Attitudes to bereavement differ greatly in societies. In an article yesterday Nigel Dudley talked about those who have gone through the loss of a child. And the need to, or not to shed tears.
I was so impressed by the parent of the young women who died in the bus crash in South America last week.
The parents were dignified and dry eyed, and they insisted that this accident should not put others from such adventures. That is the part of the British nature, to remain rational and calm in face of adversity. Where as the Asian cultures has a very different attitude. Most Asians are highly emotional people. Though open displays of affection are frowned upon, but anger and grief are displayed loudly and openly.
Some cultures see tears as a sign of weakness, and some consider it a must, the louder the better. I remember my father never showed his emotions openly, and frowned on displays of feelings. It must have been the western influence on him, as he spent his formative years in England.
Am dreading going back to India, after the death of my mother. As everyone will be crying and wailing, the louder the better and I find it a bit embarrassing to weep openly.
Though the British reserve is admirable, but it is also said that suppressing emotions leads to emotional problems. A lot of people here suffer with depression after losing a loved one. Where as the community and family involvement in the East, provides lot of support and an outlet for grief. Strangers come over to lend a hand and do what they can, if a death has occured. It is as if, it should be a joint effort to despatch the deceased to its maker!
I was just wondering if the western society was always this reserved and in control of their emotions, or is it something which has happened in the last century or so? What were the Victorians like? Because a lot of those values have Eastern influence, or sem to have eastern influence. Things like jint families,match making and so forth.
I do know that the Moguls and the Persian rulers of India were, said to be very reserved and cool headed. Being in control of their emotions gave them the ability to resolve issues ad remain detached and rational.
So is it a virtue to be UN emotional and never shed tears openly? Being in control makes you cool and rational, but does it make you indifferent, cold and UN caring?
In my case I too have picked up this tendency, and am now dreading joining the display of raw grief. And I know I will be considered un- caring and cold!
And is it bad for you to keep your emotions in check?