Friday, July 08, 2011

Jewish and Chinese American Ideas on the Humanities

Yesterday I recorded a podcast with my Jewish American friend Hertsel.  We discussed Jewish American and Chinese American culture.  Many people have said that the cultures are similar, and in many cases I agree--in many (but not all), there tends to be a focus on family, education, and prosperity.  But from the experiences I've heard and read through the years, there is one area which modern Chinese American culture does not emphasize: respect and appreciation for the Humanities.  If there is one area in which Chinese American culture can improve, I believe it's in its attention to the Humanities.  It's almost impossible to learn real critical thinking through only math and science.  Life is much more. 

And in the future, our economy will depend a lot more on creative thinking.  It isn't just a quality of life issue; it's an economic issue and a prosperity issue. 

Anyway, I had blogged about Raising Asian Kids Jewish before.  And of course, the Jewish/Asian thing came up not too long ago with the whole Amy Chua thing.  I was glad to finally be able to speak about this issue and to examine the philosophical and historical underpinnings of how a culture can create a focus on the humanities.

Check out the podcast here.