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Nation of copycats?

GenX takes pride in emulating peers from other nations in almost everything under the sun



Unflattering imitation Even dress sense is copied

Every waking hour, we find teenagers around us learning something new. Some defunct and redundant trend abandoned in totality by their peers in a distant land like the US of A but passionately embraced by the emerging breed of Youngistan at home.

We have almost perfected the art of mimicking slavishly but often with an absurd result. Be it our clothes, language, movies or the music -- our entire way of life reflects the powerful influence the west has.

Hollywood flicks inspire our movies, while producers of television channels revel in the western ‘motivation’. Much-hyped reality shows like Indian Idol are drawn from the concept of American Idol or Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tej Hain, a replication of Are you smarter than a 5th grader.

Since the art of imitation is fine as long as it does not harm others, how about some positive emulation? Every fourth Sunday of July, our ‘sovereign’ peers in America celebrate the National Parents’ Day to honour the role that parents play in creating an ideal society.

This emulation by kids at home becomes all the more relevant at a time when the nation is struggling with effects of teen violence and alienation. The existing chaos calls for a re-examination of our priorities and fundamental values.

But do the young ones feel the need to tow American line on this score? “We do not need a particular day to celebrate Parents’ Day. Why attach so much hype to a personal choice like respecting parents. No amount of external display can match the love and bond we share with them,” says Tishya, a tenth grader from Nalanda Vidya Niketan.

Parents like S. Ramanan admit that too often “we have let other concerns take precedence over our responsibilities as parents.” The Americans established the day to recognise, uplift and support the role of parents in child rearing.

For the bubblier lot like Shikha Dasgupta, celebration of an additional occasion is not a hassle provided the Government declared it a national holiday. “We barely get time to spend with parents thanks to our busy academic schedules. Let the Government embrace the concept of National Parents Day and announce a holiday, I’ll be the first one to support it,” giggles the teeny-bopper.

“It is the elemental trait of parents to sacrifice everything for the sake of children. And the well being of children is best served in the family that includes doting father and mother and their dutiful children,” points out Divyapriya, a post-graduate.

P. SUJATHA VARMA

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