Father Knows Best

An insight into the Confucian values fundamental to Asian culture and life
By Georgina Lionatos

In a famous 1994 interview around Foreign Affairs, the late Lee Kwan Yew spoke of the advantage of leading a country based on “Asian Values”.

As Australia becomes increasingly intertwined with Asian culture due to mass migration arrivals, it is more important than ever to understand these values. Especially because, the same values underpin the life of a new Asian arrival into Australia or the life of an Asian individual or family that have been here for 20 years or more.

The Asian individual holds a very family-relationship-community-centric approach to life vs. the more self-centric mindset of Western culture.  Lee said, “we use the family to push economic growth. We were fortunate we had this cultural backdrop: the belief in thrift, hard work, filial piety and loyalty and the extended family, and, most of all, the respect for scholarship and learning.”

What we can learn from an Asian tiger

Whether you refer to it lovingly or loathingly as the little red dot, there is no denying Singapore has earned its position in the 21st century as Asia’s economic powerhouse.

As a traveller, Singapore is my preferred transit destination en route to India. The aerial view of Singapore is enough to take your breath away. Surrounded by pristine blue waters, you see a collage of greenery, shimmering skyscrapers and beautifully laid out roads. If you’re a city girl like I am, this is a sight for sore eyes.