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Jade Of Peony Essay

2090 words - 8 pages

We have all been in a situation where we have immigrated to a new country for different reasons regarding, better future, or education. In the book Jade of Peony, Wayson Choy describes a struggle of a Chinese family as they settle in Canada, with their new generation of kids born here, the family struggles to keep their children tied to their Chinese customs and traditions as they fit in this new country. The Chinese culture needs to be more open minded as it limits the future generation’s potential. Chinese culture limitations are seen through the relationship expectations, education, gender roles and jobs.
Firstly, the relationship expectations in Chinese customs and traditions were strongly held onto. The daughters of the Chinese family were considered as a shame for the family. The sons of the family were given more honour than the daughters. In addition, some daughters were even discriminated. “If you want a place in this world ... do not be born as a girl child” (Choy 27). The girls from the Chinese family were considered useless. They were always looked down upon in a family; they felt as if the girls cannot provide a family with wealth. Chinese society is throwing away its little girls at an astounding rate. For every 100 girls registered at birth, there are 118 little boys in other words, nearly one seventh of Chinese girl babies are going missing (Baldwin 40). The parents from Chinese family had a preference for boys as they thought; boys could work and provide the family income. Due to Chinese culture preference to having boys, girls often did not have the right to live. In the Chinese ethnicity, the family always obeyed the elder’s decision. When the family was trying to adapt to the new country and they were trying to learn the new rules and customs they were not permitted to forget the rule they had previously learned regarding the behaviour towards their elders. Liang the family’s only daughter says, “Because of her age, the wiry ancient lady was the one person Father could never permit for any of us to defy” (Choy 147). Even though the Grandma in the novel was following her ancient rules and regulations the Father of the Family and the son of the grandma never, let his kids with any opportunity to disobey the olden ways. He did not stop them from trying to be modern but also wanted them to be aware of their background and their cultural values. In an article written by Citizen's Compendium it was said that the elder people in the family played an important role because they were considered as people who would guide the family, during their dark times. This article supports how the elderly people were given all the authority to order the family, the way they wanted to. Because the children knew the elderly had gained a lot of wisdom and experience in the past that they could drive the family in the right direction, during hard times, they were assumed to give full respect to them. The Chinese culture is very strict about the...

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