One of the most interesting topics in exploring our world are the differences in culture particularly in caring for children and the elderly. This picture is my father before he passed away. Watching him squeeze unnaturally into a tuk tuk in Thailand reminds me of the differences in the elderly in these cultures compared to my own. Today I will mention 5 interesting observations seen in the Asian aging culture.
If you don’t move it, you lose it! Flexibility, climbing, walking long distances, getting in and out of hammocks are continued through the ages. We have even seen those over 100 years old going up and down stairs each day.
Retirement? Most Asians say that can stand being bored and enjoy their work. They continue to work as long as they can. Retirement is also not an option and even though they may not work full-time, they help wash the clothes and care for the children.
In most all Asian countries the elderly lead community activities, events, worship, and are the decision makers for their village. They are considered wise and are consulted on many everyday matters.
One thing is certain. Life is difficult for many elderly people and the impact of labor migration on the elderly is tremendous and just now being written about. Many young adults are migrating to cities, often in other countries, to make a living. They leave behind small children to be cared for by aging parents. The stress is tremendous on the elderly as they care for these small children in often impoverished conditions with little to no help.
There is one major thing in common for the elderly all around the world especially the men. They love to gather in the mornings for coffee (or in China for tea). This is how they begin their day and discuss their issues.
A few things I’ve learned that I want to integrate into my aging experience.
- I want to be able to move and keep active.
- I want to be resilient and be able to work all my life.
- I want to have time to gather with friends for a morning coffee too!
How about you? What do you see yourself doing as you age? What would you like to do different from your culture? If you like this article, please click like and share it with others. Your effort to do this makes a difference in other people who can learn from these experiences too!