I was emailing my cousin D an SNL clip on YouTube, that was a little raunchy. In my email I confessed that I would have put the video on the blog if my mum, aunts and uncles were not a huge part of my loyal fan-base. It would just feel really awkward. My cousin wrote back saying that this is a topic I should definitely blog about. Why do we Asian kids, not matter how old we are, feel a need to censor ourselves?
Our parents did it as well, with their parents. When we were teens, my grandmother used to think that we came home straight after school and never went out any later than 6pm – basically when it got dark. My sister and I used to come home at midnight, but my mum let my grandma have this illusion of us being angelic, goody two shoes from another era. My mum would be the one who got scolded if my grandma knew otherwise. It was all pretty funny to me when I was a kid, that my mum had to censor so much information.
I tell my mum everything. But somehow, I feel compelled to censor, raunchy stuff. Like I don’t blog about stuff that is too sexy that she or my uncles or aunts would be uncomfortable viewing. The one time I posted a too sexy picture, she rated it low. So the low ratings you see are my mum. The top ratings you see are also my mum. The majority of hits I get are also my mum.
I tease my mum that she’s too innocent to watch some movies – meaning those with nudity and sex scenes. The reality is, I feel uncomfortable too. If my mum comes into the room while I am watching something not PG on the computer, then I will need to collapse the screen. Once my cousin was showing me this R rated YouTube video in another aunt’s house and I was so nervous about it. I kept telling her, someone’s gonna walk by any moment now. In a way my mum is like this innocent creature to me while I am the majorly corrupt one. It’s absurd I know, but that’s how it is for Asian kids. It doesn’t matter if we’re twenty, fourty or sixty. Well at least in my family. I think we are very much repressed too, but that’s a whole other story.
Another incident was when we went with a few cousins and my aunt to a Kumar show at the Boom Boom room years ago. My aunt had no idea how incredibly raunchy it would be. She was so uncomfortable and felt it was crude, but the rest of us really enjoyed it. Although we giggled about it, we felt sorry for my aunt though. I guess we are quite protective that way.
My mum and aunts are really a whole lot more innocent as their lives were very sheltered. They have never uttered a swear word in their lives. My mum just says idiot when she gets mad at rude drivers, and my aunt says fool. I only learnt swear words when I started working. Before that I had completely no idea and was quite innocent myself. What they call ‘green’ in Singapore.
When my mum accidentally sees too much sexiness on screen she likes to makes this rhetorical statement, “What is this rubbish”, which makes my sister and me, hysterical. On another note, my mum and aunts watch Tamil and Hindi movies that are a whole lot more suggestive. There is no kissing, but the amount of bodily contact and almost touching of boobs and butts, makes them tantamount to porn, in my opinion. But it’s part of the song and dance, so I guess it’s ok to her although recently she did admit that these scenes are getting increasingly crude and ‘fast forwards’ them.
What is it like in your family? Is this really an Asian phenomenon or a universal one. This spoof I saw, with Andy Samberg and Jane Lynch on SNL makes me think it might be more universal than I think? I would love to hear your thoughts.