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Are You More ‘Western’ or ‘Eastern’?

14 May 2017 – 8:02 pm |

 
The way we respond, interact with others and live our day to day, is highly influenced by the kinds of culture that we – consciously or unconsciously – adopted.
My question is, have you ever wondered:
Are …

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Are You More ‘Western’ or ‘Eastern’?

14 May 2017 | Posted in: Daily, Parenting | No Comment


 

The way we respond, interact with others and live our day to day, is highly influenced by the kinds of culture that we – consciously or unconsciously – adopted.

My question is, have you ever wondered:
Are you more of a ‘western’ kind of person, or are you more ‘eastern’?

Do you adopt more of the western culture, or more of the eastern culture?I grew up in Australia spending my teenage years and early twenties there.

I spent a good 13 years of my working and married life in Singapore, raising 3 kids on our own in a country that embraces Chinese, Indian, Malay and Eurasian cultures.

And now, we’re in Jakarta.

(Sometimes I still find it hard to believe that it’s been FIVE years since we relocated!)



You see, every now and then, I do have people asking me, ‘You’ve lived in the West and the East, do you adopt more of the western culture, or more of the eastern culture?’

And my reply has always been, ‘Having lived in both cultures, I try to adopt what I believe as the best from both cultures.’ =)

For example:

Western culture:
It is RUDE to speak loudly in a foreign language where people around cannot understand what you’re talking about.

(This is considered okay in the east, well at least not THAT rude)

What we choose to do:
When we’re on a foreign land where Indonesian is not spoken by most people, we try not to speak Indonesian loudly.

Like when we were in Australia recently, I continually reminded the kids to speak in English when we’re in public (I had to repeatedly remind them because they’re not used to speaking in English all the time =)

If, btw, they insisted on still speaking in Indonesian, they then must speak softly to each other. I explained to them why it’s considered as rude by Australians to speak in a language that others don’t understand.

It is RUDE to arrive at someone’s home and NOT take off your shoesAnother example is:

Eastern culture:

It is RUDE to arrive at someone’s home and NOT take off your shoes. It’s also rude to NOT greet the people there, especially the elderlies.

(This is considered as not THAT rude in the west)

What we choose to do:
We ‘train’ all our kids since young to take off their shoes before entering anyone’s home, and to greet those whom they meet (loud and clear please, not a whisper=), especially if they’re older. If they don’t know their names, then they must at least politely say, ‘Hi aunty’ or ‘Hi uncle’, looking at them in the eye when greeting them.

(I know of families whose kids are not told of the importance of greeting others, asking for permission before entering other people’s bedrooms / opening other people’s drawers, etc. Each to his own, of course)

Anyway.

There are many other examples that I hope to share with you. Perhaps, in another blog post then? =)

Kids being kids, they don’t ALWAYS do what they’re taughtSo, back to my earlier question:
Are you more of a ‘western’ kind of person, or are you more ‘eastern’, or perhaps, both? =)

Have you given it any thought before?

Now, we all know, kids being kids, they don’t ALWAYS do what they’re taught.

So, what we do as their parents:
– continually remind them of what they need to learn
– correct misbehaviours
– repeat the above (with patience in our tone of voice =)

Easier said than done.

May God give us extra patience and perseverance in teaching and guiding our children every day. Amen.

Learning to See HOPE amidst Injustice and Sadness

9 May 2017 | Posted in: Daily, Inspirational | One Comment

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Genesis 50:20
 

Today, Indonesia and the world witnessed yet another historical moment.

Ahok, Jakarta’s current governor, has been sentenced to two years of jail time due to ‘blasphemy’.

The judge said (stated on the Jakarta Globe article)

The judges rejected Ahok’s defense, saying the governor’s conduct was in no way relative to national unity.



Those who have been following Ahok’s brave movement against corruption and push towards the development of the city of Jakarta naturally find it hard to NOT feel sad for what’s happening. I feel the same way, too.

A time to learn and trust that God’s plans are always beautiful, in His timeThis morning, as I sent the kids to school, I reminded them of what happened to Joseph and Daniel.

ie. When injustice happens, God still is in control. We are often more preoccupied with what’s in front of us, but God knows the big picture, and we need to pray and learn to trust in God more.

Am I sad?

Very much.

But I tell myself, this is a time for us to learn and see HOPE amidst injustice and sadness.

A time to learn and trust that God’s plans are always beautiful, in His time.

May God have mercy on Pak Ahok and his family, and on us all.

PS:
To all Ahok supporters, let’s stay away from hateful words and actions.

For We Brought Nothing into the World, and We Can Take Nothing Out of It

4 May 2017 | Posted in: Daily, Inspirational | No Comment


 

What do we normally do before we go to bed?

One of our bedtime routines is (ie. Before all 3 kids go to bed), we read a paragraph or a verse from the Bible, and Mommy or Daddy will share more about it with the kids.

We share what we can learn about God or ourselves, and often we’d also share personal experiences related to the verse that we’re discussing.

We’ll then close in prayers.

Be more of a giver, not just be a receiverFor the past weeks, we’ve been learning from the apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy. And, these past few days, we’ve been reading from 1 Timothy 6:2b-10. So much to learn from these few verses.

Anyway, I’d like to share this verse with you today:

1 Timothy 6:7
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

This is such a great reminder to us.

As babies, we enter this world bringing nothing with us. And when we leave this world, we can bring nothing as well.

What we have, what we own, while on earth, is ‘given’.

If we lose what we have, remember that we don’t ‘own’ them to begin with, so we can never be angry with GodGod gives these blessings to us, things that we can enjoy while we’re on earth. They could be our home, our car, our nice clothes, food, possessions, money, including our family and good health.

And we need to remember, that what we have is not ‘ours’. It’s more like, ‘God lends them to us temporarily’.
And we are responsible for managing and taking care of them.

ie. If for some reason we ‘lose’ what we have, we have no ‘right’ to be angry with God. God gives, and God has the full right to take them from us, anytime.

Okay yes I know, it’s easier said than done.

Going through such a process ourselves is very HARD.

eg. If we lose our job, if we lose a child, if we’ve been robbed and lose a chunk of our savings.

No one says that life will be easy all the time. But at least I’m sure of one thing, that God will never leave us to struggle alone. Pray and ask for extra strength and help at times of trouble, and He listens. He knows what’s best for us.

(This is the hard part, ie. Putting our ‘trust’ in Him, and not in ourselves)

Anyway, I’m really thankful for the many reminders we learned today.

Our life is so temporary.

We need to be thankful for what we have.

We need to be thankful for what we haveIf we lose what we have, remember that we don’t ‘own’ them to begin with, so we can never be angry with God.

Since what we have is a blessing from God, we need to learn to share with others (starting with our own family) and be more of a giver, not just be a receiver.

(This is often one of the harder things to do, isn’t it?)

May God help us.

Amen.


1 Timothy 6:7
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

On Picking Beautiful Flowers

2 May 2017 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting | No Comment


 

‘Oh look at these flowers! Aren’t they beautiful?’

‘Awww … the colours looks so bright and nice!’

When we see beauty, what do we do?

If we’re talking about flowers, many people somehow have the tendency to … pick and bring them back, in their hands.

They’ll lose their beauty which we admire earlier, because of us
Well. I guess I’m quite ‘picky’ when it comes to picking flowers.

I tell all my kids since they’re little:

If we spot beautiful flowers, enjoy the sight and smell, but we must leave them alone.

Because, once we pick them, they’ll soon die.

Just because we like something, it doesn’t mean we can kill it.

They’ll lose their beauty which we admire earlier, because of us.

(Well, unless you’re standing in a field where there are hundreds and thousands of wild flowers around, then creating a little bouquet for Mommy would be nice =)

I know all this talk may sound simple, but I strongly believe little talks like these will build the children’s mindset and sets of values (that they need to care for nature, and not just do whatever they want, simply because they’d like to do it), which they’ll carry with them till they’re adults.

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