Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wasai---Living with parents

Like many, if not most, North Americans of European decent, after graduating high school, I was faced with two choices: go to college, or get a job and move out. Living with my parents was not an option, nor did I want it to be one. Though attitudes regarding this subject are slowly changing, it is generally still considered a point of shame for any working age person to be living with their parents. Above all, it seems that we value our independence, and to not exercise this freedom is indicative of some character flaw or social ineptitude. Ingrained in most teenager’s brains is the image of the solitary loner living in his parents basement, shunned by the opposite sex, and ridiculed by those around them. We need to look no further then the recent movie “Failure to Launch” chronicling a women’s look into why some [deviant] men choose to live at home. Our upbringing has taught us that it’s not normal to live with our parents. I was certainly no exception, living hundreds of kilometers from my parents, and visiting relatives only on holidays.

Through several interesting conversations I am learning that this aspect of life is very different here. From those I have talked to it would seem that children are almost expected to live at home, sometimes even if they are married! It seems very strange to me some people have secret apartments that they hide from their parents, or that they live in separate cities from their parents for the sole purpose of justifying living on their own. Stranger still is the young (and sometime not so young) married couples that live with their parents. Even back in Canada I was perplexed by someone’s decision to move back to Taiwan to live with his parents – even at the expense of leaving his wife in Canada!

Though in many ways this lifestyle makes perfect sense, my western way of thinking has a hard time accepting it. I can imagine that the strong family ties here make life easier in many ways. In Canada, many young couples struggle to support themselves financially, doubly-so if they have children that are sent to expensive day-cares; here the cost of living would be carried by the whole family, and so often it seems the grandparents watch the children while the parents work. I think Westerners could benefit greatly from adopting even a fraction of this family unity, but first we must overcome our fierce sense of independence.

Submitted to Wasai Taiwan by: Alexander Bunkowski
(Tainan City, Taiwan--- Vancouver, Canada)

related video:

living at home

Johnny Lampert - Living at Home

Another living at home

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure everyone would love to have their own homes if there was THAT MUCH LAND TO GO AROUND.