Impossible! Really??

Recently noted on the guardian website was an article talking about how Bristol, Sarah Palin’s daughter has broken off her engagement. A lot of us must have expected that the whole , ‘she is not going to be a single mother’ and ‘they are getting married soon’ bakwaas was exactly that. She said in an interview that mom’s belief of abstinence is “not realistic at all”.

Just made me think that abstinence being un-realistic, is such a cultural phenomenon. I am by no means for or against Sarah Palin’s belief, so that is something we are not discussing here. What I want to understand is what is it that makes something un-realistic in the US, completely acceptable and manageable by a large majority in India.

Before I go any further, I must say I have not been to the US yet, so my knowledge comes from books, movies, TV and the net. Also I understand that there must be a sample of Indian youth who do find it unrealistic to abstain, not talking in absolutes here.

Are Indian parents better at programming their kids? I have seen the youngsters in a place like Mumbai, where drinking is fairly commonplace, gujju jain kids from pure vegetarian families choosing not to drink, not even curious enough to try a sip. Its interesting. I keep wondering if it is oppressive upbringing or excellent upbringing or something completely different. The same logic applies to loads of Indian kids from many different states and cultures not sleeping around with anyone or experimenting with multiple people seemingly out of choice. It does not seem like oppression because the kids are fairly happy with their families and their lives. I would assume anger as a reaction to restrictions but I have rarely seen it.

Are Indian kids fundamentally different from their American or European counterparts in that they have different priorities and different needs. Is it in some way related to different races being fundamentally different? I don’t think so, but I don’t know (Indian engineering students would become even harder to explain then). Or is it that exposure to the other sex and to a lifestyle of open sexuality is limited/non existent and that is the explanation to how Indian kids/youth behave.

I don’t understand this yet. Why is one person’s impossibility another person’s given?

P.S. Thanks to AMI for framing the last question.

5 Responses to “Impossible! Really??”
  1. WSW says:

    Social conditioning is stronger than we can imagine. That is what prevents a gujju kid from grabbing the beer with his friends and makes abstinence impossible for the Palin kid.

    • kaaliyakapoor says:

      Which is what my doubt is. If that is the case, and a large number of parents in the US are increasingly convinced(for religious reasons or whatever) that abstinence is the way to go. Will they also start following our model in times to come?

  2. Kushak says:

    Wonderful question! Have wondered about this before, but never so clearly. You have a great blog.

  3. Kushal says:

    Whoops! Typo. Comment above by KushaL.

  4. bionicscribe says:

    Well, i guess in India, no matter which caste or community or region you originate from, right from the time you are born the fear of God is drilled into you. and everything you do is directly connected to this funda. If you drink and smoke then you face hell; you face failure in everything you do in life; you r adding up your bad karma. Samething as far as sex is concerned. So even when you enter your teens or reach adulthood these upbringing taints/dictates everthing you do; maybe at a subconscious level. Sleeping around might be one area where it’s more difficult for the Indian youth to follow the abstinence rule. Where upbringing takes a backseat most often. But if there are many around who don’t, i think it’s probably the lack of opportunity rather than anything else. Here what society thinks abt us matters to us and dictates our decisions quite often.
    The fact that things are slightly different in the larger metros kinda proves this point.

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