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Page history last edited by Ajay Das 9 years, 3 months ago


The Generation Enigma


Naman G. & Ajay D.

Gallagher - B3



One of the main social problems present for Indian-Americans is the differences in ideas and beliefs between the 1st Generation and 2nd Generation. When we refer to the first generation, we refer to the people who were born in India, and then moved to the United States for a chance at a better life. The second generation would be the children of those people, the children who are growing up in the American society and culture, and still learn about their Indian heritage.  The reason that we have chosen this particular topic is because of our personal experiences with this problem. The expectations which Indian parents have about their kids often differ from the expectations which Indian children have of themselves. In this wiki, we will be giving examples of some of these conflicts, as well as analyzing them, showing why there is such a "tug of war" between 1st Generation and the 2nd Generation.



Mock Dialogue: Educational Environments


One of the main conflicts between the 1st Generation and the 2nd Generation are the educational expectations which they have. For the most part, the 1st Generation's expectations of the 2nd Generation are higher than what the children have of themselves; mainly because of the differences in the environment in which they study in. There is a large difference between the study habits and situations which 1st Generation Indians had to endure and the current study habits which the 2nd Generation have. This dialogue will serve as an example of the conflict in action, between two main characters, a Father, and a teenage high-school student.



Teenager: Papa, can I go to the movies later tonight?


Father: Are you out of your mind, have you checked your Zangle recently?


Teenager: What about my Zangle, I thought I was doing fine.


Father: Do you think a Zero is fine?


Teenager: It's just one, its not a big deal.


Father: You say this every time you get one, it is becoming a problem. Also, I saw your grade in math class, do you study at all?


Teenager: Why, what's my grade in math?




This picture is an example of the tug of war between the desires of the parents and the children. The 1st Generation parent wants his kid to study, so he can do better in school; and the 2nd Generation teen wants to go to the movies so he can enjoy himself, procrastinating his study.




Father: You should know yourself, it's your grade....Do I have to spoonfeed you for everything?


Teenager: Papa but still, it's a Friday night, let me go out with my friends.


Father: Did you finish your homework?


Teenager: I can do it later over the weekend.


Father: It is this kind of attitude that explains why you are doing so bad! In my time, we couldn't go anywhere without first studying and topping exams. Also, you show no initiative at all, when I was a boy I had to read ahead in the book, and learn the things before it was taught to us, that's the only way you succeed. 


 Teenager: Learn things before your teacher teaches you? That's unreasonable! Why should I go ahead of my teacher and study things I have not been taught yet?


Father: If thats your attitude, you will never succeed in life. These are the 4 years of your life when you study.


Teenager: But none of my friends do anything like this!


Father: Your friends will not succeed either, and why do you compare yourself to your friends? I am talking about you. Doing schoolwork isn't enough to get into a good college, you need to work outside of what is being taught, you need to study outside of your schoolwork!


Teenager: I promise I will over the weekend, just let me go out now...please? I promise I will do my homework and raise my grade up!


Father: I still cannot believe your audacity to keep on asking me this. Raise your grades, and I will think about it.


Although this might be a bit ridiculous, there are a couple of points where the conflict's focal points are highlighted. The Father is correct about the fact that you have to excel in school, and not settle for anything less; however the teenager wants to procrastinate working so he can go out to the movies in the evening. In relation to the conflict, the Teenager does not understand why he has to do so much work, because he lives in an environment where people don't care about their grades as much as the environment which the Father went through. Eventually, as the Teenager gets serious about his schoolwork, this conflict will dissolve, but the main point still is the same; There is a gap between the educational environments of the 1st Generation and 2nd Generation.



Visual Examples


Another common conflict between the 1st Generation and 2nd Generation is the advancements in technology and how this creates a gap between the two parties. The parents might want a book, the child might want a Kindle. The parents might want a game of Scrabble, the child might want an Xbox. These are just two examples of how different technological advancements create conflict between Generations.





This comic clip is a perfect example of technological advancements. The child is carrying what appears to be an iPod, and is probably asking his mom for help with the Spell Check feature on the computer. The mom responds by giving him a dictionary. In relation to our conflict, the 1st Generation Indian parent may want to instill the old-school study skills in their children, whereas the 2nd Generation want to use the more convenient methods (i.e. Spell Check).



Another common conflict is the concept of relaxation. Most 1st Generation parents enjoy playing games which are family-oriented, and don't involve electronics. Basically, the games they played as children. However, most 2nd Generation teens prefer to watch some TV, or play some video games. This creates a conflict between the two generations, which leads us to give some examples.




This picture is an example of the tug of war between the two generations, as described in the previous paragraph. A 1st Generation parent would prefer the game of Monopoly, because it is more suited to all ages and audiences. The 2nd Generation may want to play Call Of Duty online with their friends, which is a game suited to more mature audiences.





As we have shown you throughout this wiki, there are many differences between what the 1st Generation and the 2nd Generation believes in. These differences cause conflict between the two parties, which results in the huge generational gap between them.



Works Cited







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