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Area 6 : News & Views

NEWS - ROVING REPORTER

The longest journey starts with a single step .....................................................ancient Chinese proverb


Kathryn Watts reporting worldwide.

My first article is about the lifestyle of children in other cultures, from the Far East, Africa, Vietnam…. which, hopefully, will be of interest to all you viewers out there.





I have wandered through the towns and villages of Africa and Vietnam and have been struck by the community spirit and sense of kinship that seems to be the bedrock of these social relationships that exist. The contrast in lifestyles of these children is strong, so unaffected by lack of material things in play. So oblivious to expensive toys and games. Their toys have been created in a different manner, tin cans and saucepans acting as instruments, their bodies as they dance creating the rhythm that their lives lack, their laughter creating a sense of freedom in a society where trust and communal help and equality between people seems to linger.


These children have no overprotective parents or unreasonable expectations with which to cope. They wander freely in a society that seems to lack evil, the community seems to follow in their footsteps and shield them from danger. Wandering on cliff edges does not cause bewilderment in their parents, playing with firecrackers as children are allowed to do in Vietnam, wandering off down a quiet path talking with myself, a stranger, at nine years old.





In East Africa children begin to assume household responsibilities at the age of about seven. A herd of cattle to control in order to help the parents on the farm to provide food for the family. This causes no reaction. In fact how natural it all appears to be.


These children although not so educated as the Western world have a quality that does not exist in children in countries such as ours. How could they cope with such responsibilities? The way they dance and then look so innocent when demanding money. How they polish your shoes and then negotiate and manipulate you for money like a little businessman and with an air of authority which makes them appear so adult-like at eight years old. These children possess skills from growing up in such an environment, and behaviour which makes them superficially appear older and more sophisticated than their chronological age is. Yet somehow this air of superficiality does not show its face at the time, it is merely an afterthought ....




These children are taught a "trade" or a skill by one of their kin-group, a skill that their parents can pass down to them, a skill that helps with the family's survival. At such an age in European countries children will be learning the basics at school, drawing reading arithmetic for their own general development. African and Vietnamese children do this, too but perhaps in a more laid back and in not so much of a pressured way. In fact Ugandan infants have been proven to have more developed motor development compared to that of American infants. This is because they receive more physical contact with their caretakers.



..... continued on page 2

Roving Reporter - Index 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 return to Latest Site News

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This is Area 6 - News - Roving Reporter - Kathryn Watts -
https://www.happychild.org.uk/nvs/news/kathryn/index.htm
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your support is always welcomed for the Children's Charities in the Project HappyChild Directory - just click here for details of more than 80 organizations
Your support is always welcomed for the Children's Charities in the Project HappyChild Directory - just click here for details of 80+ organizations.

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