Tuesday, May 02, 2006

One Big Happy Family

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet…
The opening line from The Ballad of East & West by Rudyard Kipling

One of the things which gets my goat & raises my hackles is when people start comparing Asian values with so-called Western values, praising the former & denouncing the latter. Having lived in both the East & the West, I realize that I may have life experiences which are unique & which the majority of folks would not have the chance to go through.

Before moving to the West, where I spent 7 years, I was rather apprehensive about settling in, being accepted, making friends in a foreign land. Being the shy sort, I was very uncomfortable about having to make friends with people of a totally different background & culture from myself.

However, I learned that wherever you are, the underlying values are very similar. We all want the best for our children. We value family time. We respect our elders & we teach our children to be respectful to their elders. Neighbours help each other when the need arises. We all try to earn a good living in order to put food on the table & ensure a secure future for our children. We laugh when happy, cry when sad, gasp at atrocities, celebrate achievements. Thanksgiving, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Hari Raya, Deepavali…different festivals celebrated by different cultures, but under it all, it’s all about family, love, togetherness.

I realized that whether you live in S______ville, PA in the USA or S_________ one degree north of the Equator, we are all the same underneath our differences. I finally got it. I hope we all get it one day.

I know that I may be too idealistic. But hey, what’s wrong with high hopes; I think the world needs it today.

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face,
tho' they come from the ends of the earth!

The closing lines from The Ballad of East & West by Rudyard Kipling

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