BY AMORNRAT SIDHU
Is it important to have certain skills in this day and age, or have we updated the outdated? A few members of the Thai-Indian community offer their thoughts on these pertinent questions with Masala.
Is it important to know how to drive a manual car ?
Administrator, 34 years
I think not knowing how to drive is a handicap. Yet, it is not necessary to know how to drive a manual car. Whenever I noticed cab drivers in Bangkok changing gears and working the stick shift, I used to tell myself, “I could never manage that.” Luckily, I started driving with an automatic car, and noticed that everyone around me drove one as well. All the cars my husband and I have bought and replaced ever since have been automatic. We have just never ever considered a manual car!
Forget driving manually, some would say that driving is not a necessary skill these days, especially in Bangkok. With alternative methods of transportation, why get stuck in traffic, contribute to pollution, and practice your reflexes with the constant and continuous flux of motorbikes ?
Conversely, what if you venture out of the city and into paradise or not and need to drive on rough terrain r the only car available that will possibly take you to help is a manual one The rest of the world, including the rest of Thailand, isn’t like Bangkok. Perhaps learning to drive a manual comes with a sense of security.
Manager of Bright Up School, 28 years
Thailand is famous for its yum (cold salads), and other convenient and affordable street food options! Yet, it is still expected for one to know how to cook Indian food, including the stereotypical round roti. Traditional Indian food plays a major role in Indian hospitality and community welfare. It acts as a comfort for a group of people, especially in a family or societal gathering.
Is it important for a woman to know how to cook Indian food in this day and age?
In this day and age, where both men and women are working, is it realistic or practical to cook Indian food from scratch on a day-to-day basis With the deliciousness of Thai food, do the younger generation even prefer Indian food? Or is this skill something to appease the older generation i.e. in-laws o the younger generation even see the need to feed their kids daal chawal, and do they want to With regards to entertaining, we have a plethora of food options available for delivery, and even more restaurants to do the entertaining at. It seems more important to know how to cook a few dishes, regardless of the cuisine or your gender, so that you can sustain yourself and your family if the need arises.
Is it important for men to know basic skills like changing a tyre or a lightbulb?
Ravneet Kaur Sachdev
Homemaker, 33 years
It is important and empowering for any individual to have the basic skills of changing a light bulb or a tyre. While help may be just a call or click away, knowing that I can help myself should I need to is very powerful (i.e. if I did not have network connectivity to call for help).Furthermore, with the price inflation of products and services, these are becoming increasingly practical and cost-effective skills to have. In fact, I believe that schools should have mandatory lessons focusing on life skills like these in order to promote independence.
Perhaps men (and women) feel that these skills are important, but are they passed on from parent to child the way it is portrayed in Hollywood movies? If not, then where should these skills be picked up? YouTube? Our thinking may have evolved, but have our actions?
Many of us may have the desire to know these skills but don’t prioritise learning them, because help is everywhere. In addition, if a woman were changing a tyre and her brother stood by, what would society say ?
Is it important for fathers to attend their children’s parent-teacher conferences?
Kindergarten Teacher, 28 years
Parent teacher conferences are definitely not a ‘mom-only’ zone. Raising a child is a shared responsibility between moms and dads, and education plays a huge role in development. It is crucial for dads to try to attend at least one conference every academic year so that both parents are on the same page when it comes to school. This is an opportunity to gain perspective – teachers are the eyes and ears of the parents while the child is at school. Parents can then digest this information and together make decisions that in turn help their child’s advancement.
Meeting both parents at parent-teacher conferences can also help teachers gain more insight into the student and their strengths, needs, weaknesses, and behaviour at home, as well as their relationships with each parent.
Attendance of fathers in parent-teacher conferences in general, even in the Thai-Indian community, has increased. This depicts a changing social atmosphere, but can we say that dads attending are the norm? Not yet.