In the Chinese culture, it is young men and women’s responsibility to look after their aging parents. Their culture teaches that young people must respect their elders and assist them in their old age, a role that has been well played by Jia-Jen, a character in the movie. She plays the role of the master’s oldest daughter.
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The Chinese culture is also characterized by food and as we see, the master, Tao Chu, has always been preparing food for his three daughters. This movie shows a rich Chinese culture of blending varieties of food, which is a core activity in China. The three daughters live with their father, which is the tradition in China until they are ready to get married. The elder sister has gone against the norm in terms of religious traditions and she is an adherent of the Christian piety.
The three-daughters have been influenced by foreign cultural behaviors and their ways of life are no longer aligned with the Chinese culture. The family’s close relationship takes a significant turn when the three daughters go against the norms. The movie shows the ethnic and sexual conflicts in the Chinese family. As the father prepares a meal every Sunday for his daughters, the educated and modernized girls view this as a punishment except for Jia-Chien who apparently loves traditional food.
Jia-Jen is unmarried and decides to get romantically involved with a volleyball coach. This contravenes the Chinese culture, which assumes that a man should pursue a woman. The youngest daughter gets pregnant due to her irresponsible sexual behavior, which again shows a broken moral fabric in the Chinese society.
The concept of Yin-Yang
The movie depicts the concept of Yin-Yang very clearly by showing how relationships among the family depend on other social interactions. The concept of Yin-Yang shows that every natural duality is a complementary force as opposed to being a conflicting one.
The concept of the man and woman duality is very well displayed showing its impact on family balance when the youngest daughter gets into a romantic affair with the coach. The family relationship drifts and the bond in the family weakens. This conflicts the notion of Yin-Yang, which maintains that duality, is about complementing rather than contradicting each other. Men and women are depending on each other and therefore there is a natural intrinsic need within a man and a woman to join as a husband and wife.
Religious or worldly humanism
The movie is a reflection of this worldly humanism as opposed to the normal religious affiliations. The conflict in the family and the worldly view of human efforts to make life better has nothing to do with religion. The three daughters are professionals working hard to sustain their lives in a world of secularism. The movie promotes the notion of Yin-Yang, which is a secularist belief of human existence in pursuit for happiness.
Westernization and the Chinese values
At the end of the movie, we can see some tension building among the family a factor that threatens the relationship between the three daughters and their father. Westernization has brought detrimental changes in the Chinese culture hence the irresponsible sexual behavior as portrayed in the youngest daughter’s role.
Education has also played a big role in promoting secularism and destroying the rich Chinese cultural background. Therefore, the movie seems to show that education has been used by the west to infiltrate and influence their culture among the Chinese people.