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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Pressure Cooker Asia

Ten ways you know you live in Asia:

  1. Mothers of preschoolers are worried about their kids' academic performances.
  2. There are pools everywhere, but the local kids aren't swimming in them -- they're at tuition.
  3.  Kids who score well on high-stakes exams make it to the front page of the newspapers.
  4.  At Starbucks, there are signs telling students not to study in the cafe.
  5. The public libraries are full of kids reading and studying.
  6.  Kids finish regular school and then go on to their second shift: school part 2 goes by many names - juku, hagwon, tuition, whatever.
  7.  If kids aren't able to do mental math, their parents wring their hands and freak out.
  8.  The kid in the apartment next door to you practices his violin for a full hour every evening.
  9. When you're on the train, you look around and see perfectly behaved three year olds sitting quietly next to their moms.
  10. Moms quit their jobs to help their kids pass exams. The stakes are just too high.

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