Cultural Difference On TV

I didn’t have time to watch the Oprah interview of Meghan & Harry, but I caught something last night from a channel in Southeast Asia. The cultural differences demonstrated in the comments from the program hosts are so blatant that I just couldn’t help laughing. I won’t say which channel it is since I don’t want to make them uncomfortable with my opinions.

After translating and describing the whole event, the two hosts proceed to give comments and explanations. The first portion is dedicated to the brand and the price of Meghan’s dress and each piece of her jewelry. This program happens to be hosted by two men. Obviously the two hosts have no notion of female fashion and they only read from a script to match whatever is shown on the screen. Still, this is an important portion to those girls who want to emulate, I guess, but I have no idea and no interest in this portion.

After that, one of the hosts starts to describe Queen Elizabeth and her age, which is something that excites respect and admiration. I used to watch a TV program about young people travel hundreds of miles to visit a centenarian in order to hold her hands (most of centenarians are women) and take pictures–to gain a piece of the centenarian’s spirit of longevity. The centenarian takes “donations” from each of the young people and touch their shoulders to give them luck. This eventually becomes such a profitable job for the centenarian lady that the tax collector is alerted.

Then the screen suddenly turns black and white to describe Queen Elizabeth’s experiences during WWII. It’s said that she drove motorcycle, fix trucks, and shot enemies with rifles. “Nobody dares to offend the Queen. If Harry and Meghan displease her…” One host says in a foreboding tone. And the other host follows, “The queen is tough and she can shoot.” I am not sure I understand these two. What is their point? Are they implying that the Queen will take the rifle, fix her truck, drive across the Atlantic (a truck is able to drive across the pond I think), and camp outside Harry and Meghan’s house? I just can’t help laughing. The colonial era ended long time ago. Even if she wants to do that now, she won’t be able to.

The mental health issue is only shown very briefly and never mentioned again, which is not right. As we know, Asian women have the highest suicide rate in the world, regardless of age, social economic condition, or the country we live in. However this issue has never been treated as an issue at all, but it should be. The mystic of being obedient and filial and self-effacing has its dark and bloody consequences. My uncle’s wife committed suicide three times and the last time she succeeded. When I was in primary school, the girl who sat not far from me went home one day and saw her mother hanging herself. When I was in middle school, my neighbor’s daughter committed suicide but didn’t succeed–she jumped off a building and was left with a limp for the rest of her life. When I was in college, there was suicide on campus every year.

I mean not only Asian women, but all women need to express ourselves and need to live an authentic life, not to be a slave to other people’s expectations. I know. Easy said than done. I can remember numerous times that I live for other people’s approvals and not for myself. Old habits die hard.

15 thoughts on “Cultural Difference On TV

  1. It’s sad to see people downplay Meghan and Harry’s experiences especially Meghan’s mental health issues but unfortunately that is very common and mental health problems are often not even thought of as real illnesses. I think it took a lot of courage to talk about her experiences and I think they did the right thing putting their health and happiness first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree totally. It is not uncommon for women to feel isolated and suicidal during pregnancy or after giving birth. If anything, the two of them try to downplay what they experienced and felt, almost feel guilty to tell their story. I can’t believe the royal family tried so hard to protect prince Andrew but did nothing to support Meghan.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If I had to guess which country was broadcasting this program, I would say this one also has a strong monarchy as well. Also this monarchy has this unspoken rule that everyone has to do military service and were given ranks even when they stop serving.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mental well being is essential to lead a healthy life but most of the time people overlook this aspect. Depression is a medical condition that can be treated. More people are suffering from it but most of the time it goes unnoticed until it’s too late. More awareness should be spread about mental health especially in this trying time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, more awareness and more willingness to talk about it. More openness to this problem. It is something treatable. For those people who grew up in very conservative environment, it is hard but still we should try.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am sorry to hear about your personal stories both tragic and traumatizing that involves people that you knew and those who you were close to.

    It goes to show that at the heart of some of these issues there can be very valuable lessons to consider but most of the time the scandalous things, unfortunately, take front-row over the substance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the message. I forgot to mention that among immigrants, mental health issue is even more challenging. Still people avoid talking about these issues as if not talking can eliminate its existence.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes many people wouldn’t touch a topic like this because of the bias, stigma and stereotypes they believe.

        Things are already hard enough for alot of native people who live in the cultures that the immigrants have migrated to, so one can imagine the mental stress and drain that immigrants face who have to adjust to a whole other foreign way of life, especially those who don’t even have the basic means or support to help them with the challenges they face

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you. Stand up and express ourselves, though I know I haven’t done a good job in doing that. Often I am trying to be complaint and agreeable at the expense of everything else. Old habit. However I have been aware of my weaknesses and tried to improve, tried to be fair to everybody, tried to steer away from expediencies.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I remember I replied to this but for some reason the replies are lost for several messages yesterday, which I don’t know how and why. Yes, it is. To speak up and to express ourselves are so important. Non-communication is not an option.


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