Sunday, 16 July 2017

Values

Another interesting insight about cultural differences in the East and West from my discussion with Br Vlastik.  We were talking about hierarchy, values and culture.  It is not always that we have different values.  Mostly it is difference in prioritization of values.

For example, here in the West, personal happiness takes precedence over and above family ties.  Hence the large number of divorces, remarriages and sexual liberty.  When a man and woman marry each other, and if they do reach a point in their life together at which they feel that their personal happiness is threatened by their marital bond, then they would prefer to go separate ways than sacrifice happiness.  In the Asian culture, family unity is considered of greater importance than personal happiness.  Hence even when a married couple realises that living together is nothing short of hell, they'd still stay together.  Most often it is the woman who bears the most in our culture.  But everyone tries to retain the marital bond than break it for personal fulfillment.

Naturally someone from the East will find the high rate of divorces and breakup in the West shocking, those in the West are shocked how couples live together even if both are not really happy in the marriage!  For a Westerner looking at an Indian wife spending her whole life taking care of the house, husband and children is 'atrocious'.  For the Indian wife she feels complete when she holds the family together, even if that means she is a full time housewife.

The Hindi movie Ki & Ka comes to mind in this context.  It rightly draws one's attention to the role of the man and woman in the house, in a marriage, especially in the Indian context.

Another scene with an interesting insight into relationships and roles in family life...

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