Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Beat Your Kids

In my reading class today, we were reviewing the meaning of a sentence which said, "Anywhere you go, I will find you." Our teacher said that it's the kind of phrase that parents can tell they kids when they're trying to run away from a beating.

She stopped herself there, and said, "I don't know if in your country parents still hit their kids, but in China we still do. It's mostly in the rural areas where they really beat them; but regardless, that's one situation where we can use this grammar."

She went on to explain that, previously in rural areas, if you were a teacher and you didn't hit the kids, people would consider you to be a bad teacher. They would think that you didn't have control over the classroom and that the children didn't respect you. (Note, however, that they're talking about on the hand or some place similarly shocking, but not especially painful.).

Our teacher said, "I know that in places like America, if you hit your kids, they can call the police and get you in trouble, but that isn't the case here. It's part of the tradition here - parents are the authorities. They are allowed to hit their children when they don't listen."

She said that some younger parents try not to hit their children, but that when their children don't listen to them, other people say, "Why don't you hit your kids? They don't listen!"

This isn't just China, of course. Most of my non-Western classmates all agreed that it was similar in their countries. It's just a different mindset. Hitting children seems kind of awful to alot of Americans, but it's a way of instilling obdience and respect of authority in other places.


At 5:03 AM, Blogger Nick said...

Beat your kid and eat your dog - I'd love to hear a Chinese Western song!


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