Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

IPC Family Conference July 28, 2006

Filed under: Events,Ministries,Youth — Sam George @ 2:51 pm

This weekend I am at the Indian Pentecostal Church Family Conference in Chicago. After running all around the country since the launch of the Coconut book (I have covered 7 cities so far, got 5 more to go), I am really glad to be home and enjoying Indian church events in my hometown.

Yesterday at the conference, I met the publisher and one of the editors of The Beacon – a New York based magazine for second generation Indian Americans. I am really excited about this initiative. There is nothing of this kind that I know of. Somebody had told me about it early this year and I was glad to meet the people behind this venture. There are many print media initiatives among Indians in North America and they often reduce emerging generation issues to a mere column (at the most; most don’t have any clue). Check it out and subscribe to the magazine. They are also hoping to carry a review on the Coconu book soon.

The presence of the emerging generation of the global Indian diaspora in media ventures is mind boggling. You can find Indian names and faces behind many media ventures (New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, BBC, CNN, Time, Newsweek, Fortune etc). Not to mention numerous Indian newspapers all around the world. The coming generation believes more in the power of the mass media than the immigrants. They consume and produce more media (especially electronic) than their ancestors. This generation is open to making careers in these non-conventional fields than their traditional immigrant parents.

Way to go, Beacon guys. Keep it up and keep it coming!


Internet Usage & Teens July 25, 2006

Filed under: Culture,Youth — Sam George @ 9:14 pm

More than 80% of all U.S. teens are online at least one hour every day, according to BurstMedia. Among teens who go online from home, friends’ homes, libraries or other locations, 37.4% say they spend three or more hours per day online. Teen males are slightly more likely than females to spend over three hours a day surfing: 39.9% do so compared with 34.7% of females.

The survey found that while teens are online, they are often simultaneously doing homework or watching television or other things: 48.9% say they work on homework while online, 33.8% say they watch TV or a movie. And 40% say they text or talk with friends on the phone while online. Roughly three out of five (61.4 %) have visited a social networking website. Of those, 60.7% joined the site and created a profile.

The art of parallel processing and multitasking comes naturally to young people today. They hear, speak and browse different streams of information simultaneously. Guess what they are doing when they are listening to you or sitting in the church pews?



Mar Thoma Family Conference July 20, 2006

Filed under: Family,Ministries — Sam George @ 6:33 am

For most of this day, I have been praying and preparing for my talks at the Annual conference of the Mar Thoma church of North America & Europe. This year it is in Chicago and our parish is hosting the event. The coconut book is being released at the conference and I looking forward to meeting many friends from all over the continent.

I am really excited about moderating a discussion between 1st and 2nd generations of Asian Indians on marriage. The panel discussion consist of 3 people representing the immigrant generation and 3 people representing the American-born ‘coconut’ generation. I am also hoping to show clippings from Pride & Prejudice, Bend it like Beckham, My Big Fat Greek wedding, Kehta hai Dil Baar Baar etc. Besides that I am speaking at three sessions this weekend.

Got to go. Till next time… All4Him.


A New Hangout – Myspace July 12, 2006

Filed under: Culture,News,Youth — Sam George @ 4:09 pm

MySpace is a new cultural phenomenon of our times. I have found many coconuts in the world of Myspace. Two years ago, this online community website had only two million members. Now MySpace has exploded into a ‘popular hang out’ for kids. Currently, more than 90 million members from different walks of life populate this online world. Many of its most avid fans are none other than teenagers.

This peer networking ‘place’ also poses many dangers. There is plenty of profanity, obscenity, and explicit pictures. And kids divulge far too much personal information, which can put them in dangerous situations. For example, police in California and Connecticut are investigating crimes against girls under 16 committed by men they met on MySpace. See breakpoint commentary on pedophiles – Allure of Myspace.

The quest for identity and community is most pronounced during teen years and no wonder this site is so popular among teends. Pseudo names, wrong age, outright lying and faking goes on big time in the virtual world. They learn to handle multiple identities; might even loose social skills in real world. Biculturalism makes this struggles even more acute for coconuts. They are looking for others like them and trying to discover who they really are.

Find more basic information about MySpace, visit their FAQ and Safety Tips pages. A variety of other articles such as How Parents Can Use MySpace and Get Out of MySpace will help as well. For even more in-depth information, read MySpace 4 Parents: Learn How to Protect Your Child in MySpace. FBI has its own A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety.


West Coast Trip July 6, 2006

Filed under: Events,Family,News,Youth — Sam George @ 11:52 pm

Last week, I was in Northern California. It brought back many memories of my time there and ministry with young people/families. Especially my transition to Christian ministry and my time at Fuller. It was also a good time to catch up with old friends.

I spoke at the west zone youth conference of the Mar Thoma Church. Theme was Reality Check: Getting real with God, self and others. It was held 20 miles south of Yosemite National Park. I spoke four times based on reality television shows. I really sensed the presence of God throughout the conference and He was stirring the hearts of all of us. Praise be to God!

I also enjoyed the fact, that my family was able to join me there. My wife also took a track session on relationships. We are back in Chicago now and I am headed to New York again to speak at another youth conference. Summer is a busy time of conferences, I guess. Do keep me in prayer.

More later…