This is one of the many things I admire and respect about Thai people. The way they view and treat the family unit. Last night, Kim and myself were out drinking Thai whiskey at one of those stalls again (hence why I'm posting so much this morning -- only slept a few hours, still drunk, and can't work until I have a nap). We ended up chatting about family structure, and he was basically appauled to the Canadian approach.
I explained to him that not always, but in general, if your parents own a company, it's THEIR company. And alot of times when the parents get older, they'll sell the company, and use the money for their retirement to buy a nice house, go on holidays, etc. At the same time, as children, we're not expected to help our parents in any shape or form. Once we're adults, we're on our own, and nobody helps each other.
Kim was actually quite disgusted when I explained this to him, and didn't really seem to understand why family would treat each other like that. And honestly, I have to agree with him. It is pretty disgusting. You know, when Kim explains what his family has, he always says "WE" have. He never says "mama" has, or "papa" has, etc. It's always WE have a rice farm, and WE have 40 chickens, and WE have 7 buffalo, and WE have a small convenience store, etc. It's not mama or papa's company, but the families. When the parents get older, Kim and his siblings will naturally take over, and some of the profits will flow to mama and papa to take of them during their older years.
I honestly very much admire that, and wish it was more like that in the West. I know it's like that in Issan because it's far more poor, and is moreless a means of survival, but nonetheless, I like how they take care of each other like that.
Thoughts? Stories? Ok, I'll shut up now, and go sleep.