family,  life

Multiple cultures and double standards

I was sat revising for my psychology test tomorrow when I realised what I was revising is quite ironic as I had spent the afternoon talking about the same topics. (Obedience and culture)
Usually our bungalows and bears afternoons are spent complaining whilst eating the BEST chocolate fudge brownie you will ever taste! Just thinking about it right now makes my mouth water… Anyway back to the point. I was with some friends who are all very different but share one thing in common, we’re being brought up in VERY different cultures. Bilqis, my best friend is half Mauritian, half English and Muslim. Her boyfriend Idris is half Pakistani, half something else (don’t want to put anything false) and also Muslim. Jody who is English and I’m sure she has a bit of Jew in her (isn’t a practicing Jew) and finally me. I’m Zambian and Catholic.
Jody is being whisked off for valentines day for a romantic few days alone with Ben (her boyfriend) only somewhere in England but the whole things sounds so amazing! You all obviously know British culture so I won’t expand too much but my point is in British culture at 18 you’re an adult, you have a lot more freedom to do what you please and even though parents may still have a say it’s very different from our cultures. In mine 18 is just a number. As long as I’m living with my parents I do what the say. This means, no drinking alcohol, no going out. My curfew is 7pm and that isn’t a joke and I’m also not allowed to sleep over at friends. Bilqis is pretty much in the same boat except no alcohol is because of tradition and she can sleep at friends. Even though she’s very likely to spend the rest of her life with Idris a weekend away would never be considered by both sets of parents. If we want to go out we have to get permission from numerous people and let them know where we are going, every single person we’re with, what time we will get there, what time we will come back, how we will come back etc. For new years eve I wanted to go out and my dad answered with ‘I’ve been out there and lived, people do stupid things so I’m not letting you.’
Some of you reading this will be wondering why on earth we’d put up with this. That’s a pretty good question and one I can’t give an exact answer for. This is where my theories of religion, culture and obedience come in. As kids we’re brought up to say please, thank-you and do what we’re told. With our religions and all cultures you’re meant to listen to your parents it’s common but I think where there’s culture and religion comes more discipline especially with age. I do not understand how parents can choose to bring up their kids in two cultures and only embrace the parts they see fit when they please. How is that fair? I can not fathom the amount of times I’ve had to explain to my friends why a few times I may be allowed out to a certain time then another I won’t even be allowed out at all during the day. I went to Meynell primary and Chaucer school where my friends were basically allowed to do what they wanted. I hated missing out on so much but it wasn’t till I moved to All Saints and found Bilqis I realised I wasn’t alone. We have sat and compared notes so many times comparing our up-bringing to others sometimes wishing we could live in the shoes of our friends for a while but at the end of the day we’d always come back to our lives.
Sometimes we want to shout, rebel and act like kids our age but who would that benefit? It only causes problems in our families and affects our grades meaning we’re ruining our future. Is it really worth all that for a night out? My mum always says the time to go out will come once school is done but after A-levels comes more learning whether that’s a job or university. Either way at some point we have to leave home and live life for ourselves. What I don’t understand is how our parents can believe we’re better off not going out at all surely we need to see some of the world in moderation and make inevitable mistakes on a smaller where they are more in control of the outcome rather than one day having the freedom to do whatever we please? Sometimes I don’t think our parents give us enough credit for how mature we can be. Obviously we’re still young and we’ll do stupid things, lie and make mistakes but usually you find parents trying to bring up their children in two cultures are either overly strict or totally lose control. If you have strict parents you won’t push them, if you don’t then you’ll get your way.
People complain about the British culture and the teens of today but who is to blame? Some say parents, some say school but in my opinion charity begins at home. Everyone has problems at home, yes some more than others so sometimes you just have to bite your tongue and get on with it or you’ll have a terrible relationship with your family who are only trying to protect you as they want what’s best for you. I stick to believing double standards aren’t fair on anyone at all if you choose to bring your kids up in two cultures you should embrace both. Both will have good and bad points which are inevitable so maybe our parents should trust how they’ve brought us up instead of basically saying they don’t trust their parenting skills or think they’ve prepared us for the outside world because I know we appreciate our cultures and traditions more than they could ever know.
For all of you out there who have a hissy fit just because you can’t go out all weekend or sleep out for one night be thankful your curfew isn’t 7pm!

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