The Asian Value

The title almost speaks about everything I wanted to pour out in this writing. But perhaps each and everyone of you had experienced something of such, has such value you diligently follow, or you’ve even constructed a theory (or theories) about it.

The Japanese’s discipline, the Chinese’s extravagant skill of imitation and innovation, Thai’s gender liberalism, Indonesian’s and Malaysian’s conservativeness and hospitality (and I bet some Indo and Malay readers hate that I characterize the two nations with the same word, but face it: we ARE that similar). And those are the nations that I know of. I’m sure more characteristics and values are present within each Asian nation, but those are the ones that are most popular, even with the Western readers.

In general, Asians can be considered as conservative and tradition-oriented. Even though it’s not comparable to the Middle East, but it’s still so. Mainstream globalization and media attacks diminish the effects present within most Asia, but the values are still there, and still standing strong. As you might have heard, South Korea is often known as being extremely unfriendly to individuals with different characteristics than their beauty idols, might that be actresses or K-pop or whatever (this would answer why all girl band members and beauty pageants contestants look alike). But you probably have never heard of their complex cultural traditions that would leave your feet sore and your mind adrift due to the length and complexity.



Image courtesy of alex[a]lexa


But what comes into question is the impact of such values in the modern world. Surely the word lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual, atheism, justice for all, hippie, and such are very familiar to us. Even though those words are very much the same familiar to Asians, they (we) still tend to react rather negatively to such hints. Quite understandable, because they do deviate from the thing we call “the Asian Value”.


How about the women? In such a well-mannered region, surely the men must be treating the women with such great respect. Unfortunately, they don’t. In fact, women are more psychologically suppressed and indoctrinated to act more like… you know, women. Women who don’t cook, drink alcoholic beverages, smoke, and make free choices are considered to be quite radical and not of “girlfriend quality”.


In terms of social manners, sure we talk more politely than our Western counterparts. But with such dilly dally and polite conversations, comes the massive effect of excessive sugarcoating. I’m not an expert in Asian culture, but it is very prominent in my own country and I assume in many other Asian countries (exception for Singapore). Sugarcoating undoubtedly leads to many deep rooted crucial problems that accumulate over many periods of interaction. Asian people (again, with the exception of Singapore and perhaps some more developed regions such as parts of Japan and Hong Kong) are very insecure acting on their own. You will rarely see people in my country going to the cafe or diner alone. Or even the restroom. This dependency is a problem that continues on to be a disregard of individuality.

I’m definitely not saying all Asian Values are bad. The goods are definitely there, but you can’t deny that the sugarcoating sometimes get pretty tiring and you can lose yourself if you’re a social-but-unique person. Difference in ideologies and ways of life is condemned in some parts of the region, but tolerable in other some. But then again, I guess, our culture makes us attractive to westerners, or to other people from continents across even. In any way, if you’re not ready to embrace all these values and habits of Asian, you’ll get lost in it. (no I’m not bitching or being ungrateful, it’s only one of the blissful moments in my life where I thoroughly enjoy melancholy and ranting about it)




-The Dilly Chic- 

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