I wonder if you think it is particularly a Muslim thing?
No. I was born in Saudi Arabia but my mom was 3rd generation American Irish Catholic, and when my father turned out to be a loser, she got me out of there before I was three, and then I did 12 years of Catholic schools.
So, long story short, I’m American/American in the way I think. But I never bought off on this “buddy” business between myself and my daughter. Parents need to be parents.
First of all you do not tend to see them getting involved in silly protests over nothing. They mostly seem to be doing hard degrees like engineering or medicine or pharma; usually going after qualification that are pretty much guaranteed to springboard them onto a ladder of successes as soon as they graduate.
Yep. The Paki/Indian culture figured out a long time ago that if you speak English and can do math, you live a whole lot better life than people who don’t. So, it’s not “Muslim” as much as it is the heritage from the British occupation of the peninsula. The Hindus have it too.
Also, those parents have no toleration for the notion that their kids should “study what inspires them”. Their kids major in what they are told to major in; if they have an interest in literature or sociology, they can take their electives in those courses.
When I was living in India, there were a couple of major national debates going on related to this. The first was a national discussion on how they (India) was terrific and turning out engineers and computer programmers, but as a nation they really suck at turning out great authors or musicians; and how that’s the downside of this national obsession with STEM.
The second was the public/private school debate. In India, anybody who is anybody sends their kids to private schools; the public schools are for the poor and laborer class. Well, the private schools ALL (and I mean ALL) teach in English; the public schools teach in the regional language, be it Kannada, Tamil, Bengali, whatever. So, when 12th grade comes along, the private school kids are all ready for the universities (the good ones which also teach in English) but the public school kid POSSIBLY can’t even speak Hindi very well.
Result: Built in segregation in society based on socioeconomic class.
So, the national debate was to start teaching in English in the public schools. There was angst from the university sociologists, who feared (with good cause) that this will eventually lead to the death of the local languages….but the benefits of English fluency won out.
Of course this was a decade ago, and if there are any Indian nationals reading this who can correct any mis remembrances on my part, I would love to hear from them.
They say that their parents are living in the past and that may be true; but I think maybe that is why the future for those kids is so promising.
With the threat of automation looming over so many occupations over the next few decades, I think that the days of “study what inspires you” are ending in the West. Or will HAVE to end. Studying the wrong thing is simply too risky nowadays, considering the cost of university education and the prospects for gainful employment, to be left to the serendipity of youth.