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Filial Piety Revisited

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Re: Filial Piety Revisited

Postby Plavt » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 1:50 am

Addadude wrote: SMS, for all his criticisms of Singapore society, has lived here for about 250 years

:devil: Image Image

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Postby earthfriendly » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 2:18 am

I think he forgot to add a decimal point :P .

I think it has got to do with catering to regional sensibilites. In countries like China and Singapore with its strict censorship freely expressing your opinion is not encouraged and this filters into daily lives of ordinary folks. People are not used to hearing or publicly and freely expressing opinions that goes against the norm/authority/ respectable entiity. And they may take it personally and not so much differentiating there's the person and that's his opinion. People are the same all over the world, we all have feelings and opinions. Wheather or not we expressed them or how we do it is another thing.

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Postby earthfriendly » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 2:39 am

Plavt wrote:
JR8 wrote:
If you meant the Japanese people I do not know how you can know that they were not critical, short of by reading every publication, blog and forum in Japan.



With respect to WIMH, I think like many others she doesn't really understand the attitude Japanese so frequently display; more often than not they say nothing and are somewhat puzzled by the behaviour of other nation's people (apparently evident in Japanese newsapapers). They could of course be critical but it tends to be in mind only as in the main they don't like picking fights and causing public spectacles. Those of you on this board who have lived and worked with them will know what I mean.


A Japanese friend on temperary assigments would frequently point out all the little things he saw in USA and said "that would never happen in Japan" e.g. Starbucks employee publicly swatting flies in the storefront in an agricultural community. You should talk to my friend's Japanese girlfriend on her opinion of their Indian neighbor in their SF neighborhood. Or my girlfriend's Japanese mom of what she thinks of the Chinese :P . And it is not always about rascism or us vs them. These people are just voicing out their opinions and trying to figure out the world with all its differences and trying to reconcile it, just like what you and me are doing. People all over the world are quite the same.

And also due to the homogenity, there's the concept of inner circle vs people from outside. Not so much about rascism but evolved out of cultural geograhical factors.

Like Westerners, Chinese and Japanese are just as opinionated but due to cultural differences, they express it differently. One is more used to freedom of speech and hence express it more openly, the other due to a culture of censorship just not so used to expressing it as publicly. And nope, that does not make the Chinese hypocritical. Once again it evolved out of the socio-political development within their country/culture.

In the end I believe strength has to come from within and strengthening oneself to handle the truth. Truth can sometimes hurt but that's life. Ego stroking, a bit of compassion and witholding judment is needed but so is tough love and stoicism.

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Postby earthfriendly » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 4:38 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Those of us who raise our voices in condemnation also practice what we preach. It only by example that our condemnation can hold any value.

If the example were inspiring enough, the preaching would not be necessary.

Look at Japan's example. After Katrina, the Japanese did not raise their voices at the looting that took place. They did not find condemnation necessary. Now, they are simply showing by their quiet example that there is a better way.

As you point out, both approaches work, but with different people in different places. Anyone who thinks that preaching to China will work just doesn't understand the country at all.


You are saying Westerners should be more tolerant, stop condemning and telling others what to do and should use quiet examples. But then you yourself are also telling them what they should do and behave (not complain about their hosts in their host country), aren't you doing the same thing as them :???: .

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Postby k1w1 » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 4:41 am

earthfriendly wrote: People are the same all over the world, we all have feelings and opinions. Wheather or not we expressed them or how we do it is another thing.


Well said, EF.

This forum is a very good example of that, and quite a lesson in social psychology actually. I'm not sure what is worse: posters who virtually (so to speak :wink: ) scream their opinions in ways that border on abusive, or the posters who prefer to use passive-aggressive statements so they can continue insisting they are neutral when it is clear they are anything but... Both are big ol' mind games and extremely juvenile ways of interacting. And of course, nothing to do with our culture!

Thank you for your posts on this thread, EF. I think you are one of a few who can really see both sides of the coin and I have appreciated your opinions on all this.

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Postby earthfriendly » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 4:52 am

Thanks kiwi. Hope you and your relatives are OK and not too shaken up from the earthquake.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 6:16 am

ksl wrote:
X9200:frustrating and schizophrenic
Quadfrustraschizophrenia :shock: After a few drinks :lol: Strange that durian isn't involved with his humour, I'll bet he's lurking somewhere :P grinning like a Cheshire cat.

X9200 is not a quad. It is a full blood scooter!

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Postby tyianchang » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 7:38 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:[:)

Perhaps you can understand that Tyianchang finds this forum frustrating and schizophrenic too... that posters here hold themselves up as models of good manners, but then proceed to call her names and make unprovoked, snide remarks about her to each other. In my opinion what happened here borders on bullying. I'm more sensitive to what's going on because I am also a minority here. As SMS has pointed out before, the majority never feels the discrimination, only the minority. You, X9200, have been a gentleman. But I have watched some others go at her and frankly, if these are 'Western standards' then I certainly do not aspire to them.


WIMH, you speak well and truly. This thread is more lively than I'd envisaged. I made my presentation and it's up to posters to discuss that instead of making personal attacks and judgement. So it does throw up lots of faux pas , some of which is history. Discussions are more complex than exchanging infomation as the issues involve our perceptions of ourselves, others and the world. I'd like to focus on discussion instead of regurgitating the negativities. If certain people can't communicate with us, that's it. I'm sick of all the bullying and how that drags your lovely self into it. But I do appreciate your stance. My heroine.
I recently chanced to read an article written by a female about trolls so that gave me some idea about the psychological aspects of forum chats.
The few regular bullies here, and I wouldn't lump SMS with them, hardly represent Western standard, and x9200 is not the angel (that he seems to you,) to me of late. I've lived and travelled very widely and I can tell you that many people out here are genteel and polite like yourself. The West is also made up of very different people - and many from the East too. You are most welcome to come and visit me in the UK and travel Europe too, if you like. But there are very good people here too; you know them in the way they write, all respectful, honest and full of integrity ( sorry about this slip into colloquail language).
Hey, call me Anne as I find tyianchang strange even to myself! LOL The reason I changed name was because I received a spam about 'deceptive infestations' ahh, sounds now like the ides of March... ; and was locked out for my own safety. SMS and Plavt were very helpful.
Indeed, this is a very tragic month - even as I write, I'm thinking of the cold, hungry and homeless victims of the tsunamis. I should meditate.
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Re: Filial Piety Revisited

Postby tyianchang » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 7:55 am

Addadude wrote:Ladies and gentlemen, the quote below was what I believed started all this shi--- er, I mean nonsense.

anneteoh wrote:But FP is unheard of in the West where the individual reigns supreme, even within the family structure. With the current crisis on pensions, annuities and other financial shortfalls faced by the retireds, FP might be a jolly good idea. I mean, imagine getting such returns from your children - all of which goes without saying. A good culture to continue?


Now I don't know about the rest of you, but to me this last paragraph was clearly a barb carefully calculated to provoke the kind of reactions that have littered this thread. Anneteoh or tyianchang or whoever she is was every bit as guilty of making sweeping (and dismissive) statements about 'Western society' (whatever that means) as expats here are often accused of making about Singapore.

Given that she has lived in the UK for quite some time, Anne or tyianchang knew exactly what the results of her comments would be. She duly got those responses and (at least to my mind) fared poorly in the subsequent, uh, debates. That's when, according to her, these responses suddenly became total condemnations of all things Chinese.

Making disparaging remarks (consciously or unconsciously, deliberately or unintentionally) about other cultures, races or nationalities is a pretty common trait of virtually every country. Singapore (both the government and its people) are every bit as guilty of condescension as any western nation or person. Just ask your neighbors in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines or Thailand.

This is your judgement which is contrary to my intention or tone of voice. What I said about FP being 'unheard of' in the West is even more true today than in the past 20 years ago. You don't work in schools or live in the Uk so you can't have an inkling as to the truth of that. But you're accusing me of making 'calculated provocations to LITTER this thread. My statement, which I had admitted it was rushed and not intended to sound divisive; but it's based on what I know from people around me. And if you take the phrase ' unheard of' figuratively, you might have a clearer idea .
We'd been through that umpteen times if you'd read through, but if you haven't, let me say, please ask KLS how he generally interpretes correctly before you jump on this band wagon for the sake of appearances.
Of course, the Times journalist would identify trolling as a way to get responses such as the change of key after a drift.


WIMH is quite right in pointing out the seemingly endless complaints about Singapore customs/peculiarities/eccentricities that appear on this board. I'm sure they are irritating to any relatively innocent local who happens to drop by.

But, by and large, I have found that most of the posters here try to be genuinely constructive. SMS, for all his criticisms of Singapore society, has lived here for about 250 years and is active and contributing in his local community. Many others here (myself included) have made Singapore our home for more than a decade. Obviously we like the place - otherwise we wouldn't be here - but are we not entitled to make constructive criticism of a place we have contributed to for so long?

If the criticisms that are made are unfair or out of place, by all means they should be addressed in no uncertain terms. This applies to whiny expats bitching about Singapore and to expat Singaporeans making sweeping generalizations about a western culture they do not yet appear to understand.

But, above all, please, PLEASE do not call the 'racism card' when you are clearly on the losing end of an argument. It's boring.
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Re: Filial Piety Revisited

Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 8:11 am

Addadude wrote:Ladies and gentlemen, the quote below was what I believed started all this shi--- er, I mean nonsense.

anneteoh wrote:But FP is unheard of in the West where the individual reigns supreme, even within the family structure. With the current crisis on pensions, annuities and other financial shortfalls faced by the retireds, FP might be a jolly good idea. I mean, imagine getting such returns from your children - all of which goes without saying. A good culture to continue?


Now I don't know about the rest of you, but to me this last paragraph was clearly a barb carefully calculated to provoke the kind of reactions that have littered this thread.


I agree. (Not wanting to to sound like a child in a schoolyard yelling 'she started it!") but tyianchang did post an unfairly biased, and wholly inaccurate message in her opening post. Angry reactions toward her post are therefore not unprovoked or unsolicited. Personal attacks, however are never acceptable and I do not condone them, but taking a some personal responsibility here would have gone a long way.

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Postby tyianchang » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 8:42 am

k1w1 wrote:
earthfriendly wrote: People are the same all over the world, we all have feelings and opinions. Wheather or not we expressed them or how we do it is another thing.


Well said, EF.

This forum is a very good example of that, and quite a lesson in social psychology actually. I'm not sure what is worse: posters who virtually (so to speak :wink: ) scream their opinions in ways that border on abusive, or the posters who prefer to use passive-aggressive statements so they can continue insisting they are neutral when it is clear they are anything but... Both are big ol' mind games and extremely juvenile ways of interacting. And of course, nothing to do with our culture!

Thank you for your posts on this thread, EF. I think you are one of a few who can really see both sides of the coin and I have appreciated your opinions on all this.


I see an abstract painting of safe politics but the painter still loves picking bones. I wonder what colour is bitterness?
KiWi, I read your very long response and replied to it but it was lost perhaps because it got too long winded.
I had no intention of excluding one culture from another - and I had admitted I was rushed; but it's generally true that such FP as I described is 'unheard of,' and if I stressed the idiomatic phrase, that will be the opinion most of my friends will give me when I ask about FP as described in the op. In fact, some posters made that very clear that their parents would find it an insult if their children give them monthly allowances. So I won't keep flogging a dead horse now.
You claimed that I didn't even know how mixed the West is; I happen to have friends from most European races so it makes me wonder how some reporters don't bother to ask and find out instead of making allegations.
I have no intention to quibble the nitty gritty but rest assure that I accept your apologies and that I apologise if I'd caused you any misunderstanding. And I'd like to thank you for contributing the NZ article for our discussion.
I see it more as a catalyst than a segregational device but that's really not what you think if I were to take it from your line above, "Both are ol' mind games and an extremely juvenile ways of interacting." ?
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Postby x9200 » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 8:58 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:I don't think my government, or at least LKY as its personification, has ever aspired to live up to Western standards nor recognised those standards as necessarily superior.

So should I understand he was against the curiosity campaign I gave as an example? :) I emphasized on the confusion and I still think it is along that line. And I did not mean to replace your culture, just to introduce some of the Western (or maybe better to say universal) standard elements. All the time and everywhere you can hear how Singapore is going to be up to the world standards or be the first. This also contributes to the same puzzle.


You're one of the few who understand how certain aspects of Western behaviour come across as very rude here, so in some ways Western manners are not up to our standards :)
Surely. No doubts about. I never denied this.


It still amazes me how after being introduced to expats as a Singaporean, they proceed to condemn Singapore and Singaporeans to my face. That is extremely ungracious but I've learned to accept it the way you have to learn to accept spitting on the streets. I know they don't mean to

I think ungracious is much too strong. This is a host-guest relationship but it is not like the expats were invited to ones house, generously treated with a meal and good night rest and later they criticized to the face of the host that the soup was too salty and the bed uncomfortable. It is more like business type relation. The host is still the host so it is rude or impolite to make certain statements but there is no or little of anything going beyond money in here. Vast majority of the Western expats came here not because Singapore gov. gave them the helping hand to let them quit from their misery but just for another employer-employee or a business assignment. It is painfully clear right from the start that this is about mutual tangible benefits (or even worse) and this gives the expats very different perspective.
I am writing all this to explain this different point of view so I do not say everything is ok. Hope you can see this.


antagonize me, but are just venting. I just wish this attempt to understand and accept would work both ways.
I agree on this too but

Perhaps you can understand that Tyianchang finds this forum frustrating and schizophrenic too... that posters here hold themselves up as models of good manners, but then proceed to call her names and make unprovoked, snide remarks about her to each other. In my opinion what happened here borders on bullying. I'm more sensitive to what's going on because I am also a minority here. As SMS has pointed out before, the majority never feels the discrimination, only the minority. You, X9200, have been a gentleman. But I have watched some others go at her and frankly, if these are 'Western standards' then I certainly do not aspire to them.

I am afraid I am far from being a gentleman but I am also not sure if these are the Western standards. It is just a bit of social immaturity. Not that I am saying it is ok, but doesn't it happen also in the local forums? Surely it is nothing nice for the person under the "attack" but with such selective sensitivity Anne shows and has shown not only in this thread she is IMHO a part of this problem. I accept there may be a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication but nobody is immune to this and I do not see you or other local regulars responding like herself.
Also I do not think Anne (or anybody else for that matter) is here attacked because she is a minority. It really has nothing to do with nationality or ethnicity. It is purely on the personality levels.

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Postby tyianchang » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 8:59 am

ksl wrote:

Ah ah, now I can see many long winded posts what a relief! :lol: This maybe a good time to remind Anne too, that she is being monitored on her remarks by political alien Countries. :roll: :lol:

It's understandable that there is a reaction, but if one looks deeper into the cultural aspects, they will see it's just a political blunder, that has been bumped up to sell papers knowing it is controversial and it works.


You're right, I'm getting suspicious of clones with different names!
BTW, Happy St Patrick's day to you and the Irish among you.
Seems like no one's guillible to the media nowadays. I believe the spokesman for the victims' parents was either sincere in his request or corrupted; but obviously we need to read the subtexts like selling and tabloid propaganda too. Equality is such a big issue, you've got a point there. But to me the word, 'desperate' is suggestive of naivety or an addon.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 9:19 am

Before this thread descends again into endless critiques and eventually the same type of lashing out (it's already started in the "justification of action" replies). I think this thread has run it's course. Actually it ran it's course about 5 pages ago. Now if we can but reflect on what has transpired and each of us maybe sheath our swords or hammer them into plowshares, we can go on with a little more understanding and learning how to have a wee bit thicker skins. For at least a hour or so anyway? So I'm locking this thread so we can proceed to demolish some other thread. :wink:

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