As for my cultural experience, I went to see the movie “Crazy Rich Asians” by John Chu. Later on, I found out that it was adopted from a book published by Kevin Kwan in 2013. To sum up the movie, it was like a Cinderella story but the characters were Asians and the setting was in Singapore. The theme is romantic comedy, and drama which is not my typical kind of a movie. I watched it because I was curious, and I must say, the movie will make you smile, laugh, and make you daydream about living the luxurious life.
As an Asian, whenever I think of Chinese people, the first thing that comes to my mind is that they are rich, but not crazy. I was born and raised in the Philippines. I grew up there seeing the businesses, small and big, being run by a Chinese family. Also, I know some Filipino- Chinese people personally, all of them has a business, and they are wealthy. When I was younger, I came up with a conclusion: Chinese are good in business, that is why they are rich. In the Philippines, most businesses ran by the Chinese are usually family corporations, where the children occupy the head positions (Miranda, 2018). That is why Asian parents are protective of their family wealth.
What I learn
I learned from the movie that it’s not really about the money, it was about family. Asians are known to be family oriented. My assumptions about Chinese are not entirely wrong, it just lacks more background to it. When someone lacks the understanding to one culture, the perception will either be biased or false.
The movie showed that the Eleanor (antagonist), which is the mother of the wealthy Nick Young (the protagonist), does not want the leading lady Rachel Chu for her son. It looked like Eleanor does not want Rachel for Nick, because she thinks Rachel was a gold digger and a social climber. However, if you really pay attention and understand the point of view of the Eleanor, she was just afraid that her son will marry a Chinese that is a ‘jook sing’. Jook-sing is a term to describe Asian people, particularly Chinese, who are denying themselves about their Asian heritage and grew up Westernized (Academic Kids Encyclopedia, n.d). Lastly, Eleanor was just trying to protect their family culture and or tradition.
In the movie, Eleanor’s character shows that she is the matriarch of the family. People see her just an antagonist because of being protective and her disapproval towards Nick’s girlfriend. Society views Chinese parents especially the mother as “too harsh” towards the child. Due to the lack of cultural background, society thinks that the way Chinese parents race their child is wrong and cruel. Attempting to intrude into children’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are some of the comments regarding East Asian parents particularly Chinese (Yin Ng, Pomerantz, and Deng, 2013).
In addition, the society has a stereotype towards a Chinese mother as a “tiger mom/parenting”. Back in 2011, an author named Amy Chua raised the heat regarding Chinese parenting due to her published book ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’. In the book, Amy Chua told the stories about how she raised her two daughters which are half-Chinese half-Jewish using Chinese parenting style. Society in response said that she is pressuring her children toward her own definition of parent success, which most assume is unlikely to lead to genuine happiness in children (Wang, 2013).
My views about Chinese and culture have not changed. However, it led me to become more sensitive, understanding, and appreciative. As a nursing student, being sensitive in a way that I should be aware that every culture has its own perceptions of things. Also, understanding the reasons why cultures have its different ways will make a huge impact on taking care of patients, especially patients with different cultural backgrounds. Lastly, when you become sensitive and understanding, you will learn how to appreciate the culture. You will appreciate it because you learned something new that will add to your skills as a critical thinker. It might not directly connect to you personally, but you will understand why they do or believe in certain things. As student nurses and future nurses, becoming competent is not just by knowing what kind of culture they have, but understanding why the patient do or believe in certain things will make a better impact on how you’re taking care of them.
In addition, I can relate to the Chinese parenting culture because there are some parenting styles that I can relate too. The main part that I can relate to is that Chinese are family oriented, they always respect the elderlies and people in authority. I was brought up being that way as well, we always follow the parent’s commands and wishes. It is very frustrating when we are younger but when we grow up we realize the underlying reasons why our parents are being overprotective and being strict. My point is, my views were not changed because I myself is familiar with the culture, and I will always value and respect it.
Leininger’s theory of transcultural nursing is defined as “… an understanding of similarities (culture universal), and differences (culture-specific) across human groups to provide meaningful and beneficial delivery of health care” (as cited by Potter and Perry, 2014 p. 112). In my opinion, the role of the mother in the movie is applicable to Leininger’s theory. At first, Eleanor (the mother) was really biased about Rachel whom her son wants to marry. Eleanor was a woman who carries on their beliefs and tradition in her life, she did not want anything bad happens to her family but she is being misguided by her own biases. Lastly, when Rachel proved her that she is not the woman Eleanor thinks she is, Eleanor changed her views and admitted that she was wrong. This is relatable not just to nursing but also to everyone because it shows that we have to be open minded before we see the truth. Sometimes, we are being blinded by our own biases and misconceptions.
In addition, my cultural experience can be related to the Sunrise Model of Leininger. I can connect it to my cultural experience because I focused on the family part of it. At one part, the model basically said that nurses started with knowing the families and group that is why they are prepared in transcultural nursing (Leininger, 1995). Also, knowing that
There are many ways to provide a culturally competent care. One example is, nurses should bridge cultural gaps and appreciate the cultural differences (Potter and Perry, 2014). Understanding the concept of being culturally competent is not hard but for some, it might be a long process. To be able to provide effective and holistic care to promote health for patients, families, and communities, “you need to exhibit specific ability, knowledge, sensitivity, openness, and flexibility toward the appreciation of cultural differences” (Potter and Perry, 2014).
In order to gain more understanding about the Chinese parenting culture, I did some research about their reasoning behind it. That is when I realized, I am becoming more culturally competent by looking for information about Chinese parenting and understanding it before actually writing my paper. I can link this to Purnell’s model, in the third domain, it basically says there that by knowing the family roles and organization is being culturally aware (Albougami, Pounds, Alotaibi, 2016). This again shows that I am trying to become more culturally sensitive and competent.
The first strategy that I will use to make sure that I will continue to become more open-minded and respectful in learning about “the Others” is to: be aware and recognize my own beliefs and values and then follows the patient’s beliefs and values. I think of it as like the saying “how can you love others if you don’t even know how to love yourself” (Anonymous, n.d). It is important for us nurses to recognize the different influences from our own values and beliefs so that we will be able to recognize the different influences in the patient’s background. By doing so, it will more likely to build a sensitive, therapeutic relationship with the patient. To add on, we are expected to know our own identifications to discipline ourselves regarding personal biases that might impede with the therapeutic relationship (Ferweda, 2016).
The second strategy that I will use is to never stop learning and being knowledgeable. As a nurse, we’re supposed to always continue to grow and develop our skills, and every day we learn something new. By learning and being knowledgeable, we will then be able to provide our patient/resident/client a holistic care. Also, because each culture has specific characteristics, therefore, an individual that belongs to a different culture should be varied considerably. To add on, each individuals’ differences must be valued and treated as a unique human being (Albougami, Pounds, Alotaibi, 2016).
To sum up, by doing this cultural experience paper made me reflect on how important it is as a student and future nurse to become culturally competent. By connecting my own views, the societal views and different theories made it so much more understandable. In my opinion, Leininger’s theory and Purnell’s theory are the two theories that are more relatable with my experience. By that being said, using theories to incorporate your understanding of different cultures will make you understand that it is a part of our visions and missions as nurses to provide unbiased and holistic care to our patients/clients/residents. Lastly, we should always continue to learn and grow on how to become more sensitive and aware of “the others” to become more competent not just in our field of job but also as part of our mentality and values as a person.