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Asian Shame: Suicide to look like Murder

Asian Christianity, Asian Shame0 comments

Photo by Lily Banse on Unsplash

Asian suicide is often misunderstood in Western cultures and viewed from a  narrow scope of mental health.  Yet, what many don’t recognize are cultural factors that can make someone of Asian ancestry not only susceptible to suicide but the cultural belief that suicide is morally permissible.

Dating back at least 2500 years, Confucius espoused his viewpoints on the need for Asian individuals to submit to the greater good of the collective group and doing so as a means of honoring yourself and others.  This in turn, would bring about stability and harmony.  His viewpoints on this can be summed up in his 5 Cardinal Rules where you are to honor your superiors and strive towards unity and group cohesion.  His beliefs started in China but spread throughout Japan, Korea and much of Asia.  In addition to his beliefs, other philosophical, educational, political, and religious viewpoints coincided in reinforcing the need to preserve your cultural honor, even if it means killing yourself to do so. Continue Reading

The Asian Christian Sex Addict: Three Layers of Shame

Addictions, Asian Christianity, Asian Shame0 comments

The Asian Christian sex addict is someone who must be addressed therapeutically on three distinct yet interconnected levels.  Pervasive to all three components are deeply embedded feelings of shame (cultural, religious, and sexual shame).

After my recent teaching to a group of mainland Chinese Christians studying in Switzerland, I saw this first-hand.  The Asian component is one that dates back centuries with the dynamic of shame and honor significantly impacting an individual more than someone from a Western or European background.  One Chinese phrase that epitomized this deep level of shame is, “So ashamed even eight generations can feel it.” Continue Reading

Culture got your Tongue? How the word “love” got Lost

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In this gripping video Asian-American adult children were asked to reflect on their experiences of sharing their feelings with their parents, and in particular, using the phrase, “I love you” with them.  None of them could recall such moments.  While this is obviously a very small sample size, it cuts to the core of how generations of Asian families abiding by the cultural honor/shame dynamic struggle with this.

In traditional Asian families, emotional stoicism was valued.  So parents not only didn’t share their feelings with their children, they often didn’t do so with their spouses either.  In return, you have generations upon generations of families who have never heard the words, “I love you” from their parents and in return parents never heard the same level of love reciprocated from their children. Continue Reading

Slanted Eyes: The Asian-American Experience

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Slanted Eyes - r2 cover ebook“Chink!”, “Jap!”, “Where are you from?”, “Do you eat dog?”, “Why don’t you go back to where you came from?!”, “Do you know Kung-Fu?”. From the racist to the innocuous, issues of culture, ethnicity, and discrimination are prevalent themes for Asian minorities in the United States.

The Asian desire to be “American” and fit into mainstream society in the U.S. can be challenging as reminders that they are “perpetual foreigners” can be seen in jokes, teasing, and at times outright racism. Continue Reading

Emotional Desert

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No hugs, no praises,

an emotional desert,

thirsting for feelings.

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