Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Future of our kids

I have been contemplating on this topic for a very long time. Time to post this for another series of discussions :) . I have been quite worried about the future of our kids. Their marriage lives in particular. Why?

I have some cousin sisters in their early 30's who were born and brought up here and they grew up with our religious traditions, and now they are finding it hard to get their proper match! They want someone who is brought up here! They also want their bridegrooms to follow our culture and traditions. There is no proper match for them and they do not want imported guys from Srilanka as well since even though they follow our traditions - their mindset is still British! They are finding it hard to get the right match and they are struggling to get married now! This sign is quite worrying for the future of our kids.

Say for eg, I get married and have children (preferably one or none!). Now me being a palaya panjagam (or a guy who still follows the old traditions) - I will be making sure that my children are influenced by our eastern traditions/culture and religion. I can never compromise on that considering the fact that if I have a son - I would prefer him to be a Saint! :)

Now my worry is - say in the next 25 years when my children grow up, marriage is going to be a big problem! Since my children would very much influenced by our tradition and me being a strong believer in my religion and traditions - I can never compromise on their marriage! But will I be able to find a proper match for my children who are also similar to them? Or will they be able to find their suitable match?

Remember this is in the next 25 years..Since from what I see and experience now is - children who grow up here are mostly influenced by the western culture and their kids will definitely be influenced by the western culture. For eg take the case of my cousin brother who grew up here - he can understand tamil but can't read, write or speak. But fortunately his wife who was born here can speak tamil! But I am quite sure - their kids are not going to speak tamil since they converse in English. Even if his children follow our religion and traditions- they would still have a western mindset.

So my questions are - how would you like your children to grow up? Would you prefer them to follow our traditions? Or would you just leave them to grow as they want - find some Tom, Dick or Harry and look after their own lives and lose their traditional identites? How do you forsee the future of these kids who grow up in Western countries? Any measures that can be taken?

27 Comments:

At November 01, 2005 11:20 PM, Blogger Aatma said...

Heavy discussion for a Diwali day - and one that we are nowhere near - first we need to find a girl - then get married and then have kids and then this thought has to come - ivollo chikran tension theviya namakku... as if we don't have enough in life ;)

ok coming to topic - whether we like it or not we will impart our tradition and culture to our children - the same way that we learned from our parent

we should never force them to do something - but our influence should be positive that makes them feel that following our tradition will make them feel good - Why do we ourselves follow our tradition ? we do it because we feel it is ours - we feel it is good to do it - we are comfortable with it.

Eventhough we are in this alien land - we still feel the need to follow our traditions - do you think our parents even thought for a second whether they had to do anything special - so our job is to create the same aura - same environment that our parents created for us - if i am in america - i have to see to that i make each of my festival and occassion special - so that tomorrow my child will remember it and follow it.

First we need to follow it - automatically our kids will also follow - inna we will have to make a little more efforts than our parents :)

 
At November 01, 2005 11:36 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Atma - dude :) - yappa - all u said is fine with me :) - but u havent answered my question :) - what about their marriage lives? :)

Regd kalyanam for us: since I havent started looking - I am not sure whether I can get the right girl here who looks like Asin+Gopika, great character, devoted etc etc..But people around me are discouraging me that I cant find a proper girl here! But I got to marry some one from here who is a doctor too :P - so that I can get free medical checkup done! :))

 
At November 01, 2005 11:40 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Regd my criteria for marriage:

Hindu + Srilankan + Tamil + Asin mari illatiyum 'atleast' oru Gopika mathriyavuthu :P + definite sharp nose! + creative skills + intelligence + doctor + quiet + devoted + selfless love + culinary skills :P + great voice + etc etc

Do u know anyone boss? :))

 
At November 02, 2005 12:18 AM, Blogger Aatma said...

Machan idhu konju over a illai - "Asin mari illatiyum 'atleast' oru Gopika mathriyavuthu" - wow

Their marriage - comeon Arjuna - that is their choice - just like we want to marry the girl of our choice - our kids should also marry the girl or boy of their choice. Yes we can advice them - for what is good or bad for them - but nothing more.

And people who are telling u can't find the right girl in britan - can they gurantee us that they can find a right girl in India - i don't think so. "Machan manaivi amai vadhulam iravan kuddutha varam" - Yellam avan sayil - yaar yaar yeppadi ponnu varum yaarke theriyum ;)

 
At November 02, 2005 3:09 AM, Blogger TJ said...

Arjuna,
Namba pasanga, will look for their own.
The more you think abt their marriage lives, the more are you going to take decision for them, and which is definitely not good. Make sure you provide the perfect [according to you]parenting, and there ends it. Maratha Vechavan Thanni Oothuvaan.!!

 
At November 02, 2005 5:04 AM, Blogger Parvati said...

@arjuna : Wow wow wow! My eyes are streaming with tears of laughter! You cannot be serious! About your requirements for a wife? You want a quiet doctor who cooks for you too? Where are you going to get such a paragon?

Anyway I have quite a bit of work to do; I WILL BE BACK THOUGH - THAT'S A PROMISE.

Seeya later!

 
At November 02, 2005 6:19 AM, Blogger krishna said...

Dear Arjuna

Poonthaanam in his jnanapAna says,

Innale yolam enthannu arinjeela,
Ini naleyum enthannu atrinjeela,
Ini kanda thadikku vinasamum,
Inna nearm enatharenjeela.

Till yesterday we did not know it,
Even tomorrow, we may not know it,
The death to this trunk which is the body that we see today,
Know we not when it is .

Why then worry unnecessarily about the future , dear friend.

I guess we need to worry more about how to develop bhakthi towards God..

 
At November 02, 2005 9:25 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

PArvati - :)) - Abdul Kalam says "U must dream" - I am trying to follow his words to the fullest! Let me dream - and hopefully I will achieve it :))

 
At November 02, 2005 10:10 AM, Blogger Parvati said...

@arjuna: First of all I should tell you about this proverb in tamil- "Adeenga pondaattiya kaannom ashta puthran yettu peraam!"

I am sure you must be knowing it too.

"There is not a wife for you to call "adee" or maybe they mean for you to beat up, and you are already speaking about 8 sons being born to you.."

You sound like that - putting the cart before the horse.

Anyway your concern toward your future children seems very real and genuine - but really! You are worried about your now-imaginary children when they get to be 20-30 years old! You really mean your anxiety.

As tj and Aatma say YOU SHOULD TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WHATEVER YOU WANT THEM TO KNOW OR LEARN ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU. And thereafter it is upto them whether they want to live such a traditional life or half of tradition & half of westeren life, or fully western lives - once they are 18 legally they can do as they wish.

Again you look at things so emotionally, without any balance.You only can do your best by your children - the rest they will have to choose for themselves. Even if you want to thrust your views about marriage, about what girl/boy they should choose etc , that is illegal and criminal in the UK, and they can even get you arrested for interfering in their personal lives!

You have to respect your children's view points when they differ from yours. And leave all unnecessary attachment to them.

In daily life you have to practise detachment - complete detachment even if you are a house holder.
You should have such a strength of detachment that you should be still and not react even slightly if you children convert to Christianity or Islam, married a westerner or an arabic woman, or even without doing all that tell you that they hate all that is SriLankan or Tamil or Hindu tradition, and so you have to stop lecturing them? What will you do?Will you get a heart attack due to heart break and drop dead?

Be detached ; it's easy enough in life; if you dont practise and live detachment, you will be forced to do so by the behaviour of your children.

If you intend to have children learn detachment, learn to love them, read Khalil Gibran's The Prophet and learn about wht he speaks about children.

All this if you still want to bring children into this difficult world.

3. As to your requirements for a wife: Let me not mince words; let me not try and say sweet sounding positive words for once - let me be honest - You will never get such a girl even if you search for her your whole life !!!

You want a quiet doctor who can sing, cook, be spiritual only in hinduism's way, self less love, and THE MOST DIFFICULT OF THEM ALL a sharp nose?! And also creative!!! Not to speak of stunningly beautiful.

You have difficult ambitions, Arjuna - I am speechless at your list your future wife has to fulfil.

I can only say ALL THE BEST! I have grave doubts about your finding such a person ever, and even if you did, hope her list requires a person such as Arjuna, and nobody else!!!

FOR YOUR TRUE NATURE AND LOVING HEART YOU DESERVE TO GET ALL THAT YOU WANT - but this is a tall order even for our Lord Arunachala to fulfil! Let's see how He does it!!

I havent seen such a woman in my life -

 
At November 02, 2005 11:42 AM, Blogger Jeevan said...

Very nice post. I agree with you my friend.

Living in UK, u like your child to live in our tradition and culture,very nice.

 
At November 02, 2005 12:08 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Parvati - No - infact its not my concern - I am just generalizing it as mine..I am talking about the overall indian/lankan population in western countries who share my views :)..

Infact - I want to practice detachment with my wife and children! No attachment at all with them! My last and only attachment would be with my mother! And that's it! No more of it! :)

No way am I going to be worried about my children! As I said before - my plan is to retire at the age of 50 and renunciate everything and get the hell out of here and go to my Divine Father and u know who it is :))..I am jut waiting for that day :)..

Parvati - U have discouraged me now :(( - I think I have a real funny post regarding my marriage :))..I will write it as my next post - :))

Sharp nose - no way am I going to marry someone who doesnt have razor sharp nose! I just adore them! :))

 
At November 02, 2005 12:10 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Atma - check my previous reply to parvathi :)

I am just generalizing..

Man - I guess nowdays we cant find a proper girl anywhere!So I have an idea now! That is my next post! I may get condemnations from women agitators after reading that post of mine! Typical Arjuna at his best :))

 
At November 02, 2005 1:58 PM, Blogger Sumonk said...

Dear Arjuna,
First and foremost, follow the Laws of Nature
"Change is the Law of nature".

When u abreast with change, and be open for changes, everything will be fine. As long as u do not abreast with change everything will be a confusion.

First question:
Let's say I loved a girl in India,

You and your wify are only instruments in bringing a soul to this world. You do not have an ownership of the tiny souls that come into their world. Stop Owning Kids like Toys or Objects. They are humans like u who want to make choices like u made all these years. Infact Kids are more intelligent and soulful than adults, becasue we adults are bunch of scum bags who have been conditioned in the name of tradition and culture. Every culture has its own value and identity. I lived in USA for 9 years. I celebrate Thanksgiving as exorbitantly as Diwali. I celebrate Christmas as beautifully as I celebrate Pongal. As long as our traditions and culture make sense without thrusting on just the rituals, any kid with common sense would love to enjoy.
Explain the Kid, the deeper meaning and joy of Diwali or Pongal, they would be more than happy to celebrate and carry the fun in it. Don't frame rules and say, you have to do this. Educate them with the knowledge u have and transfer the knowledge in form of good discussion forums at home, not as "Military Orders" like a Dictator.

Do you know how sensitive and tender are kid's hearts and minds? We adults in the name of imposing our feelings and emotions screw them up from day one. Every soul has a right of choice.
A father who is a cardilogist wnats hi kid to be a cardilogist like him, because he thinks his kid could carry the tradition of medical profession in the family and thinks that it is best for me. But it maky not for offspring, Kid might be interested in joining Army or Film making.
Same applies to chosing a partner or tradition or culture.

I have seen tons of kids in USA, their parents thrust Indian culute on them. In this world anything done with Force is only temporary and detrimental.

You as a parent become a carrier of good message immaterial of which country or which culture you come from. You represent the humanity in general not just an Indian, Srilankan, Pakistani or British. There is good and bad everywhere. Good and Bad are relative.

After 9 years of stay in USA, I returned to India, People asked "Do you like USA or India?"

My answer: "You are asking me to chose between the right eye and left eye. Both eyes are equally important for me, Both cultures taught me amazing things. Both culutres have been heartful experiences. India taught me to be "MAN" and USA created a "HUMAN" and finally completed my name "SUMAN".

Value systems change, traditions change, cultures change, Do not force to hold it tightly. Remember Change is the law of nature, Old perishes, New comes and again becomes Old. It is a recycling process.

Love marriages were considered bad in our culture. Even today many parents do not believe and agree for that. They create trauma in kid's lives. For example a software engineer who is a hindu loves a doctor who is a Muslim. Ask our parents, many of them would say "BLUNT NO". They go to an extent of killing them, I have seen and heard cases. The kids are grown ups, they have right to chose their life partner, Instead of sitting with the kids and having a good dicussion, they actually force and dictate kid's lives.

I remember one of my close asociate's daughter, who fell in love with a boy when she was in 10th class.
When her father came to know about this, he threatened her saying that He will kill the boy if it continues. The girl of course go scared and later still continued it and when she became a major, the veyr next day, they both ran away and got married and very hapily returned home. They both are continuing their studies. This is what we will end up seeing.

In my close circles, Girl who is studying her MS in USA, fell in love with another guy who also is studying MS, the daughter's mother got so bugged about the situation, she abused the daughter so much, the daughter lost her peace of mind with mother's nasty statements.

At the same time, I have seen kids who go to their parents and discuss eveything like they do with friends, It is because Parents have created such an understaning envrionment.

Parents can only create an environment to nurture Kid's interests and develop a positive air of dicussion and deliberation about any thing and finally leave it to kids to discriminate the good and bad.

Every relationship in this world is spiritual.

Anything in this world can be achieved only with "LOVE".

LOVE is the most powerful weapon in this world, not Force and Fear.

with best wishes and love,
Suman

 
At November 02, 2005 2:35 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

TJ - Orai thathuva malai :))

 
At November 02, 2005 2:36 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Krishna - again there are some things that we need to take care isnt it :) - Its our duty to see that our culture/traditions/religions are secured properly isnt it :)

 
At November 02, 2005 2:36 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Jeevan-romba thanks boss :)

 
At November 02, 2005 2:38 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Dear Sumon - Very good points there :)..Very valid points too :)

"India taught me to be "MAN" and USA created a "HUMAN" and finally completed my name "SUMAN"."

Man - this a good punch dialogue :))..too good :))

 
At November 02, 2005 7:42 PM, Blogger Quz Boss said...

U should'nt worry bout da kidz like dat... Dun worry, they'll know whatz commin. Everyone getz worried bout the future of their kidz but it would'nt be up to u to decide! So (hopefully) they'll make good decsionz in life even if it's not the ones u like or wanted, I'm sure they'll be fine ;-) PEACE

 
At November 03, 2005 4:03 AM, Blogger Priya said...

dhideernu enna ipdiyellam yosanai??

 
At November 03, 2005 5:06 AM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Traditional identites - How much of these do we have. How much did our parents have, their parents...and see how much is left. So what do you expect from your children.? I start with that.

These are all MHO as a father of 2 daughters whom I'd like to raise in the US, the way they want to...but by educating them well and explaining to them what is sensible and what is stupid.

Example - Premarital Sex IMHO not sensible. But if you decide to...its stupid to not use a condom.!

I am not going to teach my children about religion. I am going to tell them what LOVE is..and that there is a supreme power which we call GOD.!

I have long forgotten and wisely so (MHO) ..our so called culture..!!

Thank God we have women like Khusboo in our society.!!

Arjuna and the gang..please pardon me if I have offended any of your thoughts.

 
At November 03, 2005 6:54 AM, Blogger Prabu Karthik said...

Came here with loads to tell.

but then my friend suman has gone about as beautifully as only he can.

arjuna oru china matter.. indha tholai nokku sindhanai nu oru vishayam irukku. ana adhu indha alavukku irukanuma?

25 yrs munnadi namma appa ama yosichirupaangala? internet nu onnu varum, blog nu onnu varum, ipdi international level la velai vetti illadavanga arattai adipangannu?

namma puranam literature temples aam rombo pazhasu, neraya vishayam irukku. Agreed.

my question is this, are you sure about the lives and times of our forefathers 1000 yrs ago?

avanga eludhi vecha thamzihe kutti priya madhiri yaaravadhu interpretor irundha daan puriyudhu.
(interpreter ku thamizh la enna btw?)

ellamey evolve agum.
its not going to ask for yr opinion or mine.

neenga traditions follow panreenganna adu unga choice.
neengala yoischu padichu purinchu panradhu.

unga parents force pannina ellam varaadu.

Noted yr criteria for marriage. yaaravadhu irunda kandippa solren.

ilena onum prachnai illa, brahma kitte solli order pannidalaam.
koncham wait pannunga :)

 
At November 03, 2005 7:34 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

quz_boss -> thanks for ur comments :)

 
At November 03, 2005 7:35 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

priya - ithu thidir yosanai illai - long time yosanai :)

 
At November 03, 2005 7:36 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Narayanan sir - infact I posted this for ur response only :)..I thought u wuld support me :(..but u have different views :)

No no - u have offended me :)

 
At November 03, 2005 7:37 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Prabhu karthik - chance-illai - ulti comment - me laughing here!

"avanga eludhi vecha thamzihe kutti priya madhiri yaaravadhu interpretor irundha daan puriyudhu.
(interpreter ku thamizh la enna btw?)"

ROTFL :))

interpreter in tamil is interpreteru - ROTFL!! :))

 
At November 03, 2005 7:14 PM, Blogger Priya said...

i think namma seyala yaarum control pannarathu illa(try pannalum mudiyaadhu) adhu maari adutha generation enna panna aasaipadraangalo adha panna vidavendiyadhuthaan....

freea vidunga!! naalai sangathi naalai paakalaam..

pk,
ROMBA THOOKI VEKAREENGA..ORU NAAL DABAALNNU EERI MIDHICHIDAATHEEENGA!:)
vettiyaa irundha dhaan blog ezhuvaangannu solli manasa noga adikareengale..
vaazhkaiyala bayangara velaikku naduvula blog paakaren/padikarennu naan nenachikittu thiriyaren:)-

 
At November 04, 2005 10:13 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

priya - saringa public :)) (read it in goundamani style)

 

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