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Reader Responses to Observations about Asian Mentality and Culture

and Taboo Observations about Taiwan


(Sorted in ascending order, newest at the top)

Hi Winston.

I had written in your contact form but I want to know your personal
experiences. What I hate most about living in Taiwan is that I always am
treated like an outsider, simply because I didn't spend my entire life in
Taiwan and speak Chinese with an accent. I don't like to be asked where I
come from, which I get all the time when I talk to people. I've already
been living in Taiwan long term (8 years) and feel so tired about how hard
it is to fit in. I also don't like mentioning how I grew up in the US or
abroad, since many people are not accepting and will make fun of you for
it, because it proves that you are different from them. It makes me
paranoid to be around others simply because I know that they will make a
big deal out of it. When I'm in other countries or talking to different
races, it is much less stressful because they won't judge you because you
grew up in a different country or speak with an accent. I have been
discriminated from jobs because employers say they don't want foreigners,
although it's illegal to discriminate based on gender, age, race, country
of birth, etc.


Name   Ted

Date    2012-05-26


Message          As a Taiwanese New Zealander, nearly everything you've described here I have to agree.


After having been in New Zealand for 5 years of my early childhood and then moving back to study in Taiwan for 4 years and then back to New Zealand, I have only realised that four years of my life were wasted on something that I do not value at all. All the positive values that were ingrained in me in my earlier years just could not be put to use. It is as sick, twisted, and demented as you could call it.


And yes I found it really hard to "be myself" in that sort of society where they don't appreciate individuality but condemn or demean individual endeavors and characteristics. That was what I have been feeling for quite an extended amount of time.


I appreciate your work here on this website and being true to your own heart and speak for your own truth. There are lots of challenges ahead of me to redevelop these courageous, loving qualities that I truly valued.





If my memory serves, I was in Taiwan in 2007.  Sometimes on my mongering trips I will take a few days and spend in one of my "link" cities, just to see it and get a feel.  I had no contacts in Taipei and was with a mongering friend.  Note that our goal was not to monger there (as we had already read the scene was abysmal) but just to have a look-see. On that particular trip, I was not overly skinny--that was a trip I caught Pneumonia on upon returning to the United States, as I recall--partly b/c of being out-of-shape.


I was only in Taiwan a few days and in many ways it was similar to my trip to China, which was a much longer excursion--that is to say, I got the same "distant" vibe there--perhaps even worse--than I got in China.  I took no tours or did anything except wander around just to pick up vibes and get a feel for the place and other than it seeming a bit more "open" and less contrived than the China that was presented to me (I went there on a package tour with a group of friends--never again), I got absolutely NO play from any woman, no indications of interest and not much overt sign of any sexual vibe or activity in the air at all--the people seemed all business.  Amazing that I hopped on a plane to Bangkok and in four hours' travel time the atmosphere could change so radically. 


And, yes, I did notice the lack of eye contact and an experience I have had in many European countries, esp. in Northern Europe/Scandinavia, of complete and utter disinterest.



Hello Winston,

I have come across your site on when I was super pissed off at work...with yes ! Asian HERD mentality.
And so i google "stupid asian childish herd mentality" and I come across your site and reading your views is simply a pleasure and refreshing - to know that I am normal. I live in Singapore and it's exactly the same, but of course MOST people wouldn't agree.

It's frustrating to be minority. I wish to grow & learn & as a being, as a soul but I don't know where or how I can go about, Is studying philosophy a good way?  I challenged society norms regards to the "expectation" and "standard" path .. and how one is measured as successful,yet in my views most are shallow in thoughts. To say that I am not influenced would be a lie, but it's something I would like to remove for some of the 'programming' and it's not at all easy. There's noone I can turn to for continuous reminder and guidance.

Sorry , if I bored u with para 2. Still, just a email to compliment on your website. It's Great!

Best wishes,




Your article about Taiwan is awesome ... I almost agree on every point except a small last one where you mention that taiwanese don't watch tv when they eat... I think they almost everyday watch tv when they eat if they can of course =)

Beside this your article is awesome !!

Thanks a lot and thanks for the link of the swiss guy who wrote a critic article about taiwan too.

I am Swiss myself and living in Tw for abour a year now... I feel exactly the same that you and the other Swiss.






That is basically most of the things I felt since a few moment after I arrived in Taiwan, working and being managed by taiwanese people.
Are you still here or you left?

I actually have a good life here but dealing with taiwanese people makes my life much more hard compares to the ease of life that a foreigner can have in asia. They manage to piss me off most of my working days due to bad decisions or weird behaviors all related to the points you mentioned in your article.

Seems like you actually managed to write down those ideas and feelings I have in mind.


U have an awesome critical point of view and understanding of people and Ur article will be read with a lot of attention by a bunch of my friends who are having a hard time dealing with taiwanese exactly because they try to give sense to things, in a country where there is not and where they don t want it. (and don t even understand the purpose or not even see what was originaly wrong)

Being managed by them is also terrible since they think  giving you pressure and pushing you to ur limits by making you feel guilty will make you work better...
those behaviors actually makes me do the opposite due to my conception of life and relation with people.
I can be quite good in my job but I never felt so bad and unmotivated since I'm managed by them.

Would be happy to hear about ur experience in Taiwan.

Thanks for ur writing,




"My Friend,

My wife is Taiwanese, I am American ie USA Citizen. Taiwanese women are not happy, never smile and have been taught or breed to be reverent in public. I time in Taiwan has totaled over 2.5 years.

TW people do not start Living their own lives until after 30 years old before that they are still children and much be respectful at all times.

most are boring too. I would encourage you to find a good girl with your same goals, views, EXPECTATIONS, and believes. As far as how to meet them it is best to be introduced. As weird as that sounds. They find that very natural. That is why a good paying career in Taiwan is Match Maker.

Good Lunch"

Next response:

"My wife is beautiful, my kids, are cute I live in southern california, just got laid off from work and am thinking about heading to tw for work.
I am extremely out going and experienced a lot that you experienced. Saw that you saw. I am a white American and my first time in Taiwan I was a lds missionary or Mormon missionary. A year and a half after I completed my 2 year calling in Taiwan I went back to Taiwan to teach English.

The second time I was there I felt a lot like you. I just wanted to make friends with pretty girls but when I would approach them or say something to them they just give you a blank stare.

I am a happy person and I have noticed here in the USA Asian women never smile in public.

I think it has to be a little genetic. Our lives are so blessed I think a smile will show greatfulness.

In Taiwan I hang out with a lot of people who are my parents age. I met a group of nice people at the local pool.

So yes you are right the old people will talk to strangers especially when they find out I speak Chinese.

Enjoy the phillipino people they truely are nice."



dear winston:


i laughed through this entire dissertation.

it's the story of my life. you are reading my diary. and

the things you discuss here are the reasons i have despised my cultural upbringing.

and i feel like i have been unable to pursue acting or any of my artistic dreams, because it is absolutely "unacceptable" --even to me, on some deep and unconscious level-- because i have been programmed to think that way from the moment i was born.


i am changing now. i am a different person. i am doing my best to let go of it all and embrace the good out of all that i have been through. i am even going to start my acting career THIS year, 18 yrs over-due.


i have so much to say about this subject, but it would involve a much longer conversation.


the yelling i think is because the civilization is over 4000 yrs old, and the speaking i think is largely from a previous civilization that has largely remained unchanged, for centuries. i'm pretty sure they would say they are not angry. that is just the tone of voice because each chinese word is used 4 times, using 4 different intonations for each pronunciation of the same word, to allow their language to have enough words to cover conversation.


but i struggle with many OCD's, anxiety disorders and traumatic behavioral habits --to this day-- due to being dominated, manipulated, controlled, tramatized & threatened to be eliminated, rejected, abandoned, thrown out, discarded, deemed imperfect, inacceptable, etc. i could go ON & ON. i have had over 12 YEARS of incessant back pain, due to NOT being allowed to express myself, my feelings, my opinions, my pov. i've never been able to "appeal," "negotiate," or ask for anything to be a different way. my only option has always ever been to SUBMIT, OBEY, be dominated, bullied, and to "obey the LAW or GET OUT."


i feel sick simply writing this winston.


I just flew back from Taipei today.

Many of Winston's observations are true in specific circumstances, or generalizations. However I think taking them as facts would be too extreme (black & white view). There are too many exceptions to list, and despite Chinese culture having a legalist history, its people and culture is large and wide.

Also, individual family circumstances differ. Some people generalize Asian culture as being male dominant. In my family the daughters (my mother & aunts) are the eldest and sons youngest, so the strongest heads of the family has always been women, and their husbands are excluded from discussions regarding inheritance.

Winston made many points and I cannot cover all of them, so I'll just touch up on a few briefly while I'm trying to get over my jet lag. Yes, it's not common for Taiwanese to greet each other in the parks and on the street, unless if they live in the same community. For example, while walking around my grandparent's condo building, I have to smile and greet the neighbors & even the janitor and mail man. They don't know my name, but knows me as the eldest grand-child to my grandparents on 3F. Had I been a stranger, they'd have stopped me and asked who I was and why I was there (neighborhood watch?). People approach strangers with guarded caution.

I think many Taiwanese parents might consider a proper bed time to be around 9pm-10pm, but Taipei also has one of the busiest night life through night market areas in Shilin, Danshui, Ximending, etc. that opens past midnight, where teenagers and young adults congregate. In comparison the night life in US looks quite dead.

For most Taiwanese, their first social circles were probably school friends, then moving up the grade levels to college, and on to coworkers. People tend to keep multiple cliques and don't usually mix them. i.e. college friends would not be invited to an outing with high school friends or coworkers, unless if you're dating or married to the person.

However, times are changing. Today many young people are meeting in clubs, internet social networking, dating sites/services, etc. It's also very possible to chat up girls at night markets, then take them to shrimp fishing ponds or Danshui old street for games and fun, then a quick bus ride to fishermen's wharf and walk across lover's bridge to pubs with live music. Or if the weather isn't too hot, take the MRT to the Taipei Zoo and take the gondola up to Maokung.

IF you get lucky, Taipei has many beautifully decorated lover's hotels, though personally, I prefer hot springs/spa with room in Wulai. The water there is nice like the hot springs in Yilan/Chao-shi, unlike the sulfuric smelling waters in Yangmingsan.

And if you're really lucky (or worked hard on) to be borned with good looks, girls will hit on you on the MRT trains (shuey-gue! shuey-gue!) -- I've seen this happen. If you have any questions on what girls there think is attractive, tune in to any young adult drama on TV and check out the leading male actors. (i.e. Sparrow love Phoenix 麻雀愛上鳳凰). Sorry, but I think both of us flunked out in this category. J

On the issue of work and play, IMO there's nothing wrong with installing some discipline into children, least they become lazy fat bums. However, all things should be done in moderation. One should have a balanced life between work and play, and not live to work.

A mistake that many Asians make is that they work their butts off in pursuit of "moving target" goals. Today it's $50,000 BMW, tomorrow it's $500,000 condo, next week it's $1,000,000 house. Gee, if you spend 14 hours at work and only use your million dollar house for its bed and toilet, what's the point?

I have a few favorite authors, among them John C Bogle and Kiyosaki. The first advocates wealth through compounding interest, the second through passive income. In both cases they teach you to let your money work for you, and not the other way around. Smart people use their money to make more money, live within their means, and not work their butts off just for money. This is a very important lesson to learn.

p.s. for the younger Taiwanese girls, many don't like men wearing "too formal" outfits like dress shirts and slacks. They like cool/hip looking men wearing sportswear or Gap/A&F outfits, like sweaters/hoodies with stylish jeans. A&F (Abercrombie & Fitch) is having their change-of-season sale this week and many clothing items are marked down by 50% or more at the store. I picked up some designer shirts there for $15. Good opportunity to buy and save $$!



Response from my dad:


"I noticed the different between Taiwanese and American regarding their attitude toward strangers. When we walked in the parks in Taiwan, people just walk right pass us and don't do eyes contact. But, in Bellingham trail parks people will often make eyes contact and greet with a smile or "Hi". I kind of like both ways. In Taiwan, we will just walk and not paying attention to others, This saves us the trouble because if people smile at us or say "good morning" to us we will have to do the same to them. I also like the Bellingham way that show some friendly gesture that we all feel good and warm. It is a more civilized way.


I think the reason why Taiwanese, and most Asian, behave that way is the culture thing. Do you see the Chinese movies that when the emperors or some big shots talking to their subordinates, the subordinates have to lower their heads and not supposed to make eyes contact. Making eyes contact is considered to be rude or posing some threat or something, I think. Although, Taiwanese behave that way, but deep down I know they are very polite and friendly if you get to know them. Don't judge someone only by the surface. I think it is also true that it is not easy to approach young Taiwanese girls. But, my experience is they are very polite to elderly people. People are told to respect older people. So, it is a plus for us to live in Taiwan."



Hi Winston,

I read your comments on the Chinese/Taiwanese mentality and I thought i'd make a few comments. I agree with much of what you said but you failed to highlight some of the distinct positives that these traits bring as well. It's definitely not all negative and I believe there are some very specific traits that Chinese culture possesses to make it so lasting and adaptable in various environments.

I'd like to comment on your first point about gender contact. I'm not sure how different things are between Taiwan and China these days but i'm in Harbin, China right now and I see plenty of pretty girls that make eye contact with me. Not all of them smile but they do have that look when they see me that I know from experience that talking to them would not be out of the question. Many of the girls even initiate eye contact first which was a real surprise to me. I had the same experiences in Beijing, China as well so I think what you said about Chinese are not universal. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to test my hypothesis much because my girlfriend is with me :(. Maybe it's just Taiwanese girls in particular? I haven't been to Taiwan in a long time so I can't make a more apt comparison.

I believe the "angry" thing is a bit of cultural repression at work. I've noticed that China is undergoing a bit of a social renaissance right now. They are liberalizing quite a bit behind the scenes socially. Women dress more are allowed worldly pursuits such as arts and other hedonistic activities that would have been strictly prohibited years ago by communism. I believe there is a "sexual" revolution as well. As a result I think some parts of mainland China are actually experimenting and deviating away from Chinese norms because Communism is losing its value and that's what the unifying concept was here. Chinese on the mainland may in fact by "reinventing" themselves. On the otherhand Taiwan was established with the mindset of being a super productive, competitive, traditionalist, and practical capitalist society..the "Taiwanese" Chinese are essentially the old school Chinese. Communist China may in fact become the "new" Chinese with fairly different value sets and rules..only time will tell. I see plenty of the younger Chinese people running around with skateboards, piercings, frizzy 80's girl pop hairdos, and trendy looks that suggests that something interesting is happening.

As far as the temper goes I don't think this is 100% written in stone. I've met plenty of Taiwanese/Chinese who are very cool and level headed. I think maybe it's just coincidence and some of the aforementioned cultural repression at work.

On the topic of being conformist. I have to agree Asian/Chinese culture in general values conformity. I believe this is because NE Asia has always been a relatively hostile environment and that this type of conformity was necessary for survival back in the old days. Authoritarianism and NE Asia goes hand in hand unfortunately. If you look at history the most successful dynasties and kingdoms were all deeply authoritarian and conformist. Even "modern" democracy in Japan/Korea has a strong conformist nationalist streak to it. This is however not unique to just Asian culture nor is it a given. Heck, look at you and I..I am far from conformist and i've met many many asians who aren't as well..some of which even grew up in deeply conformist Asian environments. I'd go so far as to guess that maybe 20% of us aren't conformist at all. How do I come by that 1 in 5 number? Well, it's not scientific but I just figure that a lot of us "pretend" to be to please parents etc.. but if we are asked one on one by another like us we tell it how it is...sort of what i'm doing right now. I've met plenty of us that are that way to discount it as coincidence.

Now as far as the positive aspects goes..yes, there is a great proportion of Chinese society that is devoted to being workaholics and bespectacled academics. I don't feel this is negative at all because it is the catalyst for China to rise again and has allowed Taiwanese, Singaporeans, and other ethnic Chinese to enjoy a GDP per capita that is on par with many EU nations. You have to remember that all this economic development of Chinese people is a fairly recent thing. 100 years ago most ethnic Chinese were bitterly impoverished on the same level as Africans are these days. It's been a distinct advantage for our ethnicity to be studious and workaholics. On the other hand remember what I said about 20% of Chinese not being that way? Well, I feel that we fit into the bigger picture by being cultural reformers, creative thinkers, and idealists that every society needs to advance beyond the norm. Not everyone can do this but maybe it's our job to initiate this? We aren't worker bees..but we are clearly thinkers. Contrary to popular opinion I don't think Chinese or asian culture lacks creative thinkers. I think there is just "less" of a conduit for these thinkers to express themselves in most asian societies.

SE Asian culture such as the Phillipines, Thailand, Cambodia, etc.. may be more "happy go lucky" but it's also a lot less productive. The people are "happy" but there are plenty of Filipinos that I have seen work at nearly slave wage levels in the Middle east, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.. who probably are being mistreated and aren't entirely thrilled of the fact that they are so far down the chain in the world. You have to remember the world does not exist on happiness alone or social ease it's a very dog eat dog place where sometimes conformity and productivity is the essence of survival. Nietzche said it best..what doesn't kill you only serves to make you stronger. Grueling hard work and shitty stone faced societies often produce greatness.

There's more I have to say about this subject but i'll talk to you later.




Dear Winston,

I stumbled upon your website and was compelled enough by your writings to formulate a response. You and I are very similar in that I also am a Taiwanese-American who grew up mostly in the US (on the East Coast) and have lived in 7 different states (NY, NJ, GA, ME, PA, OH, MI) as well as 5 countries (US, Taiwan, Venezuela, France, Chile). Judging from your picture I estimate that I am a few years younger than you (26) but certainly do share the same passion for cultural learning (I speak English, Mandarin, and Spanish fluently; have a workable command of Turkish and am progressing well in Arabic).

Similarities aside, we also have very many differences, primarily in thought… I was impressed by your truthful and uninhibited writings, and certainly cannot object to any of the facts which you have written as they clearly are the truth. However, I do have very strong reservations with your personal analyses, not due to the conclusions you draw in themselves, but what they reveal and represent. Your words make it seem as if you feel that Western cultures are superior to those of Asia and that you even feel ashamed of your ethnicity.

First of all, I must make a very clear distinction and ask that you not confuse culture with stereotype. Much of what you say (in regards to materialism and competition) that is very critical certainly does not represent the roots of culture, but rather symptoms (equivalent to stereotypes) and are painted in a very negative light out of context. Yes it is true about the strictness, rigor, and demand placed upon children... but is this because we are just horribly concerned with winning the race of capitalism or perhaps more so because we just wish the best for our future generations? Do we not place a high level of emphasis on individualism because we have no capability for creative though or perhaps because we value tradition, heritage, and the greater society?

Regardless of the intent, it is clear that certain aspects of our culture can bring about very harsh feelings such as those which you harbor. But to say that this is justification for supporting the superiority of one culture over another is not only irresponsible but also dangerous. Certainly you could say that Latin American culture places a greater emphasis on enjoyment and that people have more "fun" than in Taiwan (very true of Venezuela where I live today, even with the horrific economic and political turmoil facing this beautiful country)... but does that make them better? Conversely does the fact that our people have a notoriously high level of discipline and responsibility make Asian culture superior to those of Latin America (particularly the Andean regions) with a greater degree of laziness/lack of leadership or Sub-Saharan Africa with a higher level of corruption?

Of course the answer to both questions (at least in my eyes) is a resounding NO. When dealing with an issue such as culture I think that it is both infantile and irresponsible to attempt to make designations such as “better” or “worse”… there is only DIFFERENT. Your statements and examples not only bypass the positive stereotypes of Asian people but also make claim to cultural inferiority. I cannot help how you feel about yourself and if you wish to be known as an American/European/Latino in the body of an Asian, but I do hope that you could be more respectful than as to demean a culture. Your words bring an aura as if they could have come from the justifications of a Napoleon or Hitler. If you think this “cultural arrogance” has no relevance today than let me ask you to consider the role that religion plays in the definition of culture in many societies. How are you as a proponent of cultural superiority different from the religious superiority preached by Ahmadinejad, Bin Laden, or Jerry Falwell?

I don’t mean any of this to be insultory towards you; I make these points only to in hopes that you be more respectful towards the rights of any culture. Certainly there are negative points of Taiwanese culture, as there are positive… just as there are in every culture of this fascinating planet. Most importantly, there is a place in this world for all: the strict hard-working Asian cultures, the technologically shunning Amish or Bedouin, the family oriented Latino or West African, the entrepreneurial American, etc.... On one final note, please do not think of yourself, the freelancing Romantic or even myself, the adventurous risk-taker as exceptions to Taiwanese culture – we do not represent exceptions but possibilities. There is no right or wrong with possibilities: maybe one leads to riches and others to poverty, another to fame but there is no better or worse. Judging by the note you posted from your father it at least seems that you are beginning to forgive and accept (if not respect) multiculturalism, so please do not fall off of this track.

Whatever path we follow, all of the choices we make in life are influenced by the events of our past. Like it or not, your Taiwanese upbringing served to help shape the views (negatively or positively) that you hold today. I am personally very proud of my heritage and am very cognizant that I would not be where I am today without it. Whether you want to say that it was because of or in spite of my strict childhood, I would not have spent 3 months living out of tents and youth hostels in the South of France rock climbing after graduation; I would not have pursued a “traditional Asian” degree in Engineering at an elite University, nor have the professional success that I do today; I would not have moved to Chile or Venezuela where I am engaged to a Venezuelan woman and have been adopted as a new son into her criollo family; I would not have become involved in the Chinese community, American expat community, or pro-democracy movement in the midst of dictatorial takeover here; I would not have traveled to 70+ countries, discussing geo-politics with one of the Saudi crown princes, nor have been shot at by corrupt police sent to break up a peaceful march in Latin America. Similarly, whether because of or in spite of, you would not be adventuring around Russia if not for what happened in your past.

I send this to you as an open letter that you should feel free to publish from a different perspective that cherishes all of the world’s cultures. Best wishes with your continuing adventures.






I just finished reading your article....


The Repressive Singularity of Traditional Asian/Oriental Mentality


I came to Taiwan 37 years ago as a missionary.  I've been either in Taiwan, Hong Kong, or China for 33 of those years.  Whereas I am not a "free spirit" like you (Hey, I'm a missionary with all the hazards thereunto apertaining!), yet your take on cultural analysis was very much similar to many of my own observations.


In a few days I'm going to be "orienting" four foreign couples (one from US, two from Australia, one from Philippines).  They are more or less clueless about Taiwanese and Chinese culture.  The 26 pages you wrote will choke them.  Yet, I found what you wrote true to my experience.  I will probably (someday) shorten your ideas, but for now I just wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts.




PS  When did you write this?



Subject: Married to a Taiwanese woman

To Winston,


My name is Murray, I'm an Australian and white, I live in Taiwan and I'm Married to a Taiwanese woman. My wife's name is Kelly (sorry I can't type in Chinese just yet).


I was reading your ideas and views here

and I have to agree, what you have written is pretty much smack bang on target.


When I first arrived in Taiwan I couldn't speak any Chinese (Mandarin). My wife (then GF) would have to translate for me or just simply answer first without telling me the question.


Since then, I have learnt to speak Chinese and I must say, some days I think I would be better off without knowing what Taiwanese people say. Within 6 months my Chinese was at a basic level, that's when I started getting asked "how much do you earn"? I was asked this by my wife's mum (mom) everyday and it became rather annoying. I know other foreigners get the same questions as me.


I have heard "you're too fat, lose some weight" and "Don't drink too much ...... or don't eat too much that" almost every second day.


My private affairs seem to be family affairs, and family affairs are nothing to do with me since I'm white. My wife's sister wouldn't acknowledge me in anyway, even saying hello was out of the question.


Nowadays, My family-in-law accept me and allow me more freedom. I think this is mainly due to the fact I have a strong personality and I don't do anything that I can't see the logic in doing.


A quick example of my life now.


I'm sick right now. I think I'm sick because I ate some night market food that was bad. My wife constantly yells at me and tells me that I should do more exercise and I wouldn't get sick. Then she will start asking "Have you taken your Medicine yet"? "Do you want to see a doctor"? ( my 3rd visit to a doctor in 2 days) or even "Why should I take care of you if you don't take care of yourself"?


My wife can be very caring and compassionate, but if I give cause for the smallest discomfort, she will start a torrent of verbal abuse and usually end with "Why don't we just get a divorce"? ( in my six months of marriage, I have heard this particular line about 30 times). Of course, the next day she is back to being the sweet innocent wife that only loves and cares for her husband.


Thank you for reading this far Winston. Your words and ideas have let me know, I'm not the only one who is seeing and feeling this, it's common all throughout asia ( or the orient).



Australian, 25 yrs old, lived in Taiwan 2 years, 6 months.



Hi.  I'm 13 years old and  I read your article on why you dislike Oriental mentality and culture. My parents are both Chinese and basically everything in the article was true (at least for my dad).  My dad works in America for one month then China for another so I don't have to see too much of him.  When my dad is at home though, MY LIFE IS A NIGHTMARE (only worse).  He gets mad at me for no reason and yells at me for like an hour on the phone when he's not around.  I seriously think that he lives just to torture me and my older brother (he's 21).


I read the part that said how a lot of oriental kids end up all shy and timid and stuff.  I don't think that's really all that true for people here. Most of the oriental kids in my school with controlling parents either try so hard to be cool (just so that they can get attention) or end up hating their parents to death.  For some reason I don't hang out with the oriental kids at my school as much as other people.  I have a friend whose parents are total butt heads.. They won't let her talk on the phone for over 2 minutes, won't let her go to the mall, won't let her have friends over, won't let her have a birthday party, etc.  Her parents signed her up for basically every sport possible.  They make her practice piano for 2 hours a day (that's just sad) when she gets home from school then she studies until 6. She gets a 10 minute break to eat dinner and then she studies again until 10.  I feel so bad for her it's like ... ugh.  Just thinking about it makes me mad.  She tries so hard to be popular but it never works.  She says that the reason that not a lot of the oriental people in our school are popular is because we have controlling parents .


I HATE HOW SCREWED UP ORIENTAL CULTURE IS!!!!! I realize that my parents aren't bad.  They give me 30 bucks a week, let me go to the mall, etc. well at least my mom does(My mom rocks) but my dad is a total screw job.  He says I can't have more than 3 people on my buddy list. Seriously. I have more than 3 screen names. it's soooo messed up.  and he forces me to do work around the house all the time.  He treats me like a slave! He makes me study all the time (even though I just sneak off and go online instead) HE TAKES MONEY OUT OF MY (yes MY) WALLET.  He says that it's rightfully his even though I got it from babysitting and...ugh! well you get the point he's not a very good dad.I tried all the suggestions you listed on the conclusion part.  BUT my dad is so retarded and thick (I think that he should go to a mental institute)


"I, Winston Wu, a free-spirit and atypical Asian American, hereby issue the following assertive declaration to you, in response to your unwanted and unwelcome advice, lectures, criticism, probing, and judgment of me." if you remember, that was from your statement that you made becuase people were criticising you and stuff. I think that they're wrong to do that.  Especially if they don't know what you've gone through.  I'm better off than a TON of other oriental people but I still feel the same way of how stupid oriental culture is.  I just feel bad for the people who have to have such controlling parents.  It's not fair how American Kids can just go up to their parents and be like "hey you're taiking me and _____ to the mall on saturday" (I do that sometimes but this is an example for most oriental kids) and their parents don't even care that they're being bossy or rude or whatever.


If you read this whole thing then thank you.  Most people would think that I have no life because I wrote such a long e-mail and wouldn't even bother reading it.







Great to hear back from you...

Well..shes done a lot of the things you mentioned on the site...

She tells us(3 daughters) how to eat..and what to eat for example if we're all sitting together for a meal...example: "Don't eat that alone-you have to eat it with rice."

She has never apologized in her life..

She believes that anyone that's younger than her doesn't know better than her and also doesn't deserve respect from her since she's the older person...

She feels that if you voice your opinion then you're being disrespectful..

She also feels that if you disagree with what she's saying-it doesn't matter-you're supposed to just sit there and "accept" it and not say anything back..

She feels that Koreans are superior to any other race..example: "Oh those cells phones came out in Korea way before they came out here" etc

She feels that women should find a rich man and be with him solely for that reason..

She thinks money is the most important thing in life...

She also thinks that the mold of going to school and studying is all there is to do as a young person..

She thinks that being a doctor or lawyer are the only two professions that anyone should try to pursue...example: I'm about to finish my Bachelors degree after transferring to two different universities--after declaring my major was Pre-Med-because that's what she 'told' me to major in..

Growing up-my older sister and I would get in trouble for bringing a "B" home and were not allowed to go out with boys or even go out with friends on weekends..

I had moved back into my parents' house about two years ago to try and save money to buy a place when I got closer to finishing mother also assured me that they would remodel their full basement so I could live down there-this still hasn't been done to this day..

The other night..a Saturday..(keep in mind I'll be 28 next month and work full time and go to school full time at night and basically handle all my business without giving my parents any burden..) I was out on a date-I rarely go out--maybe-one night per week with all my other responsibilities..she called my cell phone numerous times and was leaving me messages like "That's enough-it's late and you need sleep." It was so embarassing to have my date wonder who in the world was calling me so persistently.

Anyhow-I got home and that's when we had our blowout--I basically told her to stop calling me every single time I go out and quit worrying about me since I was almost 30 years old.  She yelled back and said "I'll call you 100 times if I want-you can't tell me what to do etc etc"

So after that I was completely fed up with her trying to force me to be her robot/puppet and decided it was time to move out.  So I'm signing another apartment lease this week so I can move in this weekend and get my sanity back.

There are a lot of other issues too like my younger sister(20) who doesnt work and barely passes her college general education classes.  But my mother lets her go out and do whatever she wants-even still buys her clothes at the mall--yet I'm the responsible one and I get treated like a delinquent. So about a few days after the blowout-note that I haven't said two words to her or vice versa since then--she knocks on my bedroom door and says something along the lines of "Get up-it's time for church" as if everything is just fine and dandy and nothing ever happened.  Another thing she said was "Parents fuss because they care-if they dont, nobody will."

She expects me to just pretend like nothing happened and I'm supposed to just snap my fingers and act normal with her.  Not this time.  I'm fed up and removing myself from that mentality.

It's the most twisted mentality ever and I've just finally reached my limit.  Until she understands that you can't talk to people or treat them any way you want-and being a family member does not justify treating people any way you want-I won't be letting myself be around someone that needs constant drama in their lives.  Something else she's done is try to give the guilt trip--when I first moved out-she gave me the whole schpiel about "Oh after all we've done for you-this is the thanks we get??" She also doesn't understand the concept of people needing to "vent." I might go to her just to vent and relieve a little stress by talking about some minor problem going on at work for example.  She ALWAYS responds by immediately having a "solution" to my "problem." It irritates me so bad I just have to walk away before I say something rude.  She has very poor listening skills and will blatantly interrupt you while you are talking because she has no conversational skills. 

Sorry for the novel-I got a little emotional about the whole thing.  I hope this helps give you a better idea of what I was meaning.  Those are just a few of the lifelong examples that I've gone through. 

My older sister is 31 and my mother still tries to control her even though she's married and living with her husband about 15 minutes away from my parents' house. 

The younger one is such a delinquent-she's taken off for days with random guys and my mother has taken her back and justified her bad behavior with excuses.  I just can't stand seeing the hypocrisy and biased treatment that she displays with her children.

Thanks for listening!

Let me know what you think about this craziness..





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