1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Traditional Hindu families – compare to the Western family makeup! January 26, 2010

I’ve just finished an awesome book on LOVE: “We: understanding the psychology of romantic love” by Robert A. Johnson. I tell you, it’s a bomb. And a must for any Westerner!

The things the author (himself an American, lived in India and Japan) reveals about the nature of the so called romantic love and where it leads us are terrific! I am preparing the post on the book and its highlights. And in the meanwhile please check Johnson’s insight into the nature of traditional Hindu families  – I guess it is pretty much same today, although the book was written in 1983:

“One of the most striking and surprising things I observed among traditional Hindus was how bright, happy, and psychologically healthy their children are. Children in Hindu families are not neurotic; they are not torn within themselves as so many Western children are. They are bathed constantly in human affection, and they sense a peaceful flow of affection between their mother and father.

They sense the stability, the enduring quality of their family. Their parents are commited permanently; they don’t hear their parents asking themselves whether their marriage is “going to work out”; separation and divorce do not float as specters in the air”.

LOVE; axinia

(image by me)


12 Responses to “Traditional Hindu families – compare to the Western family makeup!”

  1. swaps Says:

    Also we don’t have to worry about moving out after college…we can take our sweet time. We can always count on our parents. And they on us (I hope 🙂

  2. Alima Says:

    Right, while working in an international school I
    saw that Indian children differ from Western ones.
    They are really very well brought up.
    I’d love to know more on that- waiting for the
    post about the book.

  3. leelajesus Says:

    I was also quite amazed by the indian children, how satisfied and joyfull they are. To watch the mother-child relationship was a great pleasure as well and very insightfull.

    I hope I can profit from this observations with my own children one day 🙂

  4. Samir Says:

    Just wondering, how can we be certain that we’re not generalizing here ?

    • axinia Says:

      we cant avoid generalisation, can we?

      speaking about anything one should always keep in mind that there are exeptions, but in generaly I am sure the impression a Westerner gets is correct.

    • pooyan Says:

      dear Samir, I come from an eastern society and I fully accept “leelajesus” idea, Generally it is true that a family need love and compassion more than anything else just to survive and grow.
      And it is a fact that eastern people are more affectionate that Westerners.
      all the best.

  5. radha Says:

    also chinese kids are well broght up in my direct experience, lets say an oriental way of rising children is a very good thing to hold onto. but there are beautiful qualities in the western style too and they wil come up in the next years in a more systematic way for sure.

  6. mirel Says:

    Absolutely true:
    Romantic love is the single greatest energy system in the Western psyche.!!!..Is it not love but a complex of attitudes about love – involuntary feelings, ideals, and reactions? our cultural understanding of romantic love makes us place unreasonable demands on our romantic partners because we believe that they have “the responsibility for making our lives whole
    we learned from fairytales that a life without romance is worthless |(love scripts that we are bombarded with from every literary or entertainment form in our lives!!!
    sadly, “happily ever after” of love always emphasized, but never shown.

    n the end, the basis of a stable relationship is founded on a love that emerges not in spite of but because of the other person’s flaws and weaknesses, because ultimately it is our imperfections that make us human, right?

    frankly, Im not a big fan of cross-cultural studies generalizations nevertheless…. in sum, what i observed in eastern cultures in comparison to the west:

    Live in ‘time’
    Value rest and relaxation
    Passive, accepting
    Accept what is
    Live in nature (part of nature itself)
    Want to know meaning
    Freedom of silence
    Lapse into meditation
    Marry first, then love
    Love is silent
    Focus on consideration of others’ feelings
    Learn to do with less material assets
    Ideal: love of life

    alles Liebe!

  7. Poor old Johnson! 😦 I have never come across someone who has so totally misunderstood the concept of “love” that is prevalent among the uncouth hordes of the East (this does not include the few civilised societies of the Far East).

    I really wonder where Johnson got such weird ideas about traditional Hindu families from – it’s seems he cannot understand the way the euphemistically-termed “traditional cultures” work (filthy, uncouth, mediaeval-minded “cultures” would be a more realistic term 😐 ).

    It may certainly be true (and very unfortunate 😦 ) that the family structure is subject to severe stress and strain and often stretched to the point of breaking in the civilised societies of the world. But trying to present uncouth, primitive, barbaric, savage societal structures as the answer to the woes of the West is like giving up e-mail and going back to pigeon-mail because e-mail may be affected by an occasional internet outage 😀

    Let’s face the hard facts, Mr. Johnson. The civilised societies have evolved a long way from the sub-human, uncouth family structures that characterise the primitive societies. Western family structures used to be as primitive and uncouth as the traditional Hindu families about five centuries ago. They have evolved a long way from that barbaric past and have become much more civilised over the years. Just because modern Western families are subjected to severe stress and break up more often than they should, it does not mean the civilised societies should go back to the uncouth structures of the mediaeval “cultures”.

    They are bathed constantly in human affection, and they sense a peaceful flow of affection between their mother and father.

    OMG! 😯 Perhaps he forgot to mention that the “affection” in “traditional Hindu families” is totally devoid of love. Getting married for lowly purposes other than love (like dowry, familial preferences etc.) distorts the very meaning of the word marriage. Instead, marriage becomes a “breeding contract” in the uncouth “cultures” of the world. Like cattle, women are sent to their marital homes to start breeding once their husbands get the licence to have sex after tying the knot. In such shameless “cultures”, since marriages have very little love or are almost devoid of it altogether, rapid breeding becomes the only purpose of the marriage. It isn’t a wonder that the most uncouth, savage, barbaric, primitive “cultures” of the world have the highest breeding rates and keep popping out babies at an alarming rate even in the 21st century 😯

    These primtive, rapidly overbreeding, sub-human “cultures” are a shame upon all of humanity! Instead of portraying the uncouth “cultures” of the world as a living fossil of how the civilised societies were centuries ago, Johnson seems to be promoting such filthy “cultures” as the answer to the problems with civilised societies. It’s really shocking! 😯

    Their parents are commited permanently; they don’t hear their parents asking themselves whether their marriage is “going to work out”; separation and divorce do not float as specters in the air”.

    I really feel sad for Mr. Johnson. They aren’t exactly “committed permanently”. He either does not know or deliberately forgets to mention that they have no choice but to endure each other for a lifetime even if living together is an ABSOLUTE HELL for one/both of them (usually the hapless woman). Being an uncouth society, these primtives don’t really understand the concept of humaneness. Their Paleolithic, sub-human minds only understand that marriage means mating and breeding, and that love or individual/joint happiness as a couple should not interfere with the familial/societal sanction of breeding for which purpose the uncouth hordes get married. Like herds of wild animals, the word “marriage” in the uncouth societies of the world means “mating and breeding” and does not have anything remotely to do with the human concept of “love”.

    If such an uncouth model is what Johnson recommends for the civilised societies, then I guess the world is descending back into the Stone Age faster than I thought 😯

    It’s a real pity 😦

    P.S.: I have no intention of offending anyone, but only presenting unpleasant things as they are, which Mr. Johnson does not mention. Shaky family structures in the civilised societies may be sad 😦 , but barbaric, savage family structures of the uncouth societies 😡 are an utter disgrace upon all of humanity!

  8. Ela Says:

    All I want to say is you know nothing about indian families. You dont offend me rather you amuse me.

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