Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

South Asian Population in Canada outnumber Chinese April 21, 2008

Filed under: Youth — Sam George @ 10:20 pm
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Yes, that is right. Latest official stat from Canada is out and people from the Indian subcontinent constitues the largest visible minority group in Canada. See reports in NDTV, PR, or Vancouver Sun.

1,262,900 individuals identified themselves as South Asian, a growth rate of 37.7 per cent from 917,100 individuals in 2001. They represented one-quarter (24.9 per cent) of all visible minorities, or 4.0 per cent of the total population in Canada.

Chinese were second largest group with 24 percent of the visible minority, while Black with 18.4 percent came in the third place. Filipinos made 8.1 per cent, Latin Americans (6.0 per cent), Arabs (5.2per cent), Southeast Asians (4.7 per cent), West Asians (3.1per cent), Koreans (2.8 per cent) and Japanese (1.6 per cent) of the visible minority in Canada.

Yet stories of racism and discrimination abounds in Canada. Mere rise in numbers are not going to solve the problems. Many think, Indians are going to take away jobs to India through outsourcing, much like what happened in the US. In spite of the fact that so many South Asian have been elected to public offices and seats of power, widespread discrimination continues. Other minorities have it even harder!

Being a minority is not easy anywhere in the world, when you possess knowledge and skill that is much needed in the world. Majority communities also do not know how to handle this dilemma. To maintain the economic edge and progress ideologies that they have bought is not possible without social implications. Mere multiculturalism ideals cannot ensure integration without adequately engaging moral and spiritual issues.


Lowest Marriage Rate in Britain April 15, 2008

Filed under: Youth — Sam George @ 4:32 pm
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The number of Britons tying the knot has collapsed to a record low. Lowest in the last 150 years that records were kept. See the report in This is London, BBC and Charles Colson’s commentary Breakpoint.

In 2006, there were approximately 237,000 weddings in Britain. Two-thirds of all weddings in 2006 were civil ceremonies. The marriage rate for British men is 22.8 per 1,000 and for women 20.5 per 1,000. In the last twenty years cohabitation has doubled. Propotion of people living alone has double since 1971, now accounting for 12%. Divorces peaked in 1993 at 180,000 before falling to 155,000 in 2005. First-time mothers are becoming older – aged 30 on average in 2006 compared with 24 in 1971. One in four single women under retirement age is thought to be living unmarried with a partner.

A clear sign of breakdown of families in Western Europe. This trends also spell disaster for children, families and society at large. Unstable family structures results in anti-social behaviors, crime, promiscuity, state welfare etc. Stable families are the best formula for bringing up children and preventing delinquency. Somehow our politicians do not see that far or do not care what happens beyond their times and give in pleasing people by buying into certain ideologies to keep themselves in power!

There is an economic angle to it as much as a cultural and moral dimension. Advantages for married couples have gradually been withdrawn, joint taxation-ended in the 1980s and the last tax break for couples, the Married Couples Allowance, was withdrawn in1997. Benefits such as tax credits now favour individuals living with children rather than couples and the bias against couples is thought to have contributed to the growing numbers “living apart together”.

Stronger the marriage, stronger the society and stronger the nation. When the most basic bond in a society becomes fragile and shows signs of weakness, demise of a nation is inevitable.


Growing Women Smokers in India April 9, 2008

Filed under: Culture,Family,health,India,News,Youth — Sam George @ 3:08 pm
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Urban Indian women are leaving a new trail – smoke. Women are catching up fast and narrowing the gap across gender lines in the domain of smoking or chewing tobacco. See a report in India Today. It is based on a World Health Organization’s global survey of tobacco usage.

Here are some disturbing finding:

  • 31% women tobacco addicts in India are between age 15-49.
  • 25% Indian women light up over 10 cigarettes per day.
  • 62% of women smokers die in their prime compared to 38% of those who don’t.
  • 1 in 20 women in India to die between age 30-69 due to tobacco in 2010s.
  • 20% girls in Delhi and Chennai studying in Class 6 smoke (AIIMS study)
  • 87% Hindi movies show onscreen smoking; 26% have a heroine who smokes.
  • In spite of the labeling that ‘smoking is injurious to health’, tobacco companies continue to market new and imprved version to younger generations. Targeting women and young kids is a great marketing strategy, but why we don’t learn the damage it has caused to men and older generations. Why are bent on repeating mistakes all over again. Interesting that now they have a pink cigarette too!

    Social stigma is out and new trendy fashion statement is drawing scores of women to this addictive habit. “Me too” attitude among women and want to stand on equal footing with man prevails among modern urban Indian women. Smoking becomes a way of keeping up with men. They will not let gender disparity happen in tobacco consumption as well. How foolish!

    Some blame the media for promoting it, while other find government regulation insufficient. Bollywood now portrays many women smokers. Magazines continue to circumvent the advertisement ban on tobacco products. Sporting events continues to carry billboard of cigarette makers. Industry is promoting smoking as a cultural icon of sophistication, glamour and sexual allure and there is a large middle class women falling prey to it.

    Check out here for resource to help youth quit smoking: Anti-smoking, Teen health.


    Marriage & Divorce Stats April 7, 2008

    Filed under: church,Culture,Family,News,United States,Youth — Sam George @ 2:57 am
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    Barna Group has come out with a new survey report about marriage and divorce in America. See the entire report here. News report based on the study can also be seen at Baptist Press, Marriage Partnership etc.

    Here are some of the key findings: a) Christians are more likely to get married than other faith groups. While 76% of Americans get married, 84% of Christians tend to tie the knot, 74% among non-Christian faiths and 65% among atheists and agnostics. b) Lowest likelihood of divorce are Catholics (28%), evangelicals (26%),  Asians (20%) and those who deem themselves to be conservative on social and political matters (28%). c) Highest likelihood of divorce downscale adults (39%), Baby Boomers (38%), those aligned with a non-Christian faith (38%), African-Americans (36%), and people who consider themselves to be liberal on social and political matters (37%).

    Some important inferences based on this latest statastics is that half of all marriage ending divorce is not true! See a report in Christianity Today publication Marraige Partnership called Don’t believe in divorce stats. Another important finding is that though low, Asian divorces have risen significantly. Couple of years ago, I remember reading some study that reported divorce rate between 12 and 15 percent. Now it is one in five.

    There is no more stigma with divorce in the American community. Some will marvel that as maturity of people’s attitude, while others will see that as erosion of communal ethics and liberalization of views concerning marriage. There is no doubt that marriage culture is eroding fast in the West and the rest of the world is also catching up fast in this area. I guess it is the progress paradox! 


    Wombs for sale April 5, 2008

    Filed under: Youth — Sam George @ 10:11 pm
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    Just few days ago, I got in our mailbox this week’s Newsweek (only magazine I am subscribed to right now). The coverage report was on “Wombs for Rent.” It was about secret life of surrogate mothers. Who they are and why they do it?

    Cost of surrogacy in the US currently ranges between $ 20K to $25K. The surrogacy is estimated now to be a half a billion dollar a year business. Is this merely business? What does medical ethic say or moral implication of new medical procedures?

    Some of the stories they covered on surrogacy are military families as they cannot bear children on base. Other group is career women. Medical science has come to the rescue of many career women who wants to have children but do not want pregnancy to come in the way.

    Another related issue and as a result of globalization is the trend of American women looking to Indian women to carry their babies to term. See my entry on Outsourcing of Pregnancy. Is this exploitation of poor Indian women? Is surrogacy of big favor women do it for their sisters?