Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

Prolonged Singlehood… emerging adult December 27, 2007

Filed under: Culture,Family,News,Youth — Sam George @ 12:02 am
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A new life stage is in the making. A post college, working and unmarried singles population has significantly risen in the recent years. Many are staying unmarried or are cohabitating or are divorced, increasing this population to record levels. See my other entries on this topic.

Much like stage of adolescents in the past. A new stage is getting developed, ageing between 20s and 30s. The new term for the generation next is EMERGING ADULT. Jeffrey Arnett, a developmental psychologist at Clark University, coined the term “emerging adult.” Arnett says a number of cultural changes over the past five decades created this lengthened path to adulthood. Read a story – On a slow lane to Adulthood.

In the past by early 20s, most people finished their education, found their life partners, lived independantly and some even entered parenthood. But that isn’t true anymore. Studies goes on or majors change. You never find a real unless you work through few of them or what you really want to do. After trying few jobs, you go back to college again. When it comes to relationships, childhood sweetheart and college dating partner are the ones you want to live rest of your life with. All of which keeps them single and hence the new life stage!


Kids as young as 10 on birth control? December 17, 2007

Filed under: Culture,Family,News,Youth — Sam George @ 4:41 pm
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Few weeks ago, I heard this report on ABC evening news – at a school in Portland (Maine), they are going to distribute birth control pills to middle schoolers? Once again parental rights and sexual morality is colliding head on.

Argument is that kids lives are being ruined by unwanted pregnancies, so why don’t we ask them to protect themselves and why don’t school administration distribute condoms and birth control pills? Children do not need to seek parental consent in taking these pills and in sexual experimentations.

Why is public school becoming a brothel? This only promotes promiscuous behaviors among the middle school kids. School adminstrators are interfereing with parental rights and sexual purity. In matters of personal morality, school system should not overrule home.

With first sexual experience going younger and rising teen pregnancies (report quoted over 17,000 pregnancies of 14 and younger), when should sex education begin? How young should these pills be introduced? Who will provide better sex education to our kids – school, home or church? If school systems to really serious about tackling this issue, why are using broken and unreliable solutions? Does US public school system dare to consider a sure way to handling this issues – abstinence.

Check out abstinence clearning house for resource on abstinence based curriculums and organizations.


Record Number of Abortions Paid for by Illinois Taxpayers December 14, 2007

Filed under: Culture,Family,News — Sam George @ 5:41 pm
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For the second year in a row, Illinois taxpayers are set to fund a record number of abortions at county health facilities. One hospital reports a 78 percent increase over four years. Stroger Hospital in Cook County, Ill., one of the largest urban health care providers in Chicago, performs about 4,000 abortions a year — and bills taxpayers more than $1 million a year for those abortions. Illinois is also one of 17 states that funds most or all abortions for Medicaid recipients.

Last week, I came across this piece of information. Should entire community be taxed for certain personal value choices? Abortion is a controversial topic. Prolifers do not want to share prochoicer’s health expense. In order to have the choice concerning unborn children, pro-choice advocates want to legislate state wide laws. But why should entire population has to stand by for few individual choices? Those want the choice should be willing to pay for it also! They spend millions in promoting their ideology and promiscuity as a result, but do not want to share hapless mothers who are seeking abortion.


Young adults quiting church December 11, 2007

About three-fourths of young people quit church. Lifeway Research (Southern Baptist) says they know the reasons why 70 percent of 18-year-olds who attended church regularly in high school quit by age 23: they don’t like it. And by age 30, 34 percent still have not rebounded. That means one in four young Protestants has left the church. Read the report in Christianity Today or Lifeway Research.

So why do they drop out? On their laundry list of reasons: they wanted a break (27%), church is too judgmental (26%), they moved away to college (25%), busy with work (23%). On the positive side, the 30 percent who kept attending church cited solid spiritual reasons, including: “it’s vital to my relationship with God” (65%) and church “helps guide my everyday decisions” (58%).

Lifeway’s Ed Stetzer blames the losses on youth ministry: “Too many youth groups are holding tanks with pizza,”  “There’s no life transformation taking place. People are looking for a faith that can change them and be part of changing the world.” This is nothing new -denominational leaders blamed the youth workers and youth worker found their church structure too rigid or their hands tied up to do anything meaningful.

“Unless religious leaders take younger adults more seriously, the future of American religion is in doubt,” said Bowling Alone author and Princeton sociologist Robert Wuthnow, whose new book, After the Baby Boomers, was published in September. “The proportion of young adults identifying with mainline churches is about half what it was a generation ago, and evangelicals have barely held their own.”

I wonder among immigrant churches how many would have the courage and honesty to study about this growing trend in their own context. We rather look in other direction and pretend that there is no problems. Otherwise we are so preoccupied with those who show up that we are not even aware of those falling through the cracks. For the coconut generation book, we had taken a poll of church drop outs among Asian Indian churches and the reason behind their leaving their parent’s church.


Child Laborers in India December 7, 2007

Filed under: Family,India,News,Youth — Sam George @ 4:14 pm
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There are reportedly 12 million child laborers in India who sweat it out everyday in shops and factories for meagre salary or paying up for their parent’s debt. I can’t imagine in the early 21st century with pervasive media and so much talk about human rights (not to mention the economic boom in India) we still have millions of young ones who are forced into bonded labor.

Many of Delhi’s lost children work in Shahpurjaat. In a recent raid by polic, fourteen children were rescued from the building making clothes for international retailer, the Gap. They work for more than 12 hours a day makinig clothes for other children! In Sivakasi, children are used to make Diwali fireworks and with construction boom in cities, we find little ones in stone quarries and carrying heavy loads on their heads under burning sun. What a modern predicament of modern India?

In 1996, the Supreme Court issued guidelines for how to deal with child labour. The suggestions included providing employment to an older member of a family whose child earns a living.  However, all the government has right now to tackle child labour, is an official penalty of a maximum of two years in prison, and the conviction rate is negligible. Read about unseesn and unheard lost children of Delhi.

Few years ago, I met with an NGO based in Mumbai, that rescued many street children and are raising them. Many of them show scars from growing in broken homes and living on the streets. Now they are back in school and some safe place to call home. They do not have to beg or be exploited by gangs. I was really moved when a little girl called out to the caregivers as Papa and Mummy. She went on to describe her life in the new home and what difference it has made. Wow!!

Who will care for the millions out there? What do children and youth ministry response to this growing crisis?


‘Unwanted’ girls aborted among Indians in the West December 3, 2007

Filed under: Culture,Family,India,News — Sam George @ 3:35 pm
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Coming to the West hasn’t changed all that much. The cultural baggages and gender stereotypes still exist among Indians who have settled in the West. A recent research publication proved it beyond a shadow of doubt, in a rather controversial issue – Female Foeticide or Infanticide (abortion of girls). Check out the entire report in Times and Telegraph. The same may be true of Indians in North America ( I don’t know of any similar studies done yet.)

Researchers at Oxford University have carried out a probe and found that a number of Indian-born women living in Britain are aborting ‘unwanted’ daughters in order to have more boys — only because of cultural pressure. According to their findings, nearly 1,500 girls have gone missing from the birth statistics in England and Wales since 1990 — that is, one in ten girls missing from the list for Indian-born women having their third or fourth child.

Sex selective abortion are illegal in India, but still a lot goes on everyday. But in the liberal West, sex determination and abortions (even in late stage of pregnancy) are allowed. So Indians in UK and North America, who preferboys over girls, think it is okay to terminate lives of girl childs. Some of our age-old beliefs continues to determine our steps today. Ideas do have consequences.

Some of these beleifs stem from the assumption that boys will grow up to provide labor (much needed in the agricultural economy) and take care of the parents in their old age (social security). Not to mention the burden of dowry that parents dread and subordinate role desginated to women in the Indian society. Also there is much peer and social pressure to bear sons. In partiarchal societies like India (most of India with an exception of few) power transfer dynamics forces young brides to desire boys over girls. As a result girls are often seen as a liability. But none of that is true in the modern world, but our old beliefs continue to shape our daily actions.

All major faith beliefs are against abortion. Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and Bhuddism speaks strongly against all forms of killing including unborns or just born children. Yet religious teachings have failed to overcome cultural and popularly held views of masses of Indians!