Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

Desi TV making inroads in America October 24, 2007

Filed under: church,Culture,India,Ministries,News — Sam George @ 2:51 am
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Walk into any  desi homes in America lately and you are likely to see them huddle around the tv program beamed from India. The latest player to enter this market is StarTV program thro DirectTV.

There are plenty of viewers in America for the programs in Gujurati, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. Besides entertainment value, this also provides a cultural link to India. They are fed with masala stories, news and their favorite stars. Of course, Indian brands and products are growing its market share for dollar value.

The Indian TV producers are discovering the small but economincally strong Indian American community and have started marketing their programs to them, much like what Bollywood has been doing lately. They are also weaving into NRI stories to attract them. Many young Indian American producers have also entered the rings.

Part of this package deal is channels and programs in Indian spirituality – AASTHA spiritual network hopes to fill the spiritual vaccum for mainstream American audience. Yoga, new age gurus, Indian devotional music etc will find a much larger viewership in America. But what happens when New Age spirituality gets old ?


Connext Photos October 22, 2007

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Marriage & Heart Health October 18, 2007

Filed under: Family,News — Sam George @ 4:59 am
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Did you know that marriage affects your heart health? Happier you are in your marriage, healthier your heart is. May be you always knew that, but now you have scientific research to back you. People who lack emotional support and understanding from their partner, have a 34 per cent increased risk of heart disease than those in the most supportive relationships. The study appeared in British Archives of Internal Medicines. Also read the news reports in ABCTelegraph, Associated Press etc.

One may think, strained relationship may cause the couple to experiment with alcohol, depression, poorer eating habits etc. But British researchers stripped out risk factors such as obesity, smoking, drinking and family history, the chance of a heart attack was still 23 percent higher.

Relational heart breaks cause real heart problems! Constantly working on your marriage, attending marraige enrichment events, coaching for marriage improvements etc really pays off. All relationships will deteriorate when it lacks attention and care.

What is interesting medical professional and pharmaceutical industries are begining to account for social factors in individual health. A dimension that has been often overlooked in the past. Now there are scientific evidences that married people are more healthier than unmarried. People in heterosexual relationship are far more healthier than homosexual relationships. Intimate relationships have an effect on your personal health.

Stay healthy… work on your marriage!


More teens turning to sexual abstinence message October 9, 2007

Filed under: Culture,Family,News,Youth — Sam George @ 7:37 pm
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I read with interest a news report about more teens are questioning commonly held views on teen sexual behavior and reverting abstinence as the best way. Check it out for yourself.  The report said, “more and more educators, parents and health professionals are concluding that sexual abstinence until marriage is the wisest, healthiest lifestyle for all teenagers.” What a revelation!

Every idea has a consequence. Many have paid dearly (in some cases with their dear life) for believing in the lies of sexual liberation. This is nothing new. In the past whether it be alcohocol, smoking, drug, adultery etc were promoted on account of personal freedom and rebellion against moral ground of behavioral reinforcements.

Like everything else sexual freedom and safe sex message has come a full circle. Many have fallen victim along the way on this journey. What does it take human being to align themselves to their Creator’s design and live life within the prescribed boundaries. Why are we inclined to push the limits further and further or even desiring to see what happens when moral rules are broken?

Now there enough cases to prove the point the absitence until marriage and faithfulness within marriage is the best way to enjoy sex to the maximum. Whether it poor kids in inner cities of America, red light districts in Mumbai or reversal of AIDS trend in Uganda are all proving what we all have know. Sexual purity matters, not only for ourselves but for the health of the entire communities.


New therapy for teen depression October 5, 2007

Filed under: News,Youth — Sam George @ 2:38 am
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Ever wonder what would the most comprehensive (the longest running study to date) on adolescent depression? Antideperesant alone not enough, use talk therapy. That’s right, talking cure for depression called cognitive behavior therapy appears to cancel the risk of suicidal thinking. See the report in NYT.

In the recent months, as the harmful side effects of popular antidepressant drug became more obvious, more stringent legal measures are being enforced (e.g. labeling). But with growing depression cases among youth (even church kids have it, though many are still in denial), study results like this suggest that even mere chemail drug cannot compleltly eliminate mental problems. Social interactions, family dynamics, friendship, community, sprituality etc helps the state of the mind.

Immigrant children are particularly succeptible to depression as a result of acute sense of marginlization, what I call as double marginalization in the Coconut Book, both on account of ethnicity and generation. They are neither here nor there. There is often no single place that they belong to entirely, which creates a crisis of belonging among them. Many fall through the cracks,when they are not able to establish abiding and trusting relationships.

We are made for relationships. Without meaningful relationships we’ll never who we are and what we were made for. It is in the context of relationality that we discover our true self, not as a result of our accomplishments and self perception. Ultimately we are made for relationship with the divine – a relationship with which every other relationships finds its place and everything in my life finds its rightful place. I truely know myself and there is no fear in being known.


Youth Violence on the increase October 3, 2007

Filed under: Culture,Family,News,Youth — Sam George @ 3:54 am
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Violent behavior by adolescents are at alaraming rate. See a report from Australia. Also true of many other nations as well and particularly true among poor minority communities in wealthy nations. Parents and teachers are under seige now. Law enforcement folks are baffled at this growing trend.

Child Psychologist paint a horrifying portrait of a new breed of violent teens – “body and physical strength have outgrown his brain, he has an armoury of communication aids, access to weaponry and money and time to indulge his lust for crime.”

Rising teen alcohol consumption, violent films, computer games, easy access to information over Internet etc are attributed for this risinig trend of juvenile crimes. Lack of ethical behavior, absence of authority figures at home, respect for life, no moral education etc also adds to the problem.


Church Drop Outs October 1, 2007

Filed under: church,Family,Leadership,Ministries,Youth — Sam George @ 3:29 am

The 20-something folks are not going to church anymore. We saw this trend among Indian churches in America. According to our research for Coconut Generation book, people in their 20s are lowest in attendance in many churches. See my article – Why they are not coming to Church?

I read Sarah Cunningham’s book Dear Church: Letters from a Disillusioned Generation (Zondervan, 2006) and realized that it is not just the issue with immigrant churches alone. Todays 20-something are generally disillusioned with the organized institutional religious gathering. Read her interview with Leadership Journal.

Sarah calls herself  a “provoactive insider” than a “friendly outside.” She believes in “keeping the faith” and “tradition.” A 28-year-old PK (pastor’s kid) and former megachurch staffer now teaches high school history and is part of a house church now.

Many of these 20-something are turning to informal, unstructured, homebased worship and fellowship. Isn’t how the church was in the first place? Is this tendency to head out of denominations (even non-denominational bodies as well) and gravitate toward churchless christianity something that church leaders be worried about? Is there a risk of corruption of beliefs, lack of authority, deterioration of quality of worship & teaching, poor governance etc?

Is this a threat to church or a new trend to watch out for? Let me know what you think.