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the Gauntlet

Living under tyranny

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A "modern-day Nazi regime" is the only way I can describe it. You may think it's harsh to refer to it in such a manner, extreme even, but if it was your everyday life, you could only agree. Some of you can relate to my difficulties, my trials, and few triumphs: those with Chinese parents.

At the root there appears to be only one explanation, a sinister foundation of irrationality. Short of experiencing it for yourself, there is no sufficient explanation to allow for complete understanding. So allow me to provide you with a few examples.

Parents are parents. They'll worry and be cautious, especially when it comes to your well being. But what is it called when curfews are set for five in the evening? How about when it comes to school work? Anything, with the exception of 100 per cent and above, is unacceptable. Receiving a 95 per cent on an exam would receive a hearty "What happened to the other five percent?" Once in university, the only path is Engineering, Business, or Computer Science. Anything else, especially anything remotely artistic, will short list you for the outcast role among family members.

Chinese parents constantly phone you at the drop of a hat to know the most menial of things, like whether you've eaten, when you'll be home, how you're getting home, and are you on your way home yet. The most baffling of all is that even if you purposely forget to leave a number where you can be contacted, they still manage to find you.

Have you ever been sitting with friends in a restaurant only to have your mother call you on your friend's cell phone telling you not to stay out too late? No? Well, I have.

Even worse--yes, it gets worse--is the issue of driving. I am a 20 year-old female who has only recently acquired her driver's license. I know, this doesn't look too good for me, but you can't honestly think I waited this long by choice. After I completed the driving course, I constantly brought up the fact that I was ready to take the road test. At this point, my dad would shut me down without a thought. I completed the in-class component, as well as the written part, however, I neglected to take my dad's in-car classes.

Driving is never easy for Chinese children who have Chinese parents. Not only do you have to be deemed ready to drive by the government, but also by a superior power, the Chinese parent. Though I am licensed, I am restricted. I have a friend who is only permitted to drive a certain radius around her house, and I consider her fortunate. Initially I was unable to drive on any road that requires me to change lanes, so essentially I was stuck in my neighbourhood. Fortunately for me, the car does not know this.

Fear not fellow suppressed children of the Chinese, our day will come. Rebel, take an art class, heck, get an English degree. Lie, stay out, and don't come home until the next day. Soon we'll be able to move out and be free of the regime. Until then, I can be seen driving around in circles in the South West. If you see me, please wave. I'd appreciate it.

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