Dear George: I don’t want to argue about this …
Comment posted Lifestyle of Kerala Syrian Christians by John Mathew.
I don’t want to argue about this (I prefer you argue with BG…), but I wanted to make one point. You mentioned “caring for the handicapped” as one of the Eastern/older virtues. I beg to disagree… there may be various differences between the old world and the new world with many positives from the old being absent in the new. But, let’s give the modern secular scientific rational world it’s due: in terms of taking care of the weak and feeble, the modern attitudes of decency far outweigh the old attitudes (still prevalent in older parts of the world) whereby the sick and handicapped are thrown away into “colonies” on the outskirts of society. You do *not* see this in the west.
Also I don’t agree with you about sexual “sins”: people have been doing the things you say for a long long time in the east and west, in ancient and modern times. For you to say that things are worse in the new world is only an indication of the freedom people get in the new world. There is no superiority in the east on this. People in small-town rural Kerala may be less promiscuous only because everyone’s eye is on them—not because of any inherent moral or cultural superiority. I’ve personally seen cases where men and women from “nice, ancient, strongly religious” families in Kerala move down to the U.S. (where they are free) or Madras (where they are free from the eyes of society) and start to do the *very* things you speak of. Finally, the movie “Fiddler on the Roof” is a movie that was about the pogroms that the Jews faced. It was not a historical movie discussing the sexual habits of Jewish females in medieval times. If you want to discuss that, you should look at sociological works, and not films. By the way George, if you had grown up in the West, you would know that Jewish girls have long been famous for those same “special” skills that you referred to in your post to BG.
Cuckoldry, adultery, premarital and “adventurous” sex (i.e., Kama Sutric-style activities) have *long* been a part of human society. Again, read a little history to see that the same things you see going on now have gone on throughout history. Just because village boys and girls don’t do it under the eyes of their community in Kerala, doesn’t mean they won’t do it when no one is looking. If you want to enforce virtue, you need a police state—but would you really want to live in that?
At the end of the day, if you raise your kid properly, he or she will be “virtuous” whether in the East or in the West, whether in Mavelikara or in Bangalore. And there are virtuous girls in *all* societies. But, just being a Nasrani and going to Church and speaking Syriac and believing you’re a Hebrew descendant does not necessarily mean your kids will turn out alright. In my observations of Malayalis in the West over the past 20 years, I’ve noticed a lot of contradictory things which leads me to believe that far more work is needed in raising a kid than simply adhering to traditions and culture. Many of the girls that I knew growing up that came from highly traditional homes ended up with the most “adventurous” sexual lives, while many of the non-religious girls ended up living normal lives. There is no guaranty that living the Nasrani lifestyle (whatever that is: it’s been in flux for the past two millenia) will result in excellent children that never have sex except when told to do so.
Related NSC Network Articles
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- ‘The Indian Christians of St. Thomas’ by Dr. Leslie Brown
- A Syrian Christian Family Portrait – Circa 1620 A.D.
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