Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Ice Breaking Question

“Where have you been during the last vacation?” – You never realized that an innocent question as this from a teacher in the class would put so much pressure on the students and the parents alike. A farmer’s son maybe jeered at for not being anywhere and staying at home helping parents to meet the ends; a soldier’s children may be mocked at for their parents not taking them for holidays as they do not get ‘pleasure leave’ as easily as others.  A child of affluent parents may be envied for going for holiday abroad or at exotic places within the countries.

Holidaying was never our culture and I feel that it never should be. The people of the western countries go on holiday and tours, firstly, due to the heavy progressive taxation policy - the more you earn the more would be deducted as tax, so they try to limit their earnings by going on holidays. Secondly, the savings of the life is all yours as children bids you good bye after attaining eighteen years of age, when your own children asserts his rights and has no qualms in arguing with you, you let go and the savings thus accumulated with the children in mind remains to be blown off. Thirdly, it is some sort of social status to go on holiday and visit exotic places, this puts pressure on some to follow suit for status sake. This is gradually creeping in, in our society too, primarily due to the innocent question of a teacher – “Where all have you been during the winter vacation?”

Our society is a tight knit society where the younger generations look after the older generations and our children do not assert their rights after attaining eighteen years of age. We do not require legislation to keep it that way. The luxury of going on holidaying can be afforded but only by some.

“What did you do during winter vacation?” might be an appropriate question if there is no other way of breaking the ice after a long break. A student who must have done productive works like helping a poor parents, who remained put, without the fear of jeers, with the parents and a students who got themselves  into temporary jobs to earn, must be applauded to inculcate the dignity of labour and value of hard earned money.

When I heard so many parents wishing to go on holiday including myself for the sake of an answer to the famous ice breaking question, I thought that a simple innocent likely question is enough to put so much pressure on the students and parents alike almost bringing in the western culture of holidaying without the means and reasons.

It is good to visit new places if one can afford and if there is a genuine reason to be there, but if it is taxing physically and financially it is better to be avoided. And that can be curbed, if asking the question – “Where have you been…….” - is avoided, especially in the lower classes. They are not capable of going for holidays themselves; they need to be taken. Some parents won't be able to go on holidays due to financial and professional reasons.

Holidaying is doing what you like, staying with people you like and having a peace of mind and body. It is not what other people would envy or to gain social status. (BTW) If you like to eat slimy sea food, enjoy watching kick boxing, shopping and enjoy the scorching heat in the busy streets with little communication with local people, please carry on to Bangkok; coveted holiday destination of the Bhutanese with direct flight connectivity.