One of the dangers in talking about cultures is the tendency to fall into stereotypes. In order to avoid that, there is a need to support the said argument with evidence taken from a reliable source. If that is not possible, then tentative words should be used. As I was going through the posts pertaining to Birthday written by Lee Kok Liang, some questions came to mind:
- Were women then supposed to get married by the age of 18?
- Eighteen is an ideal age for marriage for a girl which was made into a song 十八姑娘一朵花. However, it is not always possible to attain the ideal.
- Is the protagonist clumsy?
- Granted, the protagonist spills the curry. Are there any other instances to show that she is a bumbling bumpkin? It is important to justify her 'clumsy' act.
- Who branded her as 'clumsy'?
- Is the protagonist lonely?
- The first paragraph hints at her desire to have a child of her own. Does wanting something mean that one is lonely? Is there any indication throughout the story that shows her loneliness?
- Do the Chinese believe in arranged marriages?
- Could that be the case in the past? And is the notion of an arranged marriage confined to the Chinese community?