Tuesday, November 06, 2007
'Banana in a Nutshell' - Can Chinese parents still love you if they do things that upset you?
I've been meaning to post about this for a while. Banana in a Nutshell is a short film that I saw on a plane (in fact, I think it was a flight to HK) and I thought it was a really interesting short film that quite a few bbcs can relate to.
It's a documentary about a young New Zealand Chinese (NZBC?) girl called Roseanne and her relationship with a white boy. The film shows the anxious build up to the boyfriend meeting Roseanne's father, and Roseanne's stress concerning her parents' reaction. The film's official website is here: http://www.banana-film.com/index.html.
The boyfriend situation is the main event depicted in the film but it actually covers Roseanne's entire relationship with her parents and siblings and the East vs. West conflicts that come with being 2nd generation Chinese.
The film is very heartfelt, especially one scene in which Roseanne tearfully tries to understand why her parents never show her any outward signs of affection. Does this mean they don't love her, she wonders? Yet why would they have worked so hard to provide for her, if not out of love? This is something I think many young bbcs will have thought about at some point in their lives.
If you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend 'Banana in a Nutshell'.
As for my own thoughts on this, I think there will always be a big difference between how we, as a westernised generation, expect parents to behave and how our parents have been brought up to behave. We have different ideas about what is 'right.'
It is a lot to ask of the older generation to totally chance their demeanor and personalities just to fit what we, as 2nd generation, have come to regard as 'good parenting' - a view that has been shaped by a totally different upbringing.
Differences exist between the generations, but I think the key is to acknowledge that and learn to accept it, rather than isolating one side or demanding that one side changes to match the other.
UPDATE: 'My Wedding and Other Secrets' - a NZBC movie