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Do Asian parents kill the child's personality?

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    Do Asian parents kill the child's personality?

    What do you think is the reason for Westerners are more free, agressive and independent than most of us. We can not do small household things. We do not have habit of working with hands. Very few of us would be able to repair their vehicle while americans often fix their car themselves. You can see a single American wandering atound in Asia. They can live very independently.

    Theuy can also think very independently. That is precisely why they have done far better in sciences. We at best reproduce a technology in 40's like nuclear bomb and take pride in that. Very few innovative thinkers in science have come from our part of the world.

    We claim to be religious and talk about philosophical matters. However, there is hardly a philosopher worth noting.

    I am not saying there are no smart people among us. But if you look at new innovations, very miniscule can be claiomed by us.

    Do you think that the teachers and parents together somehow kill an urge of innovation in the child by forcing him to do many things and not letting him ask any inconvenient question.

    If you say poverty, not just south Asia, very few Japanese can claim to have paved way in sciences (though at times in technology). Is it because they share a similar dominating parents family structure.

    What do you think?

    Looks to me like you are comparing the middle classes of both societies, not the whole groups of people/cultures.

    Anyway, I do not think the fault is that of "Asian" parents. After all, Asian includes Japanese and Korean and Thai people.... do they have the same problems?

    Remember, too, that many non Asian parents envy us our well behaved children!

    There is a lot of truth in what you say, but I have to think about it for awhile before I can present any rationale for it. Maybe someone wiser than me can help before that!


      New inventions require financial resources which we dont have. We excell in technology, thats why a lot of companies like Deloitte & touche, Andersen consulting etc., hire talent from India and Pakistan. Silicon valley(San Jose, CA) is full of Indians, Pakistanis, chinese and nationals from other asian countries.

      Americans fix their car themselves -- Get real dude, you probably dont live in the US, if you did then you would'nt have made a claim like that.

      Culture is something that does not come in an individual as a result of total freedom, a price has to be paid, i.e., close conformity to the thinking of our four fathers. Culture should be instilled in a child at the same time a child needs to be made aware of his/her surrounding environment. Western culture promotes total freedom and maybe thats why Americans agree to Gay marriages and even have Gay churches(A deteriorating culture) - I dont want my child to be a total american and if that happens then I will feel that I have failed as a parent. Our culture is still the best by a long shot. The key word is opportunities that people in Pakistan and India dont get. BE YOUR CHILDS PARENT AND NOT HIS FRIEND - THIS HAS DEEP SEEDED MEANING, THINK ABOUT IT.

      Later on

      [This message has been edited by zman (edited January 22, 1999).]


        What I have felt is that there is a funny thing. We have the answers. Our religious books, our society norms. But the answers are not for the questions that today's child faces. He faces different questions which beg new thinking and new answers and we keep on thrusting the old answers on these kids. That is precisely why the respect for teachers and parents reduced in this century, In earlier century, it was fine. Carpenter's son never had more experience than his father. Knowledge came with experience and father ALWAYS knew more. No longer so. Child knows much more life than father and his child will know further more. Respect came from knowledge and now when kids know that their parents and teachers are not in tune with the time respect is disappearing. The professor prepares the lecture one hour before and departs after an hour. Just one hour before the student.

        We have all the answers, all the religious books, philosophical discussions in the past and NO problem in society is getting solved.

        Probably we are imposing answers we know on questions were never faced. they are new question which beg new answers and we have lost ability to think fresh.

        Now coming to poverty issue, I feel it is a poverty of thoughts. In the century in which there was an explosion of knowledge in Europe, Indian subcontinent was not poor. They were trading to all the world. A big percentage of world GDP was in south asia. Why subcontinent did not have industrial revolution that Europe had? Russia despite poverty, keeps producing outstanding scientists. Countries like Hungary and Rumania have as many Nobel prize winners as entire south asia put together. Something is wrong. Something is missing.

        There is more to life than being or not being a gay. Somehow our children who are fitting in the cogs of western society, one software operator in London and one in Toronto, but are not exactly defining what the cogs should be. We are hardworking people, sincere people. What is going wrong. Look at Nobel prize winners list. We don't get there.


          I don't know much personally about the Nobel Prize and how or what the mechanisms are that surround the awarding of the prize. But I would imagine that the process is not devoid of politics. We live in a smaller world and it is no doubt a cruel world. Over the past two centuries the historical changes which have swept across the world and are continuing to affect us to this day cannot be ignored - the effects of colonialism, war, and the establishment of the "new world order" have had profound impacts on our lives.

          Our cash strapped countries find it difficult to compete in fields which encourage the development of artistic and creative talent. We instead opt for occupations which will guarantee our survival. On top of that neo-imperialism successfully teaches our societies to hate themselves. We buy into the hollywood propaganda machine and ignore our own artists and visionaries. The contradictions which exist between *us* and *them* are blurred. The constant bombardment of imagery and media infiltrating through our borders and being pasted and blown up across our TV screens and street corners tells us to buy into the consumer culture of the west. We tend to shape our lives and the lives of our children accordingly, in line with the new order. In the process, I don't think we are killing our childrens personalities alone, we are killing our very way of life and every aspect of our culture and society.

          I realize that we like to boast of the past and lack vision necessary for the future. Nevertheless, we shouldn't forget that the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Byzantine, Africa, and Latin America were empires of creativity and innovation unlike any other. The fact that we can't regain that balance has more to do with the political and economic constraints imposed upon us through years of oppression and less to do with our own passion and desire to rectify the situation.

          We are impovershed, as you mentioned, in almost every respect of the word. And if we continue to let others dictate the way we live our lives and buy into the western myth of happiness embedded in the obsession for the dollar bill - we will successfully kill our personalities. We have extremely intelligent individuals amongst us, unfortunately their voices are often drowned out or silenced. The fact that they haven't won any Nobel Prizes isn't really what bothers me. What bothers me is the fact that they're ideas and notions for the future have been disregarded and ignored.


            There are two issues. At a bigger scale oppression of the new ideas from the society is one. At a smaller scale, supression of individual freedom at young age is another. They are not entirely without link. One conditions this mentality at a smaller scale and at a bigger scale, i.e. while interacting state or society, you continue to have a frightened mental frame.

            True, west is not all that perfect. Not everyone is a very independent thinker. Just like Pakistanis or Indians about whom you know what they are going to say about most of the issues even before you talk to them, 72 percent Americans think that bombing of Iraq was right, 82 percent think that god loves them, 92 percent think that coc-cola is the greatest drink in the world and so on. You may ask who is not conditioned? Well.. everyone seems.

            The point is that at least once in a while they seem to have an urge to break open at least in few individuals and they can change the flow. Americans were anti-china and people were conditioned so. Suddenly Kissinger managed to reverse the policy thinking very innovatively. On the contrary Pak-American relations nevr changed, Pak-Russian, there is not even attempt to change, Indo-American relations never changed (Americans wanted, tried, but Indians stuck in socialist mentality kept rejecting the hand), Indo-Pak relations changing, well.. having a colony on moon seems more possible task. There is a big rigidity in outlook everywhere.

            OK, coming back to Nobel, not many Russians got it, but they thought they are doing great job and world acknowledged they are doing great job. Have a chat with our academicians in science or social science or engineering and find what they feel about the current state. I can bet you will not find a single guy who is happy about the situation.

            People don't get fired up (forget nuclear bomb competition, that remained in two labs) When Russia fired Sputnik in space, Americans revamped the entire syllabi, a big thinking went on in US what is wrong with the current education. In our case, we are perpetually unhappy about current state of affairs. None tries to change or knows what to do.

            Lack of innovation. This is what I feel is a defining characteristic of the society. There are surely historical reasons. But turbulent times are the ones which have thrown great thinkers in the world history.

            I feel living in subcontinent one faces a different pressure from the media than one sees abroad. Abroad the picture of Asia may be dismal. But the media at home, particularly non-english press tries to portray west as ugly and cruel. So the glitter of west is neither confusing nor troubling the common man. He just does not know west and makes statements like "Ah! those people live like animals they may have sex with their family and very decandent." He talks with firm authority on the west without knowing an inch about what he is talking. Firmly conditioned.

            Any search for truth has to start from oposing the authority. All I wanted to point out was that family does not allow or encourage it. You say that society does not encourage it either. I feel they are two sides of the same coin.
            "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled", R. P. Feynman, from his appendix to the Rogers commission report on the Challenger space shuttle disaster.


              you kill the child's personality by forcing him into an arranged marriage, which is traditional not islamic. YOU GOTTA START MAKING YOUR OWN DECISIONS AND CHOOSING UR OWN WIFE!


                There is an article by Pervez Hoodbhoy on Chowk that says it all better than I could if I tried: go to
                and tell me what you think.


                  indian i chose ur mom... thats why u exist. dont worry we can still track ur chicks down.