Two Cultures, One Love

Paul Lee, Staff Writer

Growing up in two vastly different cultures, I struggled to debate the differences between the Western and the Eastern view of love. My parents and my past upbringing tell me to abide by the Chinese culture, but my peers tell me to do the opposite.

When it comes to love in Eastern culture, dating is not tolerated among high school students. When choosing partners, most seekers do not marry out of love. Instead, they marry people with respectable economic, social, and educational status. Easterners value a stable love. The majority of Easterners do not fall in love until one receives a steady income. My parents’ outlook on love is no different.

People with Eastern origin are often told silly limitations of love, like “you’re too young to know anything about love,” “school is more important,” or “Reclusion from love is the key to success.”

In contrast to Eastern Culture, in Western culture, there is no right age or time to fall in love. Love is unconditional. It is a feeling, not a task. You don’t need to be qualified to obtain the sense of love. The Western culture encourages others to fall in love as a teenager since love without all the compromises and impurity is the purest.

The custom, beliefs, traditions, and values in culture shape individuals. It defines and restricts the appropriate time to fall in love. However, love is strange; it overpowers the cultural norms and its governing practices. It is infatuating and boundless. Love can figuratively blind individuals. Love unites the lovers; it mentally fuses their souls together, shaping a stable force that creates stability in the chaos of the world. Initially, customs are drafted by individuals who wanted to govern their behavior and values. Cultures could not exist without individual influence to create it. When fingers interlock and lips touch, the couple creates a new custom, their independent custom. If customs define love, the credibility of pop culture and will all be tainted with falsehood. Why would the play Romeo and Juliet be widespread if the content does not correlate with our customs? Why is elopement still a word if it does not occur? After all, humans are designed to undertake free will. Humans are not just orchestrated puppets that do what they’re told to do. It is natural for humans to rebel. So, why should the process of falling in love be fixated with a definite approach? Why should it be restricted by cultures without question?

All in all, love is an irrepressible force that defies all customs and restraints. Love is timeless and subjective. It all depends on oneself. One may pursue love when one finds true love. When a particular individual never leaves one’s mind, and one feels a strange, attaching, feeling stretching through one’s body, then one for love.