Indian Newslink readers were recently invited to attend a conversation between youth and their parents.
I was privileged to help facilitate the programme, which included about sixty parents and youth and some members of the Art of Living Foundation.
Indian Newslink, the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) and ANZ Bank were sponsors of the event.
This was the beginning of Youth Week and those who attended found the experience valuable and worthy of repetition.
In the presence of their parents and some senior members of their community, the youngsters demonstrated that given the opportunity to have a facilitated conversation, they would be able to discuss a number of important issues.
For their part, parents were able to listen and respond. They also expressed what was important to them and how they had gone about providing their children with the best environment possible.
I believe that the workshop showed “the power of good conversation” between youth and their parents. As our youth assimilate the cultural implications of growing up in New Zealand, they want their parents to understand the demands placed on them.
While all the parents were proud of their adolescent children, they believed that there were adjustments to be made in a society that was different from the ones in which they had grown up.
I observed through the conversations that parents should make time for their youths, demonstrate affection, share special events, establish trust and help them achieve their goals in life. Many stressed the importance of imparting cultural and social values that were significant to them as Indians.
As the first dialogue, the programme was an excellent way for our youth to see the value of compromise and for parents to see them as the leaders of tomorrow.
There was a consensus that these opportunities should be provided for other youth as well.
Dr Rajen Prasad is Member of Parliament on Labour List.