Sunday, March 10, 2013

#1 No Age Difference

This is the most common one I found so far.
You guys do realize how in Indonesia (or most Asian countries), we refer older people with some entitlement or whatsoever. For example, you put -san or something like that for formality in Japan (right?), or put Bapak/Ibu or Kakak to older people both formal or informal.

As you can see in most Hollywood movies, you can refer to older people without any entitlement, although it's only for informality. But still, I will  never ever call my grandma just by her name, I'd most likely get spanked.

In some circumstances, this is pretty convenient, because then you have no age difference and no social expectation of how you should act. You can treat anybody equally without any hesitation. You can be anyone you want without worry of the entitlement. You can work with anybody with any superiority (expect when it's pretty obvious). I do enjoy this because I can refer only by their names to some people that I know.

But then, for me, being raised in such Eastern manner, I feel that the way of giving entitlement or honor to certain people made my life more secure than having it as free as it is in America. Referring to older people with entitlement made me feel that I have respected their life or at least put an awareness for myself to pay attention to my behavior around people. Even though some people might see the entitlement as a bad way to socialize, for me, having someone refer to you with title make you aware of your common obligation as human. It made me straight and respect people the way they respected me.

Like someone told me before, you don't need to be taught how to be naughty or bad because it gradually comes within you, but you need to be taught how to be nice, tolerant, respectful. Being free is okay, according to any human rights that are stated in this world, but respecting and showing gratitude is another form of taking care of yourself. I think.

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