8/5課堂筆記 When being who you are challenges the norms

Closing Statements:
I don't want to get married, and society can't accept this. Also my family will not accept this. I told my mom that I will probably not get married in this life, and she's always like, "oh, you will be alooooone." And i say this is okay, and she's like, this is not okay. And my aunties and cousins think it'll be good for me to get married. But I think it's okay to be alone. I've got friends! And my sister says she'll push my chair when I get old.
I think for society and for the traditional part, I'm not okay in the marriage problem.

Can I suggest something evil? The next time your mom says you'll be alone, then why don't you ask her, "Aren't YOU alone?"

Ohhh! you're evil!! But it's true, even if you're married, you can be alone, or lonely.

I think we can get all together with my friends, and play mahjong, and sing KTV, and so I'll have someone to push my chair, and help me earn money, and someone to play mahjong and sing KTV with me so it's okay.

I think people around me also send me some signals, they think that girls should be sweet and always dress beautifully, and be good at cooking, and be kind to boys, and not get angry so often.

You don't get angry that often!

But I do get angry a lot at home and at my office. And I'm not so into fashion, or how I dress. I feel the people around me think I'm not a 'qualified' girl.

Oh, my god, I love how you said that!

And this is too judgey!

My grandmother thinks I should learn how to cook, and I wouldn't mind if she was saying it so that I could learn how to take care of myself, but she says it because of my sex.

I think my family thinks I'm not a qualified girl, too. They're always telling me to find a boyfriend, but I don't want one. The point for me is the freedom.

You should tell them you're getting a girlfriend.

Actually people ask me, are you gay? And I don't have any problem with people being gay, but I'm not actually! I just feel relationships aren't necessary. The point is, I just don't want to get married.

I just hate that people blame you for not being normal. If you don't get married, that's abnormal, if you don't have kids, that's abnormal, but what i want to ask is, what is normal? Who is one person in the world can say "I'm normal"? I think most of us have some problems in our body. If you go to have a health check, will you be normal? There's actually no normal. But it's so easy to judge people.

Because they have no reason to explain that you are wrong, so they say you're abnormal.

But it's our behavior is just fewer frequency.

But our behaviour is pioneering!

It's just statistically occurring less.

Or we are not so easily controlled by them, so they say we're not qualified!

Unqualified women unite!!!




1. What is a tradition?
old-style
accepted by most people
the rules people always obey
...without asking why
some rules set by people with power, like a family tradition is always set by fathers and grandfather.

2. Do you enjoy traditional things?
sometimes

3. Which traditions do you enjoy? What’s your favorite tradition?
I like the food, like zongzi, oua-gui,
I like red envelopes, getting and giving
I don't know I'm probably against all traditions.
so you don't like fireworks, not really
decorating things on holidays
I think holidays are only fun with little kids

4. Which ones irritate or frustrate you? Which one bothers you the most?
your parents are always right, traditions are supposed to be good, traditions are a burden, too heavy to bear. I hate Chinese New Year, its all about tradition, no fun.
I dislike nien gao, I dislike that at chinese new year dinner with my family, my mother is always the last one to be served, I also dislike the cny tradition of preparing the chicken, fish, pork, meat, too much! and you can't finish it all in one day.
so you have to eat so many leftovers, its not that much fun
I don't like wedding traditions in taiwan.
oh, me too! it's too much work
And too many rules to obey, the items you need to prepare, and how much money you have to pay
the dowry
and even when you're a guest!
and you have to be careful not to be too polite, it's two families, the situation is very complicated
and I don't like the traditions on the girls side, like sister's table. It's like the last meal with your family before you get married. before the groom comes to the girl's family, your mother has to prepare a whole big meal, and your sisters and cousins, has to be 12 people at the table. you have to have certain dishes, and your mom personally feeds you with her own chopsticks. It makes everybody cry at the table.
It's like you're dying or something!
and after the meal you have to kneel down with your husband to be to say goodbye to your parents. This is not okay for me!

5. How do you know something is ‘traditional’?
when parents tell you "this is tradition"
this is the way it is" they don't have a better explanation.
or the teacher tells you. Or the books describe it.

6. Is there a difference between ‘tradition’ and ‘this is how we’ve always done it’?
like, the Mid-autumn festival, we barbeque, and we've 'always done it' but it's not really traditional.
yes, when we were kids, we didn't do it, and now we're doing it, and I don't know why!
kids now probably see barbequeing as an important part of it.
i like lu do pong better than barbeque.
but barbeque is so hard to clean up! so dirty, and sticky

7. Do traditions evolve? (i.e. barbeque at moon festival) Which ones tend to stay the same, which ones tend to evolve?
when the tradition starts to conflict with how people live, the tradition will change. like now people are into healthy food, so people will change what they eat at chinese new year.

8. Does the evolution change what the tradition is about? Does it change the essence?
the meaning of christmas has been changed (in Taiwan) it's now another kind of valentine's day. It should be about family, but now people stay with their girlfriend or boyfriend.
like New Years' used to be about friends and now it's about finding someone to kiss

9. What does ‘early adopting’ mean?
it's like a fashion
you feel like a pioneer.
the person is flexible
recognizing early-on that something is a good thing

10. Do you like to early adopt, or do you prefer to wait and see? For technology? For new foods? For new clothing styles?
wait and see, for technology, for dress styles
because some new things have some disadvantages
it's usually more expensive
like Lasik! I'm going to wait and see.
you notice, eye doctors never get Lasik. you know, it's very dangerous! they peel your cornea back! and the cornea has several layers, and the front one will be cut and scraped and cut the middle one into steps, they step the middle one and then put the top layer back. but if you take a plane, and the pressure changed, you won't feel comfortable. and if you choose a bad doctor, or a cheap surgery.
I'm an early adopter for food.
I'm an early adopter for clothing styles
actually the older I get, the less I early-adopt

11. How does early adopting make you feel?
it's a waste. it wastes money, because usually you have to pay more money to try new things, pay more money for movies, for software
I feel kinda cool. I have this, and no one else does.

12. What does waiting to see make you feel?
safe. rational. prudent.

13. What do people see an ‘early adoptor’ as. Are they looked up to? Laughed at?
14. Does it matter what kind of change they’ve made? (new technology, new way of eating, new style of clothing)
when it's technology, people look up to them
when it's fashion, they laugh at them.
adventurous
different or unique

15. Do Taiwanese in general do early adopting, or do they wait till a new technology has proven itself?
taiwanese are early adopters, for most things, technology, food, fashion, lasik.

16. When do you know that some way of doing things should change? (in your personal life, in your family, at work, in society)
when I feel there's something wrong
when we stop being able to finish the food on the table, we knew we had to cook differently.
when someone loses control
when I angry often
when I don't like myself anymore
when I don't feel good anymore

17. Is there a feeling that tells you things have to be different, or have to be done differently?
18. What kind of feeling do you get when you realize something has to change?
yes, you're just tired of this situation. you just know that something has to change, and you can't wait for others. because if other people don't change, then you're just waiting there, so you have to change yourself first.

19. How do you feel when you’ve made a change, and it’s right? What does ‘right’ feel like?
Happy! because you just know that it's right or true, or it's good for yourself. It will make you feel better, and that's the right.
you actually feel you've grown up, you've made progress, you've leaped forward.
and you feel no confusion.
and there's no fear anymore.

20. How do you feel when you’ve made a change, and it’s wrong? What does ‘wrong’ feel like?
I still feel happy, because i've made the change. of course, there's be some regret, but I'll still feel happy about the change.
if it's about food, I'll feel angry! because if I eat some bad food, I'll hate myself. why did I have to change when it's bad now?

I have a question.:In the process of change, we might hurt someone else. If in the end we think it's right, then it's okay, but if not...?
That's a tough question.
Do you have some experience?
yes, i wanted to change our family tradition, I argued with my parents, and in the end, it was wrong, and I just felt terrible.
What was wrong?
The change made things worse.

21. How do you know if adopting a change is moving forward or if it is destructive? (e.g. genetically modified foods: an advance or a threat?)
time will tell....
you can look at others experience.
I feel wrong in my gut

22. Which of the following choices is controversial in society?
23. Can you think of any other choices you can make which are universally accepted in modern society?

• ^choosing to carry one’s own bags and containers with which to buy things
• choosing to grow/consume foods without chemicals
• choosing to not own a television
• ^^choosing not to eat meat
• choosing to not eat wheat, milk, sugar
• choosing to live simply, with few possessions
• ^choosing to live with a partner without getting married
• ^choosing not to have children
• ^choosing to openly live your sexual orientation (transgender/intersex/bi/gay)
• choosing to live a religious life

controversial = people will fight about it easily

eating meat is controversial?
yes, because people have to ask you about it every time.
or people ask me why.
it's people's free will to choose what they want to eat, but my parents like to impose their thinking on others, so when they hear someone doesn't eat meat, they will feel uncomfortable, and try to persuade them.
I don't eat beef, and people are always asking why. "because my father is a farmer." Good answer!
I agree that if people have to mention it, it's still an issue
if people don't talk about it, then you know it's normal

oh, it's not a choice on this list, but it's my personal thing: walking at night. I walk from the train station at night by myself, every night, and my neighbors always mention this, and ask me why I don't have a bike or a motorcycle. but I like to walk.
how long does it take.
15 minutes.
but it's Taiwan, so you CAN walk.
In India! you never walk at night. Or in Pnomh Penh.

24. Which of the above choices would be hard for you to accept in yourself?
choosing to not own a television
• choosing to live a religious life convent

25. Which of the above choices would be hard for you to accept in someone else?

• choosing to live a religious life
>choosing to live in ignorance. "no hard scientific evidence for global warming"
yeah, they just don't want to change

26. Which of the above choices would be hard for your parents to accept?

Discussion Question: What about who you are is hard for society to accept?

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