Most Have Respect for Old

By Darlene Doku

In many countries in the world, the old are the most important people in the lives of their children and grandchildren. There are different ways that people show respect for the old.

Albert Yeboah, a junior from Ghana said, "One cannot wear a hat to greet an elderly person." The young have no place in the conversation with the old. That's very disrespectful. He also said, "If you see an old person with a load, you have to help or you are in deep water."

In many Asian countries the children have a formal relationship with older people, including their parents. For example it is not common for an older person to ask a young person for advice. Liwen Ye, a senior from China said, "My mom never asks me a question, even if she doesn't know. She always keeps it to herself."

However, for Latino families, parents and children often have a more informal relationship and it is common for parents to ask their children for help. "My parents always take me with them to office places to help them with the English language," said Karla Quiñones a senior and from Bolivia. But even though she and her parents talk freely about things, she said, "I never talk back when my parents talk to me, whether bad or good."

In the United States there are wide differences about the way the old are treated by younger people. Eurykah Fon, a junior and from Cameroon, has observed that young people often talk disrespectfully to older people. It is not the same in her country. "As an African, the way I was raised up is different compared to the American way of acting toward the old," she said.

Ms. Stein Henderson, who works at the Career Center, believes there are differences for each family. "My children helped my father when he lost his sight," she said. "They couldn't stay away from helping him."

 Copyright Silver International Newspaper 2002 (This page was created by Manwen Ye.)