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View Full Version : THE ASIAN OLD SKOOL... How was growing up like with your parents?


dimbulb
08-27-2005, 12:36 PM
mmm... its been a while since i posted a thread. anyway.

i'm just curious to know how you guys dealt with your parents growing up? i'm just having some issues right now with my parents in regards to my appearance. last week i had an arguement with my mom about piercings and tattoos, and she ended up hanging up on me and we haven't spoke since. i have a monroe and a lip ring, but i don't have tattoos, and i don't think i will ever get one because i change my mind too much.

on the phone she argued that she thinks its embarrassing for her, and she might not acknowledge me if we were in public together (that hurt), and i tried explaining to her that regardless of my appearance, i am still the same person, and i try to be the best human being i know how to be. i do well in school, i have a decent enough part-time job to try to support myself as much to my abilities at this moment, and same things goes for the people i surround myself with. and if she can't see that, there really is nothing i can do, but she is still my mother, and i will acknowledge her for that. and the next thing i knew she hung up on me.

i called back and spoke to my dad, who was a lot more reasonable, but still doesn't approave of the situation. obviously.

i'm always surprised when i see other asians decked out with tattoos and piercings and seems to be getting along fine. jealousy actually, is what i feel when i see that. i just hate the feeling knowing that i'm hurting them somehow, even though my physical appearance has nothing to do with them, and whatever i choose to do is not an act of rebellion or disrespect. oh i don't know. i've already taken the monroe out once previously due to my mom, but i ended up getting it done again. i know, perhaps when i'm at a certain age i will be like "huhn? what was i thinking?" and take them out, but for the time being, having them is important to me for personal reasons. i really just want them to see that i'm still the same person they brought up, and not some punk-ass kid.

so... how did you deal? asians or non-asians. oh, i don't know anymore...

oijdsofijew.

:(

Robocon^^
08-27-2005, 12:53 PM
Couldn't you take the facial piercings out when you and your mom are together? You don't live at home right?

fmstlr
08-27-2005, 12:58 PM
facial piercing and tattoos are as stupid and pointless as the reasons that parents have against them.

IT's really a battle of absurdities. Nobody wins except the dudes who sells the piercing and the tattoos.

dimbulb
08-27-2005, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by Robocon^^
Couldn't you take the facial piercings out when you and your mom are together? You don't live at home right?

i have been, but i much rather them be comfortable with it. because taking them out doesn't change the fact that i do have them.

dimbulb
08-27-2005, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by fmstlr
facial piercing and tattoos are as stupid and pointless as the reasons that parents have against them.

IT's really a battle of absurdities. Nobody wins except the dudes who sells the piercing and the tattoos.

as i mentioned previously, i'm not trying to defy them. and i really don't want to make this into a 'battle', or who's right and who's wrong. its not about appearance so much as them accepting me and trusting for my choices - beyond a hole in the face, or my occupation, to my lifestyle.

i just want them to be happy for who i am, and what i have accomplished, and not what i look like.

my question was meant to extend beyond that too, and i'm just curious to know how people here have dealt with issues alike, or similar to mine, and not to gain votes on whether if they agree with me or not.

Robocon^^
08-27-2005, 01:22 PM
I'd just accept the fact that they're not comfortable with facial piercings. You can't really change that. I mean everyone has their limits as to proper appearance.

For example: I'd probably be bummed to hang with my parents in public if they were hardcore nudists. Even if all the nudists were all hunky dory with being with other nudists. I'd try to respect their decisions on appearance, but it wouldn't stop me from feeling uncomfortable being out with them in public.


You're saying you're not trying to defy them, but their preferences are clear and you're defying what they deem appropriate.

Even if your original intention was not to defy them, now that you know their feelings on the matter, you're in defiance. You can try to change their mores, but don't be shocked if they're resistant.

I don't really see this as an Asian issue.

fmstlr
08-27-2005, 01:32 PM
for me, when I was told not to do something, I did it anyway, if there's confrontation, I just walk off. (provided that I'm not doing anything immoral or illegal). After a while, when they chilled out and finally realize (may take years) that whatever objectionable behavior that I have is not really causing any harm to me, they'll have to accept it.

That's just me, but I'm an ass, so don't take me seriously if you don't want to be an ass.

kamenriderv3
08-27-2005, 01:44 PM
some socialist you are. you should abide to what is good for the people and not be so selfish! :p


kids are the offspring of parents. what the kids do are an indication of how they are raised. well at least that is what many people think. so if your kids step out of the boundary of what they deem "normal" then they fear that others will think they were irresponsible with the child-rearing.

i agree with robocon that its not an asian issue.

i'm not even saying its a conservative versus other styles either. its more of a polarity that fmstlr touched on. things that are different from you. dimbulb's situation involves piercing but it could apply for a lot of other things.


dimbulb, chances are that you'll probably stop wearing piercings in the future. you may feel differently about the issue later but its a big deal to you now.

karmyk
08-27-2005, 02:15 PM
They'll never really accept it.. they'll just have to get used to it. My parents never really accepted my tattoo.. they'll never truly understand why I got it or what it symbolized to me.. but they're getting used to it. I generally don't wear shirts short enough to show it (it's a dragon tattoo with its wings spread out in the small of my back), so they rarely see it anyways... just in the summer if I decide to wear a tank top. ><

I haven't tried piercings, though.. and I know my parents would take that even worse than a tattoo.

35ft6
08-27-2005, 02:24 PM
My dad and I almost came to blows over this. They were bad parents and, what can I say?, I was probably a rotten son and brother.

All I know is that my parents aren't going to be alive forever, and so I pick my battles very carefully. My dad sends me pro-Bush, Republican, patriotic, idiotic emails every other day, and I've written very pointed responses to the idiocy in those messages and I've managed to delete every single one.

It's just not worth it. Are piercings that important? You can always just take them out when you're with your mom, right?

(>_<)
08-27-2005, 02:41 PM
all though i can appreciate your sentiment, it's just a matter of both you and your parents rising above all of it. you'll eventually learn to put their reaction in context and they'll learn that facial piercings/tattoos/a black boyfriend/lesbianism/whatever won't make them love you less. i'm blessed with relatively liberal parents but even they have their moments. this isn't a tactical problem; there is really nothing you can say and few things you can do to change their views.

it's all just a matter of time.

happy
08-27-2005, 03:39 PM
http://www.futuracomposites.nl/pictures/medical/mri%20scanner%201.GIF

Have a nap in one of these -- with your piercings in.

Malosi
08-27-2005, 03:42 PM
they'll get over it.

i don't know what this has to do with asians though.

fmstlr
08-27-2005, 03:53 PM
I just don't like to fight over ideology and believes. I don't care to convert others as much as I don't want them to try to convince me.

hippyjonny
08-27-2005, 04:29 PM
its worse if they dont give a shit.

hippyjonny
08-27-2005, 04:29 PM
my sister broke my parents way before i did anything, so i was cake compared to her.

dimbulb
08-27-2005, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by Malosi

i don't know what this has to do with asians though.

i guess my preception is that asian parents tend to react to more extremes. but i did mention in my first post that the question went out to anyone...

Originally posted by kamenriderv3

dimbulb, chances are that you'll probably stop wearing piercings in the future. you may feel differently about the issue later but its a big deal to you now.

Originally posted by dimbulb
.
i know, perhaps when i'm at a certain age i will be like "huhn? what was i thinking?" and take them out, but for the time being, having them is important to me for personal reasons. i really just want them to see that i'm still the same person they brought up, and not some punk-ass kid.


Originally posted by 35ft6

It's just not worth it. Are piercings that important? You can always just take them out when you're with your mom, right?
Originally posted by dimbulb


i have been, but i much rather them be comfortable with it. because taking them out doesn't change the fact that i do have them.

but also, to you, piercings or body ornamentation may not be important, but they have huge signaficance to me (also mentioned earlier, that i had them done for personal reasons). i was thinking about what would it be like if i took them out for good.. but i got very uncomfortable thinking about that. i would feel like a different person.

i'm NOT asking you guys of what you think i should do, i'm just curious to know what your experiences were like, if any.

Originally posted by hippyjonny
its worse if they dont give a shit.
i agree.

fmstlr> thats where i stand with most things. at one point of our conversation, she said "so what would you feel if i were to get them done too?" as a threat, and i said "i wouldn't care! you really can do whatever you want, and i wouldn't care. it would actually be pretty cool." and i honestly believe that. if she coloured her hair pink? i'd feel a bit weird about that, but hey, whatever, she's still my mother. tattoos? why not if ya really wanted one. but i don't know which part of that set her off and then she hung up on me.

stinky
08-27-2005, 06:11 PM
when i wasin college i dyed my hsir pink. my dad flipped out. he wanted to kick me out of the house. for pink hair! i had never caused any problems, no tattoos, no piercings, so that was pretty extreme. i think i just stayed away from him during that whole time.

fmstlr
08-27-2005, 07:01 PM
Originally posted by dimbulb



fmstlr> thats where i stand with most things. at one point of our conversation, she said "so what would you feel if i were to get them done too?" as a threat, and i said "i wouldn't care! you really can do whatever you want, and i wouldn't care. it would actually be pretty cool." and i honestly believe that. if she coloured her hair pink? i'd feel a bit weird about that, but hey, whatever, she's still my mother. tattoos? why not if ya really wanted one. but i don't know which part of that set her off and then she hung up on me.

from the sound of it, she might have a misconception about piercing and tattoos being signs that you're going to the dark side. You should just reassure her that it's just fashion, not that you've joint a motocycle gang. (She might not be completely convinced). Sometimes they are easier to convince if their peers tell them it's okay. Do you have an open minded (but not flakey) aunt or uncle that can vouch for you? I know you're not asking us to tell you what you should do, so ignore the parts in my post that don't apply.

I think it's not only an asian thing, but it's more prominent in asian parents, because with their expectation that their kids will take care of them in their old age, they react strongly to the slightest possibility that the kids might be fuckin up their life.

YelloKitty
08-27-2005, 09:04 PM
Inside the Asian Pressure Cooker (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/pacnews/archive/2005/08/27/asianparents27.DTL)
Asian immigrants' drive for material success and shame-based culture may be causing many to place impossibly strict expectations on their children. Health and social workers say rates of depression are disproportionately high among Asian American youths, and in some cases this results in suicide.

San Francisco -- It's become cliché: Asian parents browbeat their kids into pursuing prestigious professions in technology, medicine or law, and their children suffer the resulting stress and depression. But speaking with other Asian professionals at a recent social gathering, I found we all agreed that we shared the same affliction.

Jane Wong, 40, from Hong Kong just quit her lucrative software job because the 60 to 80 hour workweek reminded her of constantly struggling to anticipate the needs of her demanding Chinese parents. Wong says she pursued only the most visible projects, craving recognition, but still felt dissatisfied. Rebecca Wee, 40, from Malaysia also walked off her job as a high-tech manager to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. But after decades of being told by her parents that only the most well-paid and stable career goals were worth pursuing, she spends many days paralyzed, undermining her decision and herself.

YelloKitty
08-27-2005, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by stinky
when i wasin college i dyed my hsir pink. my dad flipped out. he wanted to kick me out of the house. for pink hair! i had never caused any problems, no tattoos, no piercings, so that was pretty extreme. i think i just stayed away from him during that whole time.
i was 15 or so when i had pink hair. my mom flipped the fuck out too, said a bunch of mean things like she was ashamed to be seen with me, questioned my sexuality (ARE YOU A LESBIAN?!), and that it would seem like she was a bad mother in front of her friends/coworkers, etc. she got over it soon enough, until i got my eyebrow pierced a year later. then my dad got in the mix and that was just a horrible, abusive time for me.

moving out a couple of years ago to live with my bf was the last time i got into an argument with my parents. actually it was just my mom who had a problem and she said that it was shameful i wanted to live with him because we weren't married. my older sister went the old school route and moved in with her husband when they got married, so compared to her i was the devil child. they've chilled the fuck out now though, thank god.

dimbulb
08-28-2005, 02:31 AM
Originally posted by fmstlr


from the sound of it, she might have a misconception about piercing and tattoos being signs that you're going to the dark side. You should just reassure her that it's just fashion, not that you've joint a motocycle gang. (She might not be completely convinced). Sometimes they are easier to convince if their peers tell them it's okay. Do you have an open minded (but not flakey) aunt or uncle that can vouch for you? I know you're not asking us to tell you what you should do, so ignore the parts in my post that don't apply.

I think it's not only an asian thing, but it's more prominent in asian parents, because with their expectation that their kids will take care of them in their old age, they react strongly to the slightest possibility that the kids might be fuckin up their life.

i still appreciate your comments, really, thanks.
unfortunately my immediate family are the only ones in canada, and have been the only ones here going on 12 years now, and i haven't seen any other family for about 10, 11 years. i'm pretty sure i'm the only one out of the entire family line, both sides, that's doing art/design/music type shit. i know what you're saying though, and i had tried to think of someone, but nothing comes to mind.

i'm just hoping for a nice job offer post-grad and then i can just show them my appreciation by making enough money to pay off my student loan, support myself, and most importantly them, so they can retire already... well, i hope it won't take that long to resolve this issue, but, its looking like the only way so far.


hey yellokitty thanks for posting that link... i've been trying to find articles similar to that so i can send to my parents to read. maybe not that one though, cus i don't want to make it seem like i'm blaming them for anything, because i don't.

mmm i'll revist this tmrw, i'm dozing off.

happy
08-28-2005, 03:27 AM
"The weirder you're going to behave, the more normal you should look. It works in reverse, too. When I see a kid with three or four rings in his nose, I know there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about that person." --P. J. O'Rourke

dimbulb
08-28-2005, 11:30 AM
that is a very unfortunate assumption/attitude on your guy's part.

for one, no one stares at piercings anymore, and two, most people i know with piercings or tattoos have them not because they want to look different. that goes for me as well.

happy
08-28-2005, 11:38 AM
All pierced people want their piercings to be seen by others.

dimbulb
08-28-2005, 11:45 AM
yes, its visible, obviously, but i said, that's not the reason.

fmstlr
08-28-2005, 11:46 AM
what is the reason, or what is YOUR reason?

happy
08-28-2005, 11:54 AM
To be seen with piercings, natch.

08-28-2005, 12:01 PM
Everything is meant to be seen by others, not only piercings.

happy
08-28-2005, 12:02 PM
Some of those things are more faddish and idiotic than others. Most don't require punching holes in your face.

08-28-2005, 12:06 PM
But at least they close up if the person ever get bored with them. It`s a lot smarter than a tattoo, in my opinion.

dimbulb
08-28-2005, 12:10 PM
Originally posted by happy
All pierced people want their piercings to be seen by others.
there are many spots that can't be seen.
i was talking to my bf about this (this whole argument with my parents actually started off not about me, but about him, and she hasn't even met him. i told her about him and the FIRST question she asked was "does he have piercings?"

Originally posted by fmstlr
what is the reason, or what is YOUR reason?

well i'm not going to say the aesthetics of it wasn't a part of it, because i'm not a saint. i wanted a nose ring when i was in highschool but when i asked my mom, she said that she would disown me, so, i fought the thought off for years, until i moved out here. it was something i thought about for nearly 5 or 6 years and at that point, i was going through a transition and it felt like something i could do, to mark that. i debated it for a long time when i thought about the spot, and when i finally went through with it the first time, i felt complete. but a few months later, my mom saw it for the first time, and she freaked. we were in a japanese restaurant and she would not look at me, nor speak to me. that was really painful, and a few days later, i took it out because i didn't think it was worth it.

but, i got it done again within a year.

the lip ring is recent. but it was for similar reasons from last. i had just gone away for a while to europe for school and coming back was quite hard. i'm still adjusting, though its been better than i had expected. this year has been the best of my life, and i know there will be better ones, or not so good ones, but yeah, i made another mark.

right now i work in retail, so i deal with people everyday. having the piercings may give people preconceived preceptions about me, but i don't worry about that because i know once i start talking, they'll know i'm not what they might have though i would to be.

happy
08-28-2005, 12:11 PM
It may be smarter to hit yourself in the head with a clawhammer instead of a sledgehammer as well.

dimbulb
08-28-2005, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by happy
Some of those things are more faddish and idiotic than others. Most don't require punching holes in your face.

do you know anyone or have friends with piercings or tattoos?

dimbulb
08-28-2005, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by Lars
Everything is meant to be seen by others, not only piercings.

:)

happy
08-28-2005, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by dimbulb


do you know anyone or have friends with piercings or tattoos?

I hope not.

dimbulb
08-28-2005, 12:49 PM
well i'm sorry to hear that

likeothers
08-28-2005, 01:53 PM
a symptom of affluent culture.

dimbulb
08-28-2005, 02:49 PM
can you explain that a bit more?

dimbulb
08-28-2005, 03:31 PM
people. if you want to say something, please feel free, but at least be prepared to back it up when someone asks you to, instead of weaseling away... jeebus...

blue
08-28-2005, 07:43 PM
Originally posted by YelloKitty
Inside the Asian Pressure Cooker (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/pacnews/archive/2005/08/27/asianparents27.DTL)

Jane Wong, 40, from Hong Kong just quit her lucrative software job because the 60 to 80 hour workweek reminded her of constantly struggling to anticipate the needs of her demanding Chinese parents. Wong says she pursued only the most visible projects, craving recognition, but still felt dissatisfied. Rebecca Wee, 40, from Malaysia also walked off her job as a high-tech manager to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. But after decades of being told by her parents that only the most well-paid and stable career goals were worth pursuing, she spends many days paralyzed, undermining her decision and herself.

That almost sounds just like me, especially right now. My parents are Chinese, and have been steering me, with a firm hand, towards a career that is considered prestigious.

That was years ago, and I have been in the IT industry since college. Today I don't even know why I'm even there, or what I'm doing in the industry, which is too cut-throat for me overall.

What I've seen so far on being Asian is, it's all about face. On being proud because you have one of those status quo careers.

I can say, my mother relishes in pride when she talks about my "success" in the workplace. She loves to nag and make sure my work wardrobe has the smartest and dressiest outfits. Thinking about this, I'm a bit angry now realising I have spent a good part of my life living out my parents' fantasies instead of my own.

It sounds selfish and ungrateful from the perspective of traditional Asian/Chinese family values, but you're doomed if trying too hard to please parents who think you must confirm to what they have projected for you.

Hope this helps.

nauism
08-28-2005, 07:55 PM
"Dad...did you steal my heroin?"

charlos3000
08-28-2005, 10:20 PM
I've never really had anythign extreme in terms of my physical appearance. Aside from my devilishly good looks, or my perfect AzN skin, and my penchant for shaving my head at random, there weren't alot of physical things that stood out enough for my parents to bitch at.

But i'm lucky because i'm the youngest, and my sister fought alot of the traditional "parents vs. kids" battles for me. I think my parents see that over time, I tend to agree with most of the things that they believe and aren't so much worried about my being a "weirdo kid with pink hair" but more about my being a lazy person, which i am.

Still, where my sister "fought" the battles, she did it in a way that was much subtler than i ever did. I still wonder how she dealt with it sometimes, because my parents circa her adolescence and my parents circa my adolecense were 2 totally different things.

I suppose all you can do is stand your ground on the things that really matter to you and they'll HAVE to adapt to it. All of these vainty based mores are really superficial in the end--a sort of petulant desire to have the unreal superkid who is a successful professional but is really miserable inside. Once they see that you're a successful person and most of all happy in spite of all of the things that they disagree with, they'll have to accept that they're being childish when they have arguments w/ you about such small things.

For all of the hype surrounding asian filial piety, in the end no one can be perfectly pious. And if you find yourself not having differences w/ your parents it's a cause for concern in many different respects.

650lex
08-29-2005, 08:00 AM
Sucked when I was younger - my parents didn't let me do shit - then when I was 17 they let me out all the time - had a 21 year old boyfriend - went out to lots of clubs w/fake ids and then as a young adult mom would smoke me out and drank whiskey and smoked cigarettes w/my pops...ended up pretty cool.

FDM
08-29-2005, 08:20 AM
wait wait wait......you'd smoke up with your mom!?

this means your parents were smoking up and drinking and keeping it from you?

jesus christ, that's even worse than if your parents were just plain old banirra straitlaced conservative no-smoke no-drink asian.

650lex
08-29-2005, 08:47 AM
well - i could always drink and smoke with my dad - i think my mom waited to start smoking w/me and my sis till we were older - she's an old school hippy....

FDM
08-29-2005, 09:05 AM
oh. see, i think this is the wrong thread then. this is the thread for people with the "repressed conservative overbearing" asian parents. not the ones that smoke you up :(

AlaskanKiwi
08-29-2005, 02:15 PM
Dimbulb - First of all, how are you?

My parents are very traditional Samoans. However, they had children in New Zealand (the land of milk and honey) and it was a case of the West meeting the Non-West. Somehow in the midst of coming to a new country, and having a big family they made things work. For us.

Just talking from my own experience. I left home after boarding school, went overseas for Uni (on my own - which is totally unheard of), cut my hair (good Samoan girls never cut their hair), piercered myself silly (god forbid) and got married without my parents consent (I'm killing my parents) and now I'm divorced (to be continued).

Growing up, I always knew that there was this blind kind of obedience that we as kids were suppose to abide by and respect our parents with. When I was younger I wasn't allowed to have a boyfriend till Uni (I was great at climbing out of windows), I could never leave my hair down (those fucking missionaries who came to the Islands are to blame for this), and I had to dress modestly. In their eyes, I'm suppose to live for them and the family - and yes, there is some truth to that. But I branched out, and did my own thing. Over the years my parents have found it in their hearts to "forgive me", and no matter what my parents still love me.

My younger sister is the typical good Samoan girl, who goes to Uni in the same city as my parents, who took my Dad's advice and studied Mathematics and if she's dating she's not telling anyone. So at least my parents got one good daughter. My older brothers are shining examples of what good sons ought to be like. My siblings constantly tell me how lucky I am - but at the same time, I think they're lucky in their own way.

Yeah, I caused my folks a lot of heart ache. However, I continue to strive and show them that I can be a traditional Samoan girl, whose judgement is sometimes affected by her Kiwi upbringing. They see that I'm trying to be independent (trying - heheheh) and even though most traditonal Samoan kids don't joke with their parents, I'm constantly finding ways to joke with my old man, and tell my Mum I love her. I continue to learn from my parents, but at the same time my parents are learning from me. I recently went to Auckland in April, with my labret put back in. My Dad met me at the airport and rolled his eyes "oh not that again, that's so 90's" [as in he wouldn't let me through the front door when I came home from Uni in the 90's for a visit] Sure he's not happy, but he's trying.

Once all the words have been exchanged, once all the crying is done, your parents will still love you.

650lex
08-30-2005, 09:21 AM
Originally posted by funkydrunknmonk
oh. see, i think this is the wrong thread then. this is the thread for people with the "repressed conservative overbearing" asian parents. not the ones that smoke you up :(

trust me - they are straight DRAMA - it is not all hunky dory - we drink together so we can all tolerate one another....

BAOH
08-30-2005, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by 650lex


trust me - they are straight DRAMA - it is not all hunky dory - we drink together so we can all tolerate one another....

that's the shit right there!!

i totally wish i could do that! i get an *intervention* everytime my parent hear i drank a single beer. sup with that?

charlos3000
08-30-2005, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by BAOH


that's the shit right there!!

i totally wish i could do that! i get an *intervention* everytime my parent hear i drank a single beer. sup with that?

my dad thinks that, because i have asian liver and get pink after 4 beers, I am a weak drinker.

Dad, my liver is genetically your liver too. And we both can drink, it's just that i get red and you don't. I blame it on mom, and i guess it's ok that i turn a little red and get raccoon eyes, because it broadcasts to the world that i have good circulation.

he's a pretty pleasant drunk though, just like me.

650lex
08-30-2005, 10:00 AM
man, that means I got both of my alcoholic parents livers combined into one. I don't ever get red - even after 8 drinks - i may pass out in the bathtub but I never get red...

dimbulb
08-30-2005, 03:56 PM
Originally posted by charlos3000

But i'm lucky because i'm the youngest, and my sister fought alot of the traditional "parents vs. kids" battles for me. I think my parents see that over time, I tend to agree with most of the things that they believe and aren't so much worried about my being a "weirdo kid with pink hair" but more about my being a lazy person, which i am.

Still, where my sister "fought" the battles, she did it in a way that was much subtler than i ever did. I still wonder how she dealt with it sometimes, because my parents circa her adolescence and my parents circa my adolecense were 2 totally different things.

i wish that i could say the same things being the youngest. i am the youngest out of 3 kids in the family, but i'm the one pushing it for them. we're all 1 year apart, so its not that big of a difference, but, i do wish that they had gone through the crazy rebellious stage when they were younger so my parents would be easier or more understanding at least with me. but unfortunately, that is not the case. plus i'm the only girl, and my mother is very worried that i might end up taking her footsteps being a party kid and drop out of college.

Originally posted by AlaskanKiwi
Dimbulb - First of all, how are you?

My parents are very traditional Samoans. However, they had children in New Zealand (the land of milk and honey) and it was a case of the West meeting the Non-West. Somehow in the midst of coming to a new country, and having a big family they made things work. For us.

Just talking from my own experience. I left home after boarding school, went overseas for Uni (on my own - which is totally unheard of), cut my hair (good Samoan girls never cut their hair), piercered myself silly (god forbid) and got married without my parents consent (I'm killing my parents) and now I'm divorced (to be continued).

Growing up, I always knew that there was this blind kind of obedience that we as kids were suppose to abide by and respect our parents with. When I was younger I wasn't allowed to have a boyfriend till Uni (I was great at climbing out of windows), I could never leave my hair down (those fucking missionaries who came to the Islands are to blame for this), and I had to dress modestly. In their eyes, I'm suppose to live for them and the family - and yes, there is some truth to that. But I branched out, and did my own thing. Over the years my parents have found it in their hearts to "forgive me", and no matter what my parents still love me.

My younger sister is the typical good Samoan girl, who goes to Uni in the same city as my parents, who took my Dad's advice and studied Mathematics and if she's dating she's not telling anyone. So at least my parents got one good daughter. My older brothers are shining examples of what good sons ought to be like. My siblings constantly tell me how lucky I am - but at the same time, I think they're lucky in their own way.

Yeah, I caused my folks a lot of heart ache. However, I continue to strive and show them that I can be a traditional Samoan girl, whose judgement is sometimes affected by her Kiwi upbringing. They see that I'm trying to be independent (trying - heheheh) and even though most traditonal Samoan kids don't joke with their parents, I'm constantly finding ways to joke with my old man, and tell my Mum I love her. I continue to learn from my parents, but at the same time my parents are learning from me. I recently went to Auckland in April, with my labret put back in. My Dad met me at the airport and rolled his eyes "oh not that again, that's so 90's" [as in he wouldn't let me through the front door when I came home from Uni in the 90's for a visit] Sure he's not happy, but he's trying.

Once all the words have been exchanged, once all the crying is done, your parents will still love you.

hey chita :heart:
i'm doing well these days, thank you, and i hope you are staying strong. thanks for sharing your story (goes for anyone else who did as well). i find actually being able to say "i love you" to my parents really really difficult. i haven't been able to say that ever i think. oh wait, maybe once. but i remember it being very akward.

i was also not allowed to date until Uni. first it was, "not til you're 16", then, "not til you're in highschool", and in uni, it was "concentrate on your school work first..." the first few relationships i was in turned out to be complete nightmares, because i was emotionally handicapped. i don't blame them for any of that though, i learned fast, we learn fast through hard times. actually, our whole arguement this time around wasn't even about me at first. it was about my bf. they 've never met and i just mentioned it to her, to let her know that i'm seeing someone. but instead of asking things like "is he nice to you?" or whatever questions you can ask a daughter, she asks if he has any piercings... *sigh* and that's when the shit hit the fan.


i haven't heard from her in a week. i think i'm going to wait a bit longer and see...

happy
08-30-2005, 04:07 PM
GROW
THE
FUCK
UP.

dimbulb
08-30-2005, 04:30 PM
i'm very enlightened.

JLS
08-30-2005, 06:48 PM
db, you might remember I was at a Korean/Indian wedding this summer. The battle that these two fought against both their families to be together was incredible. My friends family had completely disowned her. Despite the lack of support, they followed through. Before the wedding, both familes conceded that the best they could do is support their (adult) children's pursuits of hapiness. The wedding turned out very well. One of the most memorable weddings I've ever been to.

Keep in mind that your parents beliefs are shaped by a very different generation from a very different culture. That being said, only you can make yourself happy, what other people do with that is up to them not you. Best of luck with that db.


"One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways." - Bertrand Russell

YelloKitty
10-15-2005, 08:02 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/fashion/sundaystyles/16TOP.html

WHEN they were growing up, Dr. Soo Kim Abboud and Jane Kim used to sit, like many children, in the shopping cart next to the candy racks at the checkout line and wail loudly, hoping that their humiliated mother or father would cave in and shush them with a Snickers bar.

But their parents, who were hard-working middle-class immigrants from Korea, had other ideas. Eventually they set a rule: Read one book from the library this week, receive one candy bar the next. Looking back on it, the sisters are not complaining. Instead, in "Top of the Class: How Asian Parents Raise High Achievers - and How You Can Too" (Berkley), to be published Nov. 1, they applaud their parents' coercions. "We read the book, and we got the candy," said Dr. Abboud, 32, who is a surgeon and clinical assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania medical school. "We didn't go without."

In "Top of the Class" the Kim sisters advise parents who want successful children to raise them just as the Kims did - in strict households in which parents spend hours every day educating their children, where access to pop culture is limited, and where children are taught that their failures reflect poorly on the family.
^that's for real

10-15-2005, 08:20 PM
^sadly, that's apparent in any dysfunctional family. my grandmama was that way with my dad 100%. "people are gonna look at you & wonder what kind of mother you have!"

FDM
10-15-2005, 08:26 PM
http://x1.putfile.com/10/28701405529.gif

tangent23
10-15-2005, 09:39 PM
while i didn't have pirecings or tattoos [i think they interfere with the body's energy cycle], i pretty much went through the wringer..

oldest child, from a well respected devout fundamentalist christian martial arts family.. [some of you NY koreans from protestant backgrounds might know members of my family there]

dropping out of university, clubbing 5 nights a week, sleeping all day, out all night, being wierd [from the acid :)]..

basically got disowned, kicked out, etc etc, but i had an intense desire to be myself and beholden to no-one but myself..

basically didn't talk to my family for about 5 years..

i didn't give in to their energy demands, if i didn't agree with it [unwilling to allow others to define my reality], despite all the bribes, emotional blackmail etc..

eventually, they gave in, realised they couldn't change me, and accepted me for who i am..

now, after four years or so, i'm back working with them, and everybody's happy..

if it's that important to you, you have to be willing to lose your family completely.

do what's best for you, people can react however they wish, it's when they try to mould you into something of their own conception when you gotta be careful.

after all, you're living your life, not them.

golivar
10-15-2005, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by YelloKitty

In "Top of the Class" the Kim sisters advise parents who want successful children to raise them just as the Kims did - in strict households in which parents spend hours every day educating their children, where access to pop culture is limited, and where children are taught that their failures reflect poorly on the family.
^that's for real

i kind of wish my parents had done a bit more of this, to be honest. maybe then i wouldn't be such a dickhead today.

tangent23
10-15-2005, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by AlaskanKiwi
Once all the words have been exchanged, once all the crying is done, your parents will still love you.

actually, that's all i was trying to say ;)

golivar
10-15-2005, 11:06 PM
sometimes i feel like i haven't lived up to my parents' expectations because i'm not, say, a doctor or engineer, and because i'm still working to get my career in full-swing. but my parents never expressed anything that should make me feel that way; they never pressured me to go into a particular field as some asian parents are wont to do. they never browbeat me over the "non-traditional" path my life has taken so far. if anything, they're probably the most progressive and open-minded parents i know. it's almost like this weird guilt i have is completely self-induced.

i spoke to them about this earlier this year, and they are actually surprised that i feel this way. no matter how much they tell me that all they want is for me to be happy at what i do, it's still hard for me to completely shake off the feeling that i've let down my family because i don't have some "prestigious" job.

FDM
10-16-2005, 06:39 AM
^ exactly. they never tell me outright that i should be working a 9 to 5, with a tie and jacket on every day, but i just get the feeling that they think their son is a loser.

in the career sense right now, anyway.

i *know* i'm a loser in all other fields. :(

misosoupandrice
10-16-2005, 07:43 AM
Apparently I missed the boat on this one, but going back a couple pages...I've dyed my hair artificial red, purple and a few others and got my lobes pierced and contrary to the usual my american mom was the one who was shocked by all this. She never threatened to dis-own me (aside from when I was getting bad grades in mid/high school). My Dad who was born and raised in Japan doesn't even say anything about the things I've done aside from "Oh you did that? Did it hurt, or where did you do that at?" He actually sort of encourages my sister and I to 'act out' and do the things we want to do. Although I never dressed too 'out there' like my sister, I wore conservative clothing whenever I dyed my hair some weird color (I personally just liked the contrast) but I think it may have helped my parents see that I wasn't going down some horrible path.

As for career paths that 'asian parents' (i think all parents want, but dont push as much) both my parents push me do some prestiegous job, which hasn't really influenced me although I still don't know what I'll do and I'm into my junior year of college. I think the biggest reason my parents push such things is to ensure I will be well off in life, which they seem to equate to doing better then they did. Which makes sense, although I have a lot of work to do to reach the level of success my dad has.

Even with the few things that sometimes make it difficult growing up with an asian parent, I'm glad I did. Both of my parents are happy with where I am (junior in college with no real post college plan?) although maybe I just look good compared to my cousins, the only one on my dads side is 'sorta' in college, and the one my moms side dropped out...mind you all my aunts and uncles on both sides attended college. So I think in some ways your parents feel the need to compare you to other people your age. I know quite a few of my friends who constantly got the "so and so's kid is _____" from their parents.