As the pro-democracy Occupy campaign drags on, tensions grow — even inside the family.
Let’s call it generation gap. Youngsters believe they have to stand up and fight for their future. Parents insist that their children’s duty is to go to school and study, not stay on the streets and fight for democracy. Misunderstanding follows…
In one home, the stress is so great that a teenage girl, who has been camping out in one of the protest sites, felt compelled to send a personal message to her mother — and unfriend her on Facebook. She also stopped using the family’s Whatsapp instant messaging account.
There is a video clip of the girl, who does not mention her name, that is being widely shared on the internet. In it, she tries to express her thoughts and the reasons for her decision.
“I am not angry with what you’re saying,” the girl tells her mother. “In fact, I want to thank you for giving me a good education so that I will know how to distinguish between right and wrong, and to be responsible for my actions.”
But she says her mother could not understand her decision to join the protest movement, and has instead started calling her immature and accusing her of being misled or receiving money from others.
The girl believes in what she is fighting for, and it’s not just for herself but for her family. She says salaries of ordinary workers have actually shrunk compared to 10 years ago as prices continue to soar. Having their own home has become unaffordable.
She ends the video by saying she still loves her mother. “I won’t ask you to accept my thoughts, but I wish that one day you will be proud of what I am doing now … Sorry, mom, I made you worry.”
In a commentary, the Hong Kong Economic Times advise parents and young people to always keep the lines of communication open. What is happening in the city is an unavoidable topic, so families should discuss it among themselves.
Parents and the street activists should write letters to each other and share their thoughts, according to the commentary. On social media, parents should read comments from youngsters, even if they are not from their children, because young people think alike.
Closing channels of communication, like when children unfriend their parents, will not help clear misunderstandings or strengthen familial bonds, the newspaper said.
Politics should not be regarded as taboo inside the family, and youngsters and parents should try hard to understand each other’s views, it said.
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