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Filial Piety Revisited

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Postby k1w1 » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 7:08 am

Yup, I agree.

Just for the giggle of it, about a year ago, I looked for online groups for expats in New Zealand - there are a few. Most posts were from frustrated, homesick people who were ranting about things that were different to home. There were a few kiwi's on these sites who got really indignant at almost every turn, many of them bashing away at the countries these people had come from or pointing out the many reasons for the way things were (and are).

The tragic thing is that the expats were complaining about pretty valid things! It's true that the wages are crap and taxes are outrageous. The government does lack balls. The rental market is indeed full of run-down properties that people hold onto as retirement options and resent doing a single improvement to in the meantime (but will raise your rent, no problem). It's true that the whole place is like most countries were 20-30 years ago. It's also true that most people are far too laid back about some things and way too fired up about others... Ah, the list goes on... None of the complaints are anything I took umbrance with because, as much as I love the place, I understand that those are not the warts that everyone loves. And that's ok. But I had to live overseas for years before I was able to see all that.

The sad thing, I reckon, is that once you get to the point where you can see "home" through foreign lenses, you never quite feel at peace with it in quite the same way again.

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 7:22 am

k1w1 wrote:
The sad thing, I reckon, is that once you get to the point where you can see "home" through foreign lenses, you never quite feel at peace with it in quite the same way again.



Well put, how true that is.

I no longer feel any 'draw' to ever visit the UK again, never mind live there. In that respect I feel rather stateless. A strange feeling.

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Postby x9200 » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 8:49 am

k1w1 wrote:I understand that those are not the warts that everyone loves. And that's ok. But I had to live overseas for years before I was able to see all that.

And probably the level and character of indoctrination was also different.

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Postby tyianchang » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 3:20 pm

beppi wrote:If Filial We can continue forever searching for reasons to claim one culture superior to another, but to me it's just another example of different, not worse.
What is really lacking (on any side of this debate) is not Filial Piety, but understanding, open-mindedness and tolerance!
Can we continue the discussion in this spirit?


Thanks for putting in your POV Beppi. If you read carefuly, in my OP there was no indication of superiority, far from it; but a suggestion of different attitudes and a questioning of the degrees to which FP is practiced or changed today.

It's common that misinterpretions only show how an individual react with the sum total they've acquired, be it in the character or the mind. It's a bit like monkey business where money and status don't count.

Rudeness, name calling, racism and personal agendas spew everything back into chaos and no one would ever think that there're such universals as endorrsed in social values like respect, politeness, political correctness etc.

I joined this forum mainly as I love SG and wish to contribute to free speech. Besids, the mods and old timers before me in 2009 -2010 presented a most impressive platform of sparkling wit, in-depth discussion and the odd banter in good humour with the local spices. That's what makes all the difference.
Last edited by tyianchang on Sun, 30 Jan 2011 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mad Scientist » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 3:33 pm

This debate is about FP but I think it is far from it as every turn will see the other side of the bridge

For me like SMS, JR8 , KSL , beppi, k1w1 where our spouse are from the other side it is hard to quantify what is good for others may not be good for some. The list goes on. For me cross culture can be a shock to many of us. I just take it in my stride and try to accommodate and compromise.

This debate is going nowhere unless one REALLY understands the other person POV
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Postby tyianchang » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 4:43 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:No, but if one gets beyond her style of writing (which would put any Indian graduate's Shakespearean era prose to shame) and distills it down to my level of understanding (that of a peon or farmer), she has her points that are, at times, hard to refute. Unfortunately, due to her long and winding missives, some get tired or just plain aggravated and that's when the sniping starts from the rest of you lot.

Of course, anne, you need to not be too thin-skinned as well. Most here don't mean any harm and as I pointed out to you some time ago, some just like to bait you because they know you will take the bait. That or they don't have the patience to do the necessary research to debate your statements.

And that, folks, is why I let these discourses continue as I find both sides, on occasion, rising to the bait. But it's all in fun. Nobody's called anybody "derogatory" names, or made "racist" comments.

And, as long as that doesn't start happening, I'm okay.

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Read JR8's in this column but many posts back which says - "Chinese culture ? Follow the money." It's an offensive remark and it's racist as it stereotypes. It's not acceptable. Or is it that he just can't take it that China had repelled the gun boats and the opium to make such 'a great leap forward?'
As for being thin/thick skin, it depends on one's social surroundings and sense of fairness. But your intentions are well meant , as ksl would say it.
Mind you, SMS, JR8's alright .
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Postby tyianchang » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 5:05 pm

JR8 wrote:
k1w1 wrote:
The sad thing, I reckon, is that once you get to the point where you can see "home" through foreign lenses, you never quite feel at peace with it in quite the same way again.


Are you talking about the Maoris?They rub noses as a greeting. Try meditating on the Himalayas . You'll feel peace for the world.


Well put, how true that is.

I no longer feel any 'draw' to ever visit the UK again, never mind live there. In that respect I feel rather stateless. A strange feeling.
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Postby k1w1 » Mon, 31 Jan 2011 1:40 am

No, I wasn't talking about "the Maoris". I must say it's ironic that you assumed I am not Maori, or that I am ignorant of traditional greetings used in my own country. Flies in the face of your accusation of others having cultural assumptions, doesn't it?

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Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 31 Jan 2011 3:35 am

tyianchang wrote:
Read JR8's in this column but many posts back which says - "Chinese culture ? Follow the money." It's an offensive remark and it's racist as it stereotypes. It's not acceptable. Or is it that he just can't take it that China had repelled the gun boats and the opium to make such 'a great leap forward?' .


Why can't JR8 voice his opinion, even if it is offensivee? Isn't that free speech is all about?

My sister sent me some chinese children story books and some of it about FP. She had explained the concept to her own kid but would not imposed it upon the child as she also believed in free will and choices. It is something nice to learn about and keep in mind, doesn't mean one has to practice it.

I don't see FP adding value to my own life and don't even bother with my kids. I want my kids to respect everything and all life forms, not just parents or people related to them. Some do-gooders would advice it is important to teach the kids traditional chinese values like FP. Good values are just that, it is good for everyone. It has no racial or geograhical boundaries. I want my kids to be good human beings. It is not necessary for them to be good Chinese Americans lah.

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Postby tyianchang » Mon, 31 Jan 2011 3:58 pm

Mad Scientist wrote:This debate is about FP but I think it is far from it as every turn will see the other side of the bridge

For me like SMS, JR8 , KSL , beppi, k1w1 where our spouse are from the other side it is hard to quantify what is good for others may not be good for some. The list goes on. For me cross culture can be a shock to many of us. I just take it in my stride and try to accommodate and compromise.

This debate is going nowhere unless one REALLY understands the other person POV


The OP is not forwarded as a debate but a platform for discussion.
I mentioned facts not my own practice or whether one is better than the other. It's an open-ended question.
True. The study of cross-cultural pragmatics draws out the polarisations . Social norms are variable and people have different attitudes and expectations. Hence what's the norm in one culture is rude or unacceptable to another. On top of this, we all have undergone indoctrinations of one kind or another which colour our POVs so that a lot of learning is also about unlearning.
Exactly, understanding entails acknowledging other's POV in neutral terms and is hardly about generalisations. It's the simplest thing to do yet people will kill the love they have or go to war by refusing to accept differences. To me, everyone's POV is transcient mainly as my own POVs are not written in stone so one gets to know and pass on. It all originates from the ego or the id, the libido for some.
My point about the emphasis on the individual in Western culture can be misinterpreted as a slant but really, the overall context is hardly a bias for one or the other. Simply a referential point.
Last edited by tyianchang on Mon, 31 Jan 2011 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby tyianchang » Mon, 31 Jan 2011 4:07 pm

k1w1 wrote:No, I wasn't talking about "the Maoris". I must say it's ironic that you assumed I am not Maori, or that I am ignorant of traditional greetings used in my own country. Flies in the face of your accusation of others having cultural assumptions, doesn't it?


I thought you'd appreciate the irony as that was what crossed my mind when I read your ultra sensitive and beautiful expression. It was an experience I had when I visited the native reservations in the outbacks of Minnesota or Dakota, and it's frequently reinforced by great guys like Bruce Perry in his sojourns into the great unreported worlds among people whose lives are lived as they were before the bulldozers, diggers and concretization. Did I exactly use any accusations? Not my style or intention unless slanted to appear that way.
Last edited by tyianchang on Mon, 31 Jan 2011 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby tyianchang » Mon, 31 Jan 2011 4:52 pm

x9200 wrote:As mentioned before: you do not advertise financial problems of your family in front of the strangers that's pretty obvious. Equally obvious you help your parents if they are in need. The whole idea of institutionalized pocket money to the parents sounds really weird and kind of undignifying.. On top of this everybody wants to be independent and majority of the parents are. Their planned their life to achieve this with retirement plans and their children are never a part of these plans. Relying as a principle on your children as the main source of income is something in Western culture unthinkable. No parents want to be a burden for their children so even if in financial troubles such help is normally accepted with a lot of resistance.


The specific examples of FP I saw being practsied in SG where the giving of monthly allowances to parents are something to be admired surely, expecially when giving away one's earnings or assets is nowadays, a thing of the past confined to those megarich or with ancestral inheritances.

To date, take the the UK, which has one of the best social welfare services and pension schemes comparatively speaking. In the last few years, many people have lost their pension pots or have their children stay on at home as frauds ran off with people's investments and renting is out of the question, not to say buying. To make it worse, the govt has to raise taxes, VATs etc, simultaneoulsy cutting down on fundings, services and even education. That's the context in which I pose the the idea for FP.

Your POVs above summarise what others feel about FP. Don't take it as an offence but Chinese culture, as it is, still among many in SG, is entrenched in age old customary practices which you need to know in order to understand why some parents need to accept their children's FP in monetary terms. It's rather like the art of bargaining - both parties share an idea of the quality and value of the object being transacted but they need to come to an agreed price.

In FP, the price is not in any way, about money but about tradition ( and face has much to do with this ) and the extent of their commitment. In the old days, FP was so entrenched that parents turned tyranical and took over control of their children's lives.

As I'd said, it's an ongoing topic among some in SG and some children are confronted with FP issues.
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Postby Mad Scientist » Tue, 01 Feb 2011 3:43 am

anne

I am not slam dunking you so do not be over zealous in your reply. I am just stating as a matter of fact. To have fusion in this discussion one has to understand the other POV but ultimately it is going nowhere from my POV. That is all. It is getting weary in my eyes to read all your posts.
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Postby ev-disinfection » Tue, 01 Feb 2011 3:49 pm

Hi All, do you all agree that if we were having this conversation in a group at a coffee club, for example, that it will be different, knowing who is older / younger, male / female, local / expats, married / single, kids / no kids, which race , religion, well traveled or not .... etc.
All the questions and answer will be different,
But i guess that is the fun of being in a forum.
Happy Holidays...

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Tue, 01 Feb 2011 4:35 pm

I would have paid for my coffee and gotten up and left after the opening salvo. Life is just too damn short, even on it's longest days.


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