Another periodic Chinese blog of mine, in response to a movie based on my very generation, emotionally deep; excuse me if you don’t read Chinese.
Aside from the release of Verizon iPhone 4 and another round of big snow in New York, there is something else that has flooded the internet these days: Ms. Amy Chua’s Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior article on WSJ.
I have to say I like this article. I admire Amy’s honesty and audacity to even talk about things in such controversy that many Chinese are familiar with but may be totally unimaginable to other cultures. I am intrigued and impressed by her witty (at times funny) language and detailed examples, and I mean who would not be?! Especially when you read such a tagline – Can a regimen of no playdates, no TV, no computer games and hours of music practice create happy kids? And what happens when they fight back?
However, as much as I have personally lived through many experiences Amy has explicitly described in her article, and as much as I can only nod through her 3 points that by large have differentiated Chinese parents from other parents, I have sadly come to an conclusion that there are at least two fundamental flaws in the very foundation of her arguments:
1) Happiness and success do not necessarily correlate to each other, especially when you define success in such a narrow way.
2) Ending your parenting story when your kids are 15-ish is probably quite pre-mature. What may have worked for a 7-year old does not mean it will work the same for a late teen.
Check this out…
It is interesting to trace how Americans talked about China in the past few years. They were talking about human rights, then intellectual property rights, then environmental problems, then Tibet. And at the same time, they are amazed by what is happening in Beijing and Shanghai, and they couldn’t stop talking about those shopping malls, clubs, Sichuan food, and oriental culture. Hosting the Olympics Game and World Expo doesn’t make you the most developed country in the world, and China obviously is not there yet. But it does attract tons of eyeballs. It attracts praises as well as criticism.
Every country has its own problems and issues. Sometimes I feel one has no right to comment on other country’s problem if first of all, you actually have exactly the same problem, and second of all, you have no idea what is really going on on the other side of the world. I read “Snow“ a while back, the Nobel Prize winning book by Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk. I am not a big fan of the political part of the novel, but there is this one quotation that really caught my eyes: “If you write a book set in Kars and put me in it, I’d like to tell your readers not to believe anything you say about me, anything you say about any of us. No one could understand us from so far away.”
It is a brilliant quotation. And I couldn’t stop but thinking, it is very true that we can’t understand someone from so far away, but do we really understand ourselves and each other, even when we’re actually so close?