Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

Indian GDP crosses $1 Trillion July 25, 2007

Filed under: India,Leadership,News,Youth — Sam George @ 2:58 am

Indian has entered the elite class of trillion dollar GDP club. There are only 12 nations in the world that can boast of a trillion dollar economy. Other countries in this exclusice club are: US, Japan, Germany, China, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Brazil and Russia.

After liberalization of Indian economy and technolgy outsourcing boom, the Indian GDP has grown steadily. India contiues to grow at  double digit over last many years and president’s dream of India being the next superpower has trickled down common masses. Indian rupee continue to rally strong against US $.

Yet common perception of India around the world is that of poor country, bullock carts and snake charmers. In spite of the recent prosperity large number of Indian remains far behind technologically and economically. Is it the same old story – rich getting richer and poor getting poorer? Will there be equity in opportunity for all?

The other side of imbalanced prosperity is becoming more obvious. Tech firms are seeing a mass exodus as their revenues drop from dollar earnings. Software executive or their family members being abducted for ransom. Call center girls being raped. The economically marginalized are resorting to growing violence and gun culture.

Nations greatness cannot simply be measures in GDP or military strength. True greatness lies how nation will have a global leadership (read influence) in spreading peace, prosperity and goodwill to human race everywhere. Is India ready to play that role in the 21st century world?


India to Monitor Pregnancies & Abortions July 23, 2007

Filed under: Culture,Family,India,Leadership,News — Sam George @ 9:40 pm

I came across this interesting news from India. The government is creating a regitry of all pregnancies to help curb widespread female foeticide and reduce its infant mortality rate. But I wonder how they are going to do it. Read reports – Reuters, ET, BBC etc.

More than half of women in India still deliver children at home. Some 10 million girls have been killed by their parents in the past 20 years. At present, India’s infant mortality rate is 57 per 1,000 live births. Others kill newly born girls by breaking their necks or, in some rural areas, by stuffing hay down their throats.

Familial and communal preference for boys over girl are widespread. Social, cultural and economic reasons are given to prevalence of foeticides and infanticides in India. Many parents prefer a boy as he is seen as a future breadwinner who will take care of them in their old age. A girl is perceived to be a burden for whom a large dowry will have to be paid at the time of marriage.

This is a postive step toward saving thousands of unborn and newly born girls. Pro-lifers should welcome and  be encouraged by this government action. But I do not think, it will eradicate this social evil completely. Yet it will save thousands of unborns. We have to devise many more creative iniatitves to curb and restrain people from morally corrupt practices.


Changing Spending Habits of Indians July 20, 2007

Filed under: Culture,India,News,Youth — Sam George @ 11:44 pm

Spending habits have undergone dramatic changes in recent years in India. A new report finds that people are speanding a great deal on clothes and communications.

Indian is showing a preference for ready-made apparel with a massive 75% hike in such purchases while the neighbourhood darzi may soon be an extinct species as tailoring expenses have gone down by 26% in the rural sector and 33% in the urban sector.

Another major change in consumer behaviour was found in the way India connects. Telephone expenditure, per person per month, increased by a whopping 515% since 1999-2000 in rural areas and by 230% in urban areas. The deep inroads made by the mobile revolution was visible in the proportion of households incurring expenditure on telephone going up from 5% to 32% in rural areas and from 25% to 63% in urban areas. Expenditure on education has gone up from 45% to 57% in urban India and from 29% to 44% in rural India while expenses on healthcare have also gone up substantially.

All of these are a clear indicator of change culture and values in modern India. Embrace of modernity and globalization of India does not come without its perils. Consumeristic ideology and ramphant materialism does not satisfy deepest human aspirations. More stuff and toys only adds to new and complicated problems in the society. It merely replaces one set of problems with new ones. How will Indian community, Hindu faith or church in India address these and other changes in India? Something I would like to keep a close eyes on.


Coconuts in Public Schools July 17, 2007

Filed under: Leadership,News,Youth — Sam George @ 2:45 am

Most of the coconut generation are public school products. Some go to private Christian schools and very few are home schooled. Indians know the value of good education. Their ability to move to most advanced economic system and excell can be traced to their excellent education and work ethics.

Now they have to worry about their children going to the US public education system. They find it does not match the rigor of early education in India and American culture has many distractive elements that keeps kids off from studies.

The Washington Post recently published an investigative series, revealing D.C.’s public schools are “close to the highest-spending and worst-performing in the nation.” The results include low test scores, dilapidated buildings—and neglected students, some of whom end up in a life of crime.

Such reports scares the Indian American parents. They find themselves trapped between the desire to pursue the American dream and wonder if their kids ever will be as successful. If the children of early immigrants (those who came in 70s and 80s) are any indication, it is evident that the second generation is generally failing to live upto or exceed the expectations of immigrant parents.


Marriage rate drops, Out of wedlock babies rises July 13, 2007

Filed under: Culture,Family — Sam George @ 3:05 pm

I recently read two different reports from UK – 1) 22% rise in Out of wedlock babies 2) Marriage rate falls to lowest level. The connection between the two are obvious.

People do not want to get married, yet want to have babies. Marital commitment is hard to come by, but people are quick to get into the act. In a sex-saturated and instant gratification culture, people desure sexual pleasure without any long term relational commitments.

Last year, marriage rate fell to the lowest ever since record were kept and 43.7 per cent of babies had unmarried mothers in UK. Almost half of next generation is growing up in single parent homes or co-habitating parents. Some would not even see their biological dads. Many of them would not have both their parents involved in their lives. Children growing up in an environment with low or no relationship commitment between parents affects their sense of self, security and development.

One generation’s obession with self and pleasure seeking attitude sabotages the next generation and future of the world. Society is growing weaker by the day and its faultlines are increasingly become evident. The trends of decline in marriages also exposes ineffectiveness of social or political or economic program to contain the destructive influences on society.

Liberal morality and worldview have no solution to offer for this growing social problem. Unless we reclaim moral framework for relationship and shape a high view of marriage and life, we are headed to a social implosion. We probably need to return to God and divine instructions on familial and social norms. That is not easy in a highly secularized, pluaralistic society like ours?


Smoking – children will if parents are July 7, 2007

Filed under: Family,News,Youth — Sam George @ 4:24 am

Finally studies are confirming what many parents have always known intuitively. If parents smoke, children are more likely to pick up the habit as well. And often children end up smoking more dangerous stuff than their parents.

Babies with at least one parent who smokes have five times as much nicotine byproduct in their urine than infants whose parents are non-smokers. On average, children with at least one smoking parent had 5.58 times as much cotinine in their urine as babies living in non-smoking homes.

Lately enough studies have been done on harmful effects of secondary smoking – that is being in the company of smokers and inhaling smokes of other smokers. This has led to many laws banning smoking in public spaces and cities.

More importantly, children learn by emulation. When parents fail to model a worthy lifestyle, we can not blame the children for the way they turn out. Children do not do what we say, but they do what we do!


Asian Americans highest Internet Users July 4, 2007

Filed under: church,Culture,Leadership,Ministries,News — Sam George @ 8:34 pm

Americans of Indian and Chinese origin are the highest Internet users, according to a consumer survey result. 90% of Asian Americans spend the most hours on the Internet and young Asian Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are the largest Internet users. Here is a news report. 

They browse ethnic sites and informational sites from back home. The study revealed relevant findings and insightful views into brand loyalty, lifestyle habits, purchase drivers as well as media consumption of Asian Americans.

What does it mean for youth work and church? With growing emigrantion from Asia (under students and employment visa category), immigrants will continue to be shaper of the ethnic communities. The next generation may not find much hearing and their needs may remain unaddressed. I think, we will continue to see bleeding of the immigrant churches and youth ministry may not get adequate focus.

Most second and third generation Asians may not find into immigrant churches and struggle to find a place in the American churches. Although some may go ahead and develop relevant ministries to address emerging generation issues.

What I wish to see is that Asian American next generation leaders will create channels of interaction to learn, inspire and support greater generational focus on ministry. There is much to learn from each other as well as across generations. Heard about the first ever gathering of emerging generation of Asian Indians in America – Come to learn and network to serve next generation well.