The “Forced Upon” Interview

Jan. 14, 2013 Monday The Third Day in Sun Village I arrived at Sun Village at 6 a.m. Jan. 12, 2013. Tired from the sleepless night before, I went to bed after talking with family members for about 2 hours. I did not wake up until early afternoon, when the extended family had gathered at my home to see me. It was quite uncomfortable to me since it is only natural and culturally acceptable for me to see the elder generations. Yes, it is still very traditional: The younger generation, in a good family, is supposed to pay his visit to every household of the extended family – and the extended family can be as big as having more than ten families already, which literally means that I need to carry gifts to all these ten houses. Besides, the next-door neighbors and next-next-door neighbors are usually very close to any given good family. So, respect must also be paid to them. If a younger generation fails to do so, he risks being talking about secretly. It would not usually happen for the elder generations to come to the younger generations. They have obviously made an exception for me because I am from a different country, first the US and then Singapore. Taking flight is still not that common in Sun Village. Exceptions can be made to me who has come from afar. But, even so, it is culturally/customarily very risky for the younger generation if he fails to pay visit to the older generation.

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