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Sunday, 4th June 2023

Irish Born Chinese

Raising a kid in a foreign country

Created Thursday, 15th March 2012, 09:43 by Whykay

Non-Irish who decided to settle in Ireland and raise their kids here, gives us a glimpse of the reasons for their decision as well as their experiences in this article by the Irish Times - Bringing up baby . . . far away from home.

The part of the Chinese parents are interesting. Coming from Chinese parents who originate from Hong Kong, I had this drummed into my head that we have it easy over here in Ireland compared the kids in Hong Kong. I had Hong Kong Chinese friends in secondary school who would excel ahead when it came to mathematics, their writing was perfect in both English and Chinese (as opposed to my scrawls and inability to write any other Chinese words except for my name and poorly in that case), their grades always at the top of the class. No matter where in Asia, be it Mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, kids are taught to learn by rote. I’ve seen documentaries about Mainland Chinese students who do nothing but study so they can get into prestigious universities. Even my cousins in Hong Kong would go to school, then head for tutorials which means they are normally late home and the cycle starts again the next day. Most kids go to summer schools, their summer holidays are short compared to the luxury of 2-3 months kids get over here.

Not to judge education over here harshly, kids get to be kids over here. I feel it’s much better than being pressured to fight to the top of the class with mere decimal points difference between classmates and getting published in the top percentile list on the school notice board. I suppose discipline in studying, being able to think outside the box and solve problems should be the way to encourage kids to learn instead. It’s not perfect anywhere, ok, except Finnish schools.

I wonder how many Chinese/Asian kids in Ireland are currently learning how to play the piano/violin, ballet, getting straight As and going to Chinese school? I know this is stereotyping, and find this funny as I didn’t do any of the afore mentioned items at all in my school years. I was pretty much opposite to all that, but my parents were encouraging despite some reminders of how lucky we were to be going to school here instead of Hong Kong. Any thoughts from second generation Chinese/Asians?