Generation starts to show cracks in the Vietnamese Family
  • By Thao Nguyen | dtinews.vn | November 12, 2012 08:08 AM

Many families in Vietnam have been struggling to find solutions to family problems arising from the generation gap.


Sympathy and tolerance will be key to remain a harmonious family

In Vietnam it is normal for three or four generations of a family to share one household. And while, in times past, it may have been easier bridge age differences to achieve the much-touted 'Harmonious Vietnamese Family', these days relationships have become more strained due to societal pressures.

Do Vuong has problems with his father and the television set. He likes to watch American films on HBO or other networks, while his father prefers traditional chèo (Vietnamese traditional opera). On the other hand, the children are hooked on cartoon channels.

These are the quotidian problems that can arise, that not only expand in to larger issues, but which show a real break between generations.

Vuong is actually considering buying one more TV to solve the situation.

Bui Tinh, who works for an auditing company in HCM City, said she feels daily friction between her mother and her husband.

"Of course my mother and I have different ways of thinking. I can adapt to that and live with her because she's my mom. But my husband is having difficulties getting used to living in this environment. And it sometimes leads to disputes," she said. The generation that Tinh and her husband belong to have different views on life, and the rigid-mindedness of her husband, she said, causes problems in adjusting to the old way of living.

While each culture has had their problems with generational gaps, those of modern Vietnam appear to be widening.

If the Vietnamese family is to remain as harmonious as it has traditionally been, sympathy and tolerance will be key.

Milton Greenblatt, an American writer and psychotherapist, has been quoted as saying, "First we are children to our parents, then parents to our children, then parents to our parents, then children to our children."

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