Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Family potrait - A pictorial view of generations

My sister has put an old family photo in the cupboard which is situated outside her room. I was there the other day when my wife was printing her time sheets. I glance at the photo and some old memories came back. This photo was taken in a restaurant. We used to go there to celebrate my Grand Father birthday together with all my uncles, aunties and cousins. When we were young, there are not much worries, we do not need to worry about money, work, girls (umm I think no worries also) and etc. You could see the joyful, carefree look on my face.

As we grew older, the relationship in the families will definitely change. The small little toddler that our parents once hold has grown bigger and it’s ready to “Fly” off. Some said the son will become someone husband once they are married. And once that happens; the son will always listen to his wife instead of the parents. That is after the parents have nurtured them well to become a good man, all of this benefits the wife. The daughters that got married are like water thrown out from the door, it will never come back in.

How many sons that is married stays with their parents? When they are married they will need to start a new chapter and build their own family. It’s quite difficult to stay together with the in-laws. They will be issues like clash of identities, characters and behavior which will increase the possibilities of having the son standing in between the parents and the wife. There are also instances the sister and brothers join in the equation, each of them cannot stand each other and will be at each other throat if the laws and time permits.

The daughter will normally and definitely move out and stay with the husband. There are rare instances that the daughter after married will stay back with her own families. This normally is considered a no no and a stigma in our Asia Societies. This means the husband has yet to reach certain financial stability to take care of its own family. In general circumstances the daughter will stay together alone with the husband and she will comes back once in a while on weekends for dinner. The visits frequency will changed from weekly to monthly to festive occasion or when the parents are sick.

All of this is a cycle, your parents take care of you when you are young and when you get married and have your own children, and you will live separately and take care of them. Some where in the middle, you will take care your parents when they are in their twilight years. So those who has family photo, could see the progression. It started with photo that shows your parents and you. The next one should be you and your children and then the following should be you, your children and your parents and it will continue from one cycle to another cycle. In most homes, normally this family portrait is seen hanging on the wall or on the shelves of some cabinets. It’s a pictorial view of generations.

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