Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

Pricetag to Raise a Child September 24, 2009

Filed under: Culture,Family,News,United States — Sam George @ 8:13 pm

A middle-income family can expect to spend $291,570 including inflation to raise a child born in 2008 to adulthood,  This was reported in a new study by the  US department of Agriculture.  It is slight up from the same figure last year. If you have three kids, you will spend nearly a million bucks on them! See this report on Reuters.

The estimate covers food, shelter and other necessities for a child to age 18. The figure does not include the cost of childbirth or college. I also assume it does not incude private schooling or technotools like iPhone or laptops. Last year, the USDA estimated it would cost $269,040 to raise a child born in 2007 to age 18, including inflation. The USDA has made the estimates since 1960, when the estimated cost was $25,300. 

Average Indian American household will spend way more than that for their kids. Indian American household income is the largest among any ethnic groups (also highest educated) and they are keen on spending it on their children. They even save up to pay for the college education and wedding!

The growing cost of childrearing is another reason, families in the west are limiting number of children they are having. More children also mean more cost of raising them, which they do not have. parent become more preoccupied with saving up for their retirement and do not want to keep incurring expenses on their children. No wonder children per household is lagging behind the replacement need of 2.1 per family. Population control policy is imploding on western civilization leading to demographic winter.

 

Runaway Convert

Filed under: Youth — Sam George @ 2:49 pm

Over last few weeks, we saw how popular media has been covering the story of conversion of Sri Lankan second generation Muslim girl. Youtube and facebook has been at the heart of this controversy. Here are some links – TIME, ABC News, and Fox News. She even has an URL after her name – www.rifqabary.com

Listen to her testimony on youtube.

This has turn into legal battle between Christianity & Islam – high powered lawayers and another culture war in Florida. She is a minor (17 years old only) and parents are trying to get her back to Ohio. Abuse/threat, custody battle with religious conversion makes this potent news item and controversy.

I want to share some reflections on second generation and youth work. South Asians who are born and raised outside of South Asian cultural context, particularly in the West are less committed to the faith of their parents. I have heard from Hindu temple authorities and priests that second generations are not involved in puja and religious activities like their parents. Same is true of South Asian muslims and sikhs. It is true of South Asian Christians as well, they are less likely subscribe to the traditional Christianity of their parents.

The westernized and secularized second generation are more likely to be drawn to Jesus Christ to fill their spiritual quest. The vibrant Christian churches and ministries are able to fill this gap. But only some are turning to Jesus, while most second generation are getting sucked into American materialism and promiscuity. They are neither able to relate to faith of their forefathers nor embrace the faith of people in this land.

Immigrant parents are busy trying to make a living and create security for themselves that they are clueless about their children’s spiritual struggles. They are treated as little and not knowledgable, but they pursue non-conventional means to explore deeper life issues, including technology. For parents religious rituals were enough, but children are deeply spiritual and disillusioned by immigrant cultural relgiosity.

This also highlights the crucial nature of youthwork in immigrant churches. Mere religious socialization is not enough for the second generation. The goal should not be turn kids into nice Indian (read malayali, tamil, gujurati, telugu etc) [or Sri Lankan or Pakistani for that matter] nor fine Catholic, Syrian Christian or Pentecostal, but a transformational experience through an encounter with the living God.