N., Alberta, Canada

I only have one photo with my grandfather. He is the man standing behind me wearing a blue shirt; I'm the little girl with faux pigtails. My grandfather and grandmother did not leave Laos. They stayed behind. After what seems to be an eternity of boat rides and safe houses my family and I finally arrived at Napho Refugee Camp in Thailand and settled into our “new home”. A few months into our stay I was awaken from my sleep one night. Many attempts were made to see who had waken me at this hour; no one around… or so I thought. Suddenly something caught my attention, there at our front door was my grandfather. His somber expression brought great sadness, so real the image forever etched into my memory bank. Alarmed by my experience I woke my father, who was unable to see what I had just witnessed at age of five. Shortly after my experience, our family learned of my grandfather’s passing.

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May Lee Yang, Minnesota

When we have a spirit-calling ceremony called hu plig or when we have an ua neeb—I’m still not sure what the English translation on this is—my father feeds his parents. He sits at the kitchen table with a bowl of rice, a bowl of boiled chicken, and an empty plate. As though my grandparents are here and not on The Other Side, he scoops a spoonful of rice, tears off a piece of chicken, and pours some broth onto the plate. He repeats this, uttering words underneath his breath. How does he know how to do this? What are the words he utters? He has not taught any of us this ritual, and I wonder: Who will feed him when he is gone?

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