I thought I would breeze through this challenge due to the fact that I no longer shop as often. Unfortunately Valentine’s Day was this week and I spent a lot of money but it was not on myself. I bought a lot of gifts for my friends which included a bunch of baking supplies, chocolates and Valentine socks from Target for friends. Although I do not consume a lot for myself, I noticed that I often buy things for others. Whenever I get a paycheck, I think about all the ways that I use money to get my parents nice which brought me to the conclusion that often times we think that buying things for others will make them happy. We are obsessed with the thought that the amount of money we spend on someone shows how much we care.
According to Ava McCall’s “Speaking through Cloth: Teaching Hmong History and Culture through Textile Art,” Hmong clothing has very detailed patterns. These patterns all serve a purpose and have a meaning behind them. It is not uncommon to teach young Hmong girls how to sew because the women usually sew clothes for the family and by sewing on these very detailed designs it represents not only their culture but shows that they spent a lot of time working on it and in a way shows how much they care for their family because they took a long time to sew on the design, kind of like a labor of love. It is even mentioned that even the poor wear designs on their clothes. This connects with the statement I made previously about how you purchase things for other people in order to make them feel special because you worked for that money and are displaying your affections by buying them nice things, which is similar how Hmong women will take the time to make an intricate design to put on a loved one’s clothing.
John Bingham’s article “Cycle of ‘compulsive consumerism’ leaves British family life in crisis Unicef study finds,” that parents are buying their children materialistic items to make up for the time they are not able to spend with their children due to long work hours. This shows that people often think that buying things for their loved ones will show how much they care and that the more expensive an item is, the more they care about the person.
McCall, A. "Speaking through Cloth: Teaching Hmong History and CUlture through Textile Art." The Social Studies; Sept/ Oct 1999; 90, 5; Ethnic News Watch. Page 230.