Social workers discuss international youth welfare ; part 1
BROADCAST: Jan. 9, 1965 | DURATION: 00:00:01
Social workers discuss their work in youth welfare in various parts of the world including India, Germany, Peru, and Malaysia.
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Studs Terkel In our society in America we are aware and unaware both of, of what is happening in the world. We're unaware a great many unfortunately of that revolution that is taking place in our own society as well as outside the world. The triple revolution has been called, revolution of rising expectations or the human rights revolution. We're aware of it with the Negroes' aspiration for his elementary rights in our country. We're aware of it to some extent, a much lesser extent in other parts of the world. Of course, the weaponry revolution. The bomb, that if were saying of course, makes war itself obsolete and the technological revolution. Cybernetics the machine its effect. And around the table are, are, are four social workers very much involved. Social worker the general term all involved with work with youth with the deprived, perhaps. We'll find this out in a moment are their own societies, their own countries as Krishna Arora, social worker. I use the general term social worker from Delhi, India. There's Renata Frese, of Castle, city in Germany. Ernesto Solace of Lima, Peru and Amahn Harun, who's national secretary of the youth movement in Malaysia, in the city of Kuala Lumpur. Where do we begin? You know a moment ago, just as a warm up, we're playing part of a program on this station called, "Joy Street," that dealt with some of the young of Chicago's inner city youth. Ernesto Solace, this was when you were in Lima, Peru. What were the primary? Is there a primary? Oh! You're here in Chicago, by the way, the auspices, I should point this out. Chicago international programs for youth leaders and social workers. You've been in Chicago all four of you. Nineteen or so, 18 other colleagues in 21 different countries over the past two months seeing our city. That would be the first question. Reflections on seeing different aspects of our Midwestern American city. And does this relate in any way to what you find in Lima, say, Ernesto?
Ernesto Solace Well first of all in talking of the area of the cities, I myself, found that Chicago is quite a nice city. And of course with this size they have lots of problems but most of these problems are related in some sense to our problems, too, because Lima as a sub-developed country has a lot of problems that come from the beginning of the industrialization, the beginning of new types of work that needs also new skilled persons to carry on this type of works. So most of the problem I can say that they are a little bit similar of course with some differences between them of the type of living, standard of living and a devolpment of the same country like as in some of them we can say that come from the same fountain of social problems as a general view. And some of the problems are some peculiar problems that of course every country must have their own type of problems. A lot of things have been developed with the knowledge of social work and community organization work that happen little by little, trying to help us.
Studs Terkel Perhaps we can extend this even further as we go around. I'm thinking Ernesto Solace, Krishna Arora of Delhi, India. Ernesto was just saying about the underdeveloped country Peru in contrast to more technically developed societies. I'd like to ask question later on about is a culturally underdeveloped in our. And what does that mean later on but certainly technically under developed and how the problems that come about with the young people and the technology and new skills must be learned, too in this. I suppose the old and the new presents a very, very dramatic form in India doesn't
Krishna Arora Yes it does because mostly the people who are having joined families in India and they were farms and more people were dependent on those farms and living there [knocking noise]. But now as industrialization and the urbanization is there, it doesn't. I mean increase the population more in cities and the young especially are coming into the city and they are influenced by the fast-changing all over the world and the movies and all that what they see and they want to change it and then for that they have to learn the new skills to have those things, you
Studs Terkel Amahn Harun is from Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. This Kuala Lumpur is a pretty large size city.
Amahn Harun Yes it is the city now with a few satellites. As you know that-
Studs Terkel Satellites. You mean suburbs like?
Amahn Harun Yes.
Studs Terkel That's an interesting word for satellites. Suburbs. I hadn't thought about that.
Amahn Harun And, you know, our city being growing and growing since its independence because of industrialization is growing. So the government has to open new areas for new settlement areas and in the hope that the slum areas in our federal capital can be solved. And render. The government open this new areas within five years. This area is really compact. Fulled. And becomes another big city. And still not in believing that there's not enough space in the city, they open new more areas, suburbs and within a few years, these areas were full again. And yet, we have our own slum areas as usual. We have a different type of slum areas in our own country besides that why we have seen in Chicago. Slum. There are many slum. The settlers live on state land, by the thousands and they form their own union to defend their own land. It's quite a program in our country and the government has been facing a lot of criticism from the people how to solve this.
Studs Terkel Well perhaps they can touch upon that too, the matter of not only the challenge of technology to the young but also the matter the nature of slums in the various cities and the blighted areas. Renata Frese is from a more industrialized country, Germany. Kassel. Kassel is an industrial city.
Renata Frese Yes, I think I'm coming from the smallest place in comparison with all my three friends and Kassel used to be more a residential place and there are officials and governor people lived. But in the last 70 years it's strong part industrialized where quite a lot of machine factories are there. And I think and we have slums, too, but I think they are different and not so vast as, as that slums from what Arora spoke from. But for me-
Renata Frese For me, it, it was, it is a slum area and our problem is that we have no room and no space. It's such a small country and it's perfectly overcrowded and the main problem is the housing problem. People have no apartments and no houses and sometimes they-
Studs Terkel Now this is Kassel you're talking about now?
Renata Frese Yes.
Studs Terkel That originally was a fairly as you describe it, if I follow you right, fairly affluent. Relatively. Because you would describe my city of residence
Renata Frese Residenital the count of the county Hesse had the great [unintelligible] and parks and it attracted the official people. And later on, industry, industry was build.
Studs Terkel So we come to the question. Both. There many questions that arise. We'll keep us very free and open now.
Krishna Arora I will add one thing with this, that after this independence we had this problem of partition and the people were coming from Pakistan to India and India to Pakistan so they had to leave their cities and their things and all that. And when they came, you know, their, their culture and their values have been changed, you know. And this has been influenced. So this coming to the cities and the extension of the cities and the more slums and the more of this education for woman and more higher education and employment for girls. And what it reflects that then it comes to the unemployment for the men. All this problems are then this is the third is not only what I wanted to say, not only that an organizaton, not only the industralization but because of this refugee problem or the change of the population has also influenced the values and the other problems.
Studs Terkel This becomes a key one, doesn't it? Changes in the values from with technology, the movement from villages to cities. Ernesto Solace.
Ernesto Solace It's important to, to remember because all these changes that come from the [table knock] technology and [table knock] education and culture bring to form some levels in our cities that or with the lower levels or that people that were in the beginning [tried?] of semi-skilled workers are being released to unskilled workers and that gives every day more people that are not prepared to face the real activities of their day to day work. Besides that, you have the people that come from the little villages, from the interior of the country. In our country [is a-
Studs Terkel Peru.
Ernesto Solace Peru. It's a mountain crossing all our country from north to south. And it's the Andes Mountains. And there in the Andes we have a lot of Indian communities that most of them are rushing into the big cities in looking for a better type of living, a better standard. And what they found is that they are not prepared enough. They don't speak our language that the Spanish speak the old Inca language, [unintelligible]. So they face the first very problem for us in the big cities. They are completely illiterate and that's one of the toughest words to teach them how to write how to read and how to face this new type of living. Because they come from a place where they were all cattle-raising or farming men. And they come to a pla-, to a city where they might start working in offices or industries or [unintelligible]. Things like that, that it's made very difficult to them to adjust to this new situation.
Studs Terkel Amahn Harun is this, this ring a familiar bell to you? What with Krishna Arora and Ernesto Solace been saying about the movement from villages to the big city, a new culture, a movement of course to better their lot in life but suddenly you find a new, a strange alien land. Is this true, too, for people of Malaysia to Kuala Lumpur?
Amahn Harun In our country, 75 percent of our people are still in the rural areas. There are times when this exodus, rural exodus from the, to the city by youngsters, the hope of finding jobs in the city because there's so much publicity were made on the new industries being established in the new suburbs. But our youths in the rural areas are not technically trained and they found themselves unemployed when they come to the rural areas. And at times their families bring them to the cities and that's where I told you just now. The slum areas that are created by the new type of people in on state land and this created a lot of problem for the education of their own children.
Studs Terkel You know, I I'm thinking about what Ernesto said and both Krishna Arora, too, the matter of what happens now to the young? You know, for example in Chicago and big cities in America, young Negro kids in the deep south or white kids in the Appalachian areas. The feeling of lostness or not really being or also not really be considered important, unfortunately, so often until it's too late by authorities.
Amahn Harun This, reference to my own country. Our people has a sort of custom. They, they are easily adjustable to the areas that they come because according to our customs that we, we should to really be very friendly to strangers and make them [when they come?] the very beginning, let them feel that they are no more strangers when they come to the new areas. And this, this sort of customs has helped a lot in the integration of these people and they move from one area to another area. But, but there are problems of this movement. For instance, I see these untrained people when they come to a certain area to find jobs and they couldn't find job. They found themself unemployed and they sometimes you get a sense of just giving more burden to the people.
Studs Terkel Apparently there's less and possibly Malaysia than there would be in, I'm thinking just off hand in Peru and in India. Ernesto speaking of an Indian people with their own culture in the villages. What happens to that, too. Isn't it?
Ernesto Solace Yeah, it's important to, to have this different type of youth coming because then you have two different type of use completely that they are facing to each other. Although, we, we don't have in, in Peru a, how can I say discrimination to this type of people because almost all the people of Peru, the Peruvians have some sort of the Indian blood in their self. Also the Spanish and the Negro. So they are-
Studs Terkel An integrated community.
Ernesto Solace Right. But although there are some feelings not directly against these people but some feeling of bitterness that doesn't reflect really in the action of the well, well [educated?] communities in helping them. They just tried to help them giving some employment little ones and most of them they are trying to pay very little to them, you know, to maintain them in this place. As a matter of fact way my point out that in we can say that all the industry of Peru is in the hands of 15 to 20 families that are the richest and the powerful families and sometimes some of these families are willing to keep these people in the ignorance in order to have more profits and more money for themselves. This is changing little by little because of the politic action the government is working and it's facing quite a rough time in trying to get rid of this part of this policy of these families. But most of the people that comes to the cities, comes mostly trying to get rid of this, we can say sort of slavery, that they are having in this big farms or these big settlements where they are working. And they come to the second aspect that they start working in the industry was almost the same seem a little better because they are in big cities and they can manage a little more. But most of the problem is that the youngsters that come from these families are facing a new type of living and they must readapt themself to the opportunities that the big cities gave to them. And that's in one hand. In the other hand they are living in slum areas where there is not schools nearby. So it's very difficult to then to have a regular type of city living. Maybe they have a family that is a little girl will culturized and it seems like that they can send them to a public school that maybe it's 20 or half an hour by bus and that's a lot of money for them sometimes to take the carfare and things like that. So what we're trying to do is to put schools in these areas in order to try to organize this groups into certain areas that they can have a school nearby where to attend. And this youth is facing. And you can realize that we have made these two kinds of youth, the city youth that they have lived there for long time or they have born there. And the youth that it coming from these small communities and cities and villages nearby.
Studs Terkel I'm thinking about this point Ernesto Solace made, Krishna Arora, this man in India, too. Is that his fear say of working people in the city. This by fear of competition, too, for the few jobs. Do you have this conflict, too? The new arrivals is against the old timers.
Krishna Arora Yes. There it is. Especially because the old ones are not educated and the new ones are better educated than them and then they feel that there is going to be a conflict between them. And there is a competition feeling also and then there is there are going to be unions more powerful in all the fields in India.
Studs Terkel We'll keep this open. But if it comes, youth. Obviously it's with the young that we're most concerned. And I'll ask about the old later on, what happens by the way. This is also an aspect of our societies. What about the older people for the moment, you know. The young. What are the key challenges you face? Anybody. In each of your countries, Renata, you haven't spoken.
Renata Frese And I think generally speaking, speaking we have not so much as a problem of illiteracy and moving from the small concre- from the small villages and the big villages. That have. We have overcome this problem just now. And the only little group who is not German speaking is a Polish spilling, speaking group who we call it [unintelligible]. These are people who are coming from the Polish occupied part and they got after long demand the allowance to come to, to Germany and all these end. They are living in certain refugee camps. And all these people, mostly the youngsters are speaking Polish and they can't compet- because they can't join the competition in the industrial world so them stayed in some private agency founded some schools and they all of them have to go to the school. That is not such a problem. And they're- all the refugees, I think it's a very big number. They have in the course of time integrated. Our problem is more within the people. That's not so much them a livelihood into to, to, to earn their livelihood. But the problems of within the people. The connection between kids and parents, the emptiness and in spite of get off having the opportunity to get as much work as possible. They don't make use of it. They are hanging around in the streets loitering and don't make any money. Our problems more in, inside the people.
Studs Terkel Of course Renata has touched on something. The emptiness. The lack of communication between generations. But empti- suppose we talk about this theme: the young and emptiness, lack of purpose.
Amahn Harun This I think begats much more reference to education system. I really feel much to strengthen my own country. See, after 450 years of western domination, 80 percent of people in [match strike] the rural area couldn't read and write and that includes this, the the youth, the youngsters in the areas. And as a generation after independent, we, we have a rural develoment program every five years. And first we take over [unintelligible]. We give land about 10 acres to each family. New lands, two each acre. And we introduce a [unintelligible book] program for schools all over the country. Schools, clinics, and so on, which are very vital to their, to help them to, to survive. And lately our government have also made it compulsory that every youngsters must have education for, for nine years. Free compulsory education for nine years. And this is in the hope that when they're, when they are, when they wish to come to the towns, to the cities, they can get into the apprenticeship and get jobs; in technical fields and so on. I'd like to refer about this emptiness among our youngsters who were neglected. It's very hard to know of their own emptiness, really. You have to mix with them just to even for some late night, very late nights with them and to discuss some of them of are suspicious why we should know about their own background. This use, well this emptiness in them since being neglected by the society. They find [unintelligible]. They also have emptiness in, in them. So the types of activities that-
Studs Terkel You mean the establishment people of Malaysia, say? I mean they find. They look. You mean they, they look there for some sort of purpose and they find nothing there. Is that what you
Studs Terkel Maybe I misunderstood it. They look. Their lives are empty. There's a lack of purpose, a goal.
Studs Terkel We're talking now about the kids in Kuala Lampur.
Studs Terkel Where do they look for meaning? Meaning. In what do they find meaning?
Amahn Harun Oh they just get together among themselves. And some they are involved in the secret societies in small gangs and sometimes [unintelligible] of gang clashes which caused death and so on. And it becomes not quite a social problem. And the police and the communities are now working very hard. And there has been some activities that our community now are making, have been making a lot of small groups, organize civic groups among the about the. In my own community there are about 28 of this group. They are call in to join a standing conference. They meet every week and discuss what sort of activities that they should do. And there is there a social worker among them or usually the among them and a representative from the social welfare department.
Studs Terkel Before I ask about the approach your own approach to it 'suppose we still stick with the problem itself. The challenges. The emptiness. Groups.
Ernesto Solace I, I think here we are facing another thing like these slum areas. What we consider in each of our countries and there is a difference between what Germany considers slum areas and what South America or Malaysia or India.
Studs Terkel Clearly, there's a big difference, Renata. Of course Renata sees between a German problem or a Western industrialized country and Southeast Asia and Asia and Latin America.
Ernesto Solace I think here we are facing almost the same thing what we consider of emptiness in our people and our youth or old people. And I found that in Lima for example and I can get always as general as Peru, the emptiness appears in our people but not in the people from these slum areas because these people comes from the little villages trying to look for a better position and they are full of ideals, and full of prosperity and full of hope and trying to learn everything. They are just willing to have somebody to help him and when somebody raise their hand to him, they just grab to their hands and continue. If this hand is a true hand that wants to lead them. The problem to these communities is first that there are some private agencies that comes to them and promise them a lot of things and at the end, they realize that they have promised too much. These communities come with a lack of security and they are completely a negative community when we say when somebody tried to approach them to help because they are thinking that they are only promises.
Studs Terkel They were double-crossed.
Ernesto Solace Yeah. But they have a lot of hopes I cannot say that these communities are empty communities. We found the emptiness more in the middle high class and in the high class in our, in our country-
Studs Terkel Is?
Ernesto Solace Because-
Studs Terkel Sorry. No go ahead.
Ernesto Solace Because this community, this part of the community have from the very beginning, everything. And you have boy from 13 or 14 years and they can take the car of the father or they can have a car for their own and they have everything from the beginning. They have money and they have a bicycle and they have a motorcycle and everything. So they reached a point of 16, 17 years old when they know almost everything that they can expect from the community they are living. And so they try to develop something new and they find nothing more that they can do and they start in this. I cannot say complete emptiness but partly of emptiness and that brings them to drinking or gambling or juvenile delinquency. They are little by [clink noise] little bit involved into these gangs, that we don't find very real [guns] in this lower class, in this slum areas communities. And that's interesting.
Studs Terkel Isn't this a basic point that Ernesto Solace is making here?
Krishna Arora Yes.
Studs Terkel Krishna Arora. Talking about the emptiness. We think that about these people who came from the Indian communities came with a richness and a hope and aspiration but there where they came they found it.
Krishna Arora Yes I wanted to, I mean, add to it, that I agree that the people who are coming from the rural area are the youngester. They come with full aspirations and idealism and expectations. And when they come here, the who get the opportunities? They come something else but when they cannot get the opportunities or when they can not cope with the situation and then they lack the purposes and then they feel themselves emptiness or they go as he said to some gamblings or drinking or juvenile delinquency. But the gangs are different. Another thing is very, very popular there. I mean, much more effected influences, especially when they come to the cities. And as I am staying in Deli is the capital and it's much more politically involved. So the other political parties, they influence them. Or they take the, or they exploit them and they don't know. And they are generally involved with them without knowing what they are doing it. So it then affects them afterwards.
Studs Terkel There are, they they problems of what faces someone young, you know, and filled with hope, who comes to the urban center where he seeks a material betterment-
Krishna Arora Yes.
Studs Terkel but he finds a spiritual poverty.
Krishna Arora Yes.
Krishna Arora Yes.
Studs Terkel And so this is apparently seems to be. So it would seem this is a universal one, isn't it? Even though or is true.
Renata Frese Yes I think these kind, I agree with Ernesto. These kind of emptiness is a basic problem of modern mankind. As, as a result of every industrialization of lack of property, of lack of religious. The most I think as a German people are not very religious and, and, and that's, that's true. But I think them as an attitude of emptiness and or how emptiness occurrs. Is different. That that empitness Ernesto spoke of and we find emptiness in the lower class, as well. They are not so full of idealism. And as that, as in the higher class. But the more val-, educated, they pre-, pretend. They explain their emptiness more intellectually and they have perhaps in a certain way influenced by a certain way of modern philosophy. And they just they are empty but they have many, many of intellectual explanations.
Studs Terkel Rationalizing.
Renata Frese Rationalizing of this. And, and the lower class is more simple. They have not this explanation because they have not the intellectual background and so they are only empty. Simple empty.
Studs Terkel Isn't there one little difference here between the situation you describe in Germany and Ernesto Solace's from Lima, Peru in that the lower the poor people are of the same culture of the same pattern, basically. Whereas he's talking of the Indian people from the villages have brought a certain richness-
Renata Frese Yes.
Renata Frese Of their soul A richness of the attitude and different character.
Ernesto Solace And it's important. This people that comes. This Indian community that comes to our cities, they are facing such a lot of new experiences, that they can not be empty in any moment-
Renata Frese Yes.
Ernesto Solace because they are facing, for example, they get and somebody talks to them and say well United States have sent a rocket to the moon.
Renata Frese Yes.
Ernesto Solace And they, they are willing to learn, "Why is it? How it is that a rocket can go to the moon?"
Renata Frese Then I think that is the
Ernesto Solace And they are always facing new experiences that make them eager-
Ernesto Solace to learn and to [unintelligible] What not happens to the high class-
Renata Frese Yes.
Ernesto Solace Because they from the very beginning have been studying what a nuclear reaction is. What the atomic bomb is. What the world [where?] and how they come along and a lot of things like that. And they race to a point and it's important that you have [faith?] of that intellectual level of showing their personalities, you know. And they face everything like they are a little bit higher from this Indian communities.
Studs Terkel Patronizing. It's not [unintelligible]
Renata Frese Yes.
Ernesto Solace And they have a, a, an attitude to them like the father to their little just born kids.
Renata Frese But not so friendly.
Ernesto Solace Well sometimes they are friendly but they don't really don't realize what these people need.
Studs Terkel This is very funny. This is a father of a little child. Soon you have benighted white people, who [been able to?] speak of Negroes, you know. "Oh, they're like children."
The group Yes.
Studs Terkel So it's very interesting. So you have the people of Lima the sophisticate so-called, I don't mean the very enlightening ones. I mean those aren't. Speak of the Indian arrivals, is like a child.
Ernesto Solace Like a child. Exactly.
Renata Frese I think that's important what he said about his lower class. I think that the lower class in your country has such a match of power in themselves. They really can be something after quite a time. And I think our part of our youngsters they are, they. I think sometimes I think they have no chance to develop themselves. They are waiting for somebody who always taught them do this, do this. And that is a certain historical or background that they are always wait. They are used to authority. And, and they don't give so much from themselves. And they don't want. They really don't say always expecting and that's the difference between your people and youngsters and the youngsters as I am, I am concerning with.
Krishna Arora Well, what I say that because when they come from the rural area, they come with some purpose. So the very thing is that at the background they have some purposes, itself. But when they come here, when they don't get that purpose, their lives don't materialized, then they still are not empty. They may do it negatively or they may do it positively. They may get to juvenile delinquent or they may go to a good thing you know. So there, there is no emptiness, emptiness in youngsters but there is emptiness in the old people who are can not change with the situation and it's hard for them and that is emptiness with them what to do. But with this, they are very positive. I mean they are very alert and want to do something whether they do it negatively or positively. So don't. There is no negative aside I mean emptiness.
Ernesto Solace That's right. That's right but now we, we are facing also two positions is the position of these youngsters to the community they are living. And what about the emptiness of some of these youngsters toward their own families. That's another problem.
Renata Frese And may I make one
Renata Frese [unintelligible] speaking only from youngsters not from kids. I think the position of kids are quite different.
Studs Terkel By kids, I mean we're talking about teenage people.
Renata Frese Yes. Teenage people.
The group [unintelligible
Renata Frese Kids have much more strong is in themselves, much more hope. It's [unintelligible]
Ernesto Solace This brings us to these two points. We have of course, some of these boys from these lower communities that they feel empty in relation to their families because their families have having such a rough time in trying to get new worlds. Their mother have four or five children and they seen that this youngster can take care by themselves and they are just sent to look for work or sent to trying to learn something and they feel that their parents just doesn't worry about them and they are fearing this. They are facing these two problems: the problem of a community that tries, tries to tell them you are a little boy without any knowledge of anything.
The group [unintelligible]
Amahn Harun You are an ignorant. You are this or you are that. And they are paying for, on the other hand, trying to send them. Trying to make them a man, you know, before they are really one. Trying to send them to work because they need money to have food for the little brothers or sisters and you must go and look for a job and you can work in this factory or these things or you can make a messenger boy in this office or things like that and that's puts this youngsters in a two positions. They are empty in one hand toward their families. My father doesn't worry about me. My mother send me to the street. I'm facing to this problem. I don't like to go to the street because, well these boys that get out from the school will tell me that I am a little ignorant, that I don't know anything. I don't want to go to the street. I don't go to, go to the big city to the central part of the city because I'm going to face new things that I don't know and they are pushing me toward that. They don't care about me. That's a two different problems.
Studs Terkel The dilemma in which the young boy who has come from the small community finds himself. You say he's in a double spot. The parent, because the parents own desperation, neglects him. Or he loses pride, too in him. At the same time, he's into this world where he's considered inferior to the others, both. Is this India, too?
Krishna Arora Very.
Krishna Arora It is not in this way. It's another way because when the youngster come in the cities and even the parents or even in the cities, there is a conflict between the values and the culture between the youngster and the family elders. So I mean what he wants to do is not acceptable by the parents and then there comes the conflict either he leaves the family or he doesn't give the importance to the family. Now there is a problem. The biggest problem is with the marriage, you know. We have arranged marriages and when that. Arranged marriages are there, and then, it is especially in the lowest class. And when now these, these boys are married when they were young. When they grow up and get educated and all that, they don't want to accept the same girl, you know. And the problems are there and the parents cannot understand because they want that the- they have done this thing. They should accept it. So there is conflict between the new and the old culture and the values.
Studs Terkel So here it is [unintelligible]. Amahn you haven't spoken-
Amahn Harun These are. In our country, religion and customs must take in a great part in making the youngsters and parent relationship very strong. Still most parents think that the future of their youngsters depends very much on them. But you know as [thing] changes on and when some student, when some youngsters are very successful in their education and they go to the city and sometimes on vacation or during festivals, they return to rural areas and they talk how good was city and so on. These youngsters often break these family barrier and they like to go by themselves to the city and find something new. And they find themselves in a hopeless position. But a different in the rural, in the slum area that I'm, I'm staying now. Due to the small, see,
Studs Terkel [unintelligible] is this you're staying? Where you are
Studs Terkel Oh, Kuala Lampur. You, you mentioned the salaam areas.
Amahn Harun [uninelligible]
Studs Terkel Oh, the slums. Yeah, I got
Amahn Harun In the slum area. Due to the small house, the, the family stays and you're no compound to play. And then the problem of getting higher pay and so on. And the mothers have their own problem and the father they have to have their own problem. So most of the kids and the youngsters in this area, they are let to find their own way to amuse themselves and they're in, in searching for a sort of, something that can fill in their own emptiness. They are something gone astray. And, and it is very [unintelligible] sometime for some people to, to, to approach the parents later to advise the parents, to, to, to take greater care of the children because to, to keep youngsters at home and doing nothing is, is a greater problem for the parents.
Studs Terkel This a very interesting point. See, a while back, Ernesto Solace and I think Krishna Arora was saying it, too possibly Renata, that this emptiness or this what makes for delinquency. We hear of course the headlines. Are the headlines there, too? In our society of course continuously the headlines are delinquency, gangs. This is played up a great deal. No one asks "Why?" They don't ask the causes but it's done. They play this up. But Ernesto was saying that in the upper class, you see, that, that there it is, too, you know. And that the infection begins there, strangely enough in this community, you see. Is it both upper and is it deprived economically as well as the affluent who are all part of it? Young people, delinquency that occurs in cities. Is this true in India?
Krishna Arora Yes.
Studs Terkel What is the nature of it there? Here we hear. We'll hear. When we hear. I hate to use the word "gang" but groups what is? But what, what is, what is the nature of it? Here be drinking, drugs, mugging, senseless crime.
Krishna Arora Well there it is not to this extent, of course. But there it is. Drinking is not as much and gambling is there, much more. And stealing. That's another thing. What it is. But it's not as much of an organized gangs, just a few kids and then they break soon and it's not very much organized as such.
Studs Terkel You were saying a while ago it's almost an expression of animal spirits, even though negative.
Krishna Arora Yes.
Krishna Arora They do it but of of course they negatively go astray and do anything. But it is not as organized as there it is much more gang. Gang [unintelligible] is not there, you know. Not all organized in that way. They'll do individualistically. That is what I see.
Ernesto Solace They seem to. Helps a lot of to develop these groups. I think, in a sense is these films that come to our countries from gangs that are formed on these two cars and make car racings in the night. And then they abandon.
Studs Terkel [unintelligible] commercial films? You mean that sort of glorify violence.
Ernesto Solace Yeah, And, and they pick up some heroes from these things, you know. And they start using these dresses with very small pants and different colors and leather jackets and they come in the night and
Studs Terkel You have leather jackets there? And tight pants there? Motorcycles?
Ernesto Solace Yeah.
Ernesto Solace I, I think this is this has been generalized to all the big cities. No? They make a hero of the gun, know? And they try to imitate why this gun in the film or in the TV program is making and they meet one night together and they decide to steal two or three cars and make car racing and they just do that and sometimes they just steal the cars of friends or their parents' cars to make this.
Studs Terkel The question is, why shouldn't they? I mean, they're looking for a hero for [unintelligible]. Whom else can they look to? This is the question-
Krishna Arora Yes.
Studs Terkel coming back to the emptiness of the deadness again. Who?
Krishna Arora That-
Studs Terkel Sorry.
Krishna Arora That is what in the beginning I said that these youngsters are much more influenced by the movies you know and in our movies, we don't see gangster [listing?] but what we have is a different thing a different sort of love music and all sort of a dresses. And this thing in the. They are also having this tight pants and this twist and the music and all sort of this. They want to do it and try to imitate the hero of the film. And do it, acted according to that and want and then dream it that they want to become a hero, a actor and something like that.
Studs Terkel Isn't there a middle- I'm sorry, Amahn.
Amahn Harun I agree with what Ernesto said. Even in our country, this started when Elvis Presley's picture came to our country with his [uninteligible] and road gangs and this type of you know hairs [unintelligible] and their jackets and so on. Another problem that some of our cafes and restaurants introduced this juke boxes and they, they ran to this restaurants. They put on, they play these records and juke boxes and dance and so on. And later they, they formed this street gangs, small gangs and active in the [unintelligible] smoking youngsters at the age of 12, 13 they smoke. They like to put on the same type of [unintelligible] dressed and, and when they grew up this group likes to be a much more adventurous in their own [film?] and some of them are involved in bigger crimes and so on.
Studs Terkel Something occurred to me you're talking about influences from the outside of movies, films, western to great extent and jukeboxes yet you know earlier Ernesto was saying or a certain culture and richness that was once say in these villages, the Inca villages. Isn't it that in a sense there are some people who profit from this? You see, the fact is if there were this pride. There's a loss of pride in themselves, isn't there? And if this pride in themselves can be rekindled, whatever heritage they have, this too could be revived, couldn't it? It would have the more positive effect than this the [unintelligible] on the outside. Is anything done? Isn't, isn't a germ of that still there?
Ernesto Solace Yes it's still there but I can say that it's a little bit.
Studs Terkel Varied.
Ernesto Solace Varied and who can say it's like a sleeping lion, laying there on their souls. Sometimes you can have a lot of work with these groups of youngsters to make them feel like that. You know, to, to make them feel that they can do things for good. And you sometimes you're successful from the very beginning. It depends most of the personality of the boy and the education they have had in the house. But mostly most of these boys that [match strike] get in touch with gangs are in, in a, in a sense, they are against their parents. They are against their communities. They are against their teachers in the schools. They are against everything and they don't care and they don't. They fear, of course, what their parents will do to them if they notice that they have to [earn?] this for that. Because in, in Peru we are a country of old Spaniard rules, up to now where the parents are the head of the house and nobody can dare talk to them in a loud voice. And nobody can stand out of the table if they have not the permission of the father or the mother for them to leave. Oh and-
Renata Frese In every class? Is it in every class like that?
Renata Frese Not only in the good men at, good behaved youngsters. In every class?
Ernesto Solace In every class. We can say that's our old custom, that little by little is changing but although they're it's remained there. That. The, the youngsters fear more their parents than even the police, you know. They are caught by the police but they, if the police tell them we are going to call your parents. Well, it's like a, a point where I will never do this again.
Studs Terkel This is breaking down though, isn't it?
Ernesto Solace Yes, breaking down.
Studs Terkel Speaking now of this battle between the generations.
Krishna Arora Yes.
Studs Terkel This happens, this line. The rebellion then is a complete rebellion, isn't
Krishna Arora But it is. In India, the family and the community has still a hold on the youngster and they, the reason is they are economically still dependent for quite a long time on the parents and that makes them dependent. And that makes them. The parent can have much more hold on them. That is this gangsterism is not to this extent.
Renata Frese May I come back to one point of this emptiness? I think there is such a great similarity, except we are from real different continents. And I think I spoke with [unintelligible] from Israel and I think that's the only exception where we don't find similarities. I think his problems are so different and I think that's these youths people have a real aim for their country and that what I think our, we, our youngsters have no, no aim at all. They are real working towards their community and do something for their community and they are different motive have got different motivations. And I think that's main, main point.
Studs Terkel You mean the fact that it's a newer land?
Renata Frese Newer land and they are all real, in real interested in making
Studs Terkel It's hard for me to believe that there is no delinquency in Israel.
Renata Frese Yes. No, no, no. But I think if you are speaking in generally.
Studs Terkel Yes.
Ernesto Solace But you must realize Isreal, in relation to our countries. It's quite a different aspect of our type of communities because remember Israel is an old people with a new country. Let's say.
Studs Terkel And you are. You, you your sense are an old country with people who are new to a city?
Ernesto Solace Yeah. And that's important because there's people have been living for years and years without a country and now they got one.
Ernesto Solace They have that feeling
Studs Terkel There's one other.
Ernesto Solace of the land and that's another aspect that made their, their youth, you know, willing to do something for their country. But what happens in our same because our youth is just placed there. They have born there. They have some sort of-
Studs Terkel [Almost?] exploited [then?]
Ernesto Solace Yeah. Some sort of not this feeling of love to their country too much because they have not face any circumstances like war for example that takes them to position of the [unintelligible] territories or his country dominated by a foreign country. And that's our Jews right now. They don't know how really is to have hunger because they can go and they can have these social agencies and they can have some help. They don't know what is a war they just read or heard about the war or study about them. They don't know what is to live without a roof. It might be a poor, poor hut but they have a roof. They have a home there.
Renata Frese You think when we are all it came to us, already came to a certain end stage? We have to try to, to set certain goals and beg-, to begin again. Did you?
Ernesto Solace But that would be wonderful if we could stop now
Renata Frese I think then we have to. We are all trying to improve.
Renata Frese Yes. Always improving. But I'm afraid if, if we are improving so much, we, we're coming to this end stage and that's terrible.
Studs Terkel Well, there's never an end. Isn't there? Don't you feel let's do that. And when that problem comes up we'll face that problem.
The group [Yeah?]
Studs Terkel Amahn, you were saying?
Amahn Harun I think our youngsters within the lower or upper classes, they might have and the have nots. They still need to be guided, to, to be guided to a better course in life. Community activities have not been so, how should I say, has not come even to the intermediate state and country. It's just beginning. Because as you know you we just got our independence and during colonialism, we were not even encouraged such activities. And what's more, a person are not even allowed to gather in, in a group of four. And this makes them very independent from each other especially in the slum areas and there's no sense of working together. No. Very little sense of trying to help themselves, trying to solve this juvenile delinquency and so on.
Studs Terkel You know a lot of questions come up. There are so many. Here I'm, I'm thinking of this matter of of races here in America. The question of the racial situation of the Negro and his fight for his fundamental rights and the opposition that occurs on the modus vivendi that must be reached. Does this in any way manifest itself? India, for example, not race but we think of again, the old clichés of the caste, you know.
Krishna Arora Yes.
Studs Terkel Are, are there problems here in this respect?
Krishna Arora Yes there problem. Not as much but still it is. The problem is that the untouchables [or the] regions in the cities, they're accepted. But they are having problems within their own selves. The way of living for so many years and their attitudes are the obstacle to come and integrate with the higher classes; that is one thing. And secondly the higher classes, not the middle classes, they have the fear that if they help them to come up they will lose their services. You know that is a selfish motive but it is there. The fear is there, deep down it is there. they don't say it.
Amahn Harun In our country is different. We have three major races in our country: the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians. The Chinese and the Indians came into our country in 1937 [a sneeze] by the open door policy of British administration. The imported Chinese especially from South China, to be the middleman to suppress the Malays because all the time the Malays were fighting for independence since fifteen hundred and ten and the Malays are all the while to the British colonialism were given to all the suppressions in the rural areas. No schools for their own children. And, and they were suppressed economically. They were suppressed politically and suppressed militarily. And while the Chinese in the, and especially in the towns, they were given the all the economy opportunities they want. They were given all these educational opportunities and so on. And the Indians
Amahn Harun Yes. They was. This was a divide and rule policy.
Studs Terkel Divide
Amahn Harun The Indians are, [unintelligilbe] the Indians in our country now but 600,000. They are being. They are will come from South India. There were persons who work for the British plantations to tap rubber. So there is a, a quite a responsibility to integrate these three races in our country. And as you know, when people get independence especially the Malays, they found themself in a country and though that is foreign to them. Them. They have lost all the opportunities that as a human being. And in order to, to raise their, to raise their standard of living, the government has introduced [rural development?] program so that at a time come for them so that they have a proper proportionate economy extended with the other races. As far as we are concerned, we have not much trouble. You see the, the Indians have been very much to adjustable in our country. An with regards to them the government are working very hard to buy the British plantations and give this, to these Indians as long as they, they are members to a certain society. We have this cooperative movement in this country and most of the Indians have joined this and when the plantations are bought by this cooperative society, the idea of these plantations are divided and given to the rubber tappers. With regard to the Chinese. They have. We have about 2, over 2 million Chinese in our country and 3 and a half million Malays in our country. And we have most of [unintelligible] political power in the country is in the hands of the Malays while economic power in the hand of the Chinese. And so far, since independent in 1957, we are glad that we have no, no trouble.
Studs Terkel Sounds like South Africa with the Afrikaners having the political power and the British having the economic.
Amahn Harun Yes. [laughter] And the other thing which are saving us now is that we have a very strong power for the federal [match strike] government to implement the education policy in our country. And all the schools are under the federal government responsibility. And these schools have been quite a source of integrating the people and we hope that in the later period, there are greater emphasis on integration. And another thing that help is that all these three communities have accepted Malay as the national language of the country. And being a language
Studs Terkel What was the lingua franca? English?
Amahn Harun Malay.
Studs Terkel Oh, Malay was the.
Amahn Harun Malay was the lingua franca. And this, another thing that helps a lot in the country.
Studs Terkel Then. Sorry. Go ahead.
Renata Frese In the religious background you are speaking of a quite a good effort of integration. And what about the religious background that might be further help.
Amahn Harun Yes.
Renata Frese Of, of integration. If you have this still, you have.
Amahn Harun How can this strange country of religious tolerance? We have the Christians, the Muslims the Buddhists and the Hindus, you know,
Renata Frese [That doesn't matter at all?]
Amahn Harun That doesn't matter at all. For instance in a Buddhist family, the father could be a Buddhist the son could be a Christian.
Renata Frese Yes but the main thing is are they, re- are they religious? It's. I think it does make any difference, what sort of religion you have.
Amahn Harun No.
Renata Frese But are they still stick to their religion?
Amahn Harun Yes, they are still stick to their religion.
Amahn Harun Yes, very religious people and you see, our government believe that these religious tolerance should be fostered. And religion is another good weapon for us against communism in the country because as you know from 1948 to 1960, the Communists were trying to take over the country by force and the people were all fighting against them. And religious freedom or religious tolerance in the country is very important.
Studs Terkel But there is an attempt then at integration. There's been this feeling of prejudices fostered through the years, naturally, I would assume by the British, of course. The [unintelligible] you spoke of you, you know.
Amahn Harun Yes.
Studs Terkel Of the Malay, the Chinese, the Indian.
Amahn Harun Yes.
Studs Terkel And now there's an attempt at full integration. Is there?
Amahn Harun Yes, there is a very great effort since 1957. As you know now, for instance even in the, even in the diplomatic circles in our country. The, our, our chief, our permanent secretary to the United Nations mission is in India. It's Mr. Rahmani. His Excellency Mr. Rahmani. He's a lawyer. And our ambassador to United States is the Chinese, Dr. Ong Yoke Lin. So we have no really provided that western power, western powers give and encourages to, to keep on this process.
Krishna Arora No.
Studs Terkel Sorry.
Krishna Arora There is difference between this integration in Malaysia and in India. In India, there is a not racism and not, I mean, from the different parts of the country, other country, the people have come and that is to integrate the people of the different parts in their country. But in India there is the classes which ought to be integrated. I mean the lowest class, the Harijan class should be integrated with the other middle class and the higher class and that lowest class has been suppressed by, for centuries and centuries. And they have, I mean, have made their way of living a different you know and to come up and to change, it will take time and then will be, of course, they have been accepted a lot because they have change a lot. There have been, if I tell about the limitations. I mean there have been ministers. There are a in the parliament members. They are doctors. They are in colleges and public services the people are there of, their caste. But I'm speaking of the general as such the way even if you give them a house or the housing problem, their way of living, the standard, is still to be chained. That will be of I think in this other generation when they come and have more education.
Studs Terkel This is still this hangover of British rule.
Ernesto Solace Yeah and right here talking of integration in Peru for example we are facing another type of problem. We can say that Peru is an, is an integrated country because we have not any problem between races or religion or even, we have not any problems between classes. We consider them all Peruvians and without any point they can go to the same schools. No problem. But now we are facing another little problem. And I say "little" as a a word trying to give the impression that it's not quite a big [calamity?], it's a problem [unintelligible]. The worst enemy for example of the Indians is the educated Indian.
Studs Terkel Ah!
Ernesto Solace And the worst enemy of the Negro is the educated Negro because sometimes they race to the point of the culture. They get a master degree or a bachelor degree and sometime they become ashamed of that lower Indian that are coming from the inner city. You know? That they are living there and they are trying to get a better level, a better standard and they are a little bit ashamed of them. And sometimes these people are the people that say, "We cannot let these people come into the city because is. It will ruin completely the city."
Renata Frese It. Something to Ernesto, that a sociological question. I think we have not these a race, a race problem. But, as where the class problem, where the lower class and middle class and the higher class. And they are formed by family tradition, money and education. And I think we spoke about this some, some, minutes ago. And these and all these classes are living in, in spe-, in the in the cities in special districts. If you are living in, in this neighborhood called so and so, if we know perhaps what sort of professional man he is. If he lives there, he's a bit more wealthier and more educated man. And going back to the youngsters in Kassel there is. We have a use of this founded every fortnight. We're having youths dancing. They are public, everybody and every youngster can go there. But we noticed that it's overcrowded but mostly 90 percent of these youngsters are coming from the middle class in gymnasiums, the better schools, the better trained schools. But in my neighborhood I always wanted to encourage these youngsters who are coming from the working class to go there because it's for them as well. But they don't go because they think they told me, "No we don't go there. We are feeling strange. They are snobbish and we don't belong to them."
Studs Terkel Well isn't true the problem that, if I want to ask, I want to come back later on to Ernesto's matter of the upper, of the Indian who has left is ashamed of his heritage. This is so universal. Back to this point. Isn't there something wrong in that technique? Forgive me. Because the kids from the lower class wouldn't come there because an alien in a strange place. It's from the outside. Shouldn't it be done some way within their area?
Krishna Arora Yes that's, that's what
Studs Terkel That community and finally, that pride.
Renata Frese Yes, that, that's we are always speaking theoretically. We know it theoretical but I had the kids group. And I didn't find a room and nobody helped me to get a room to, to have our meetings. And that is. That's a real. We know quite a lot theoretically but the practical problem is so big that we can put our theoretical knowledge in practice.
Amahn Harun In our country, we don't have these classes. Actually. We have to have and the have nots.
Studs Terkel That's a pretty big division.
The group [laughter]
Amahn Harun And, and in this case, political movement for the struggle for independence are very much help in assimilating the people of the higher and the lower group. For instance my prime minister he comes from the fuedal, royal family. He's very active and, and there are a lot of so-called issues if I should use the [western term] of feudal group in our own political party. But the greater number of our political group comes from this lower classed, as this political movement have assimilated a lot and have a lot in this, in our country. We feel that there are a few points of integration which is really important for us to see in our country. First, it's education. Second, is economic opportunity. Third, is political opportunity. For instance, we have representatives and Indians in our parliament, in our state assembly. In our local council. Even with the Chinese, they have their own representatives in, in, in the parliament, in Senate, in the state assembly, in local. So if these things are, are seen to and together this religious tolerance being encouraged so much. These are the four main points I think that can encourage much of integration.
Renata Frese You said something of the lower class people that they have certain position. That astonished me because from in Germany if only five percent in West Germany. It's quite different in East Germany only five percent of working-class kids are at universities. The tradition of academic families is so great that mostly is it 80 95 percent of kids coming from academic families are studying. Sometimes they are not so intelligent like the lower class people but the lower class people they have the opportunity. They have the scholarship, the theoretical. Everything. But they don't go. They, the barr-, the barrier is so strong.
Studs Terkel So conditioned.
Renata Frese Conditioned that they don't come and we need some real trained person. But they stay to say perhaps if it's big, they become a certain sort of technic- technical person but not academical person. We need them. There's something wrong.
Ernesto Solace I think. I think in Europe, we have very much of this inherit profession. If you have a clockmaker, for example, your descendants, your son, your daughter. Not the daughter but mostly the male ones will continue the profession of their fathers. And in Europe, they are very, very stick to this. Not in general but most of the population have this if their father is a technique worker or the professional one. His son will establish-
Studs Terkel A caste system in a way.
Ernesto Solace Yeah.
Studs Terkel Economic caste system.
Ernesto Solace It's a little bit of that. Not generally because some of them just get over this and get into the university and some of the, of the European families tried to give their sons and daughters a better education.
Renata Frese Even if they are coming from a class where the parents are not academics only perhaps only working men, skilled working men. These students have a certain difficulty at the university because most of the young, students will only speaking from students if they attended university. Coming from family is academic tradition and this academic tradition has such a great value. And if this youngster comes from a working-class people he has certain. He has a quite a lot of difficulties if he's not an outstanding and very open-minded personality. He feels himself a little bit strange in his manners, in his attitude of life and all
Studs Terkel I wanna come to this. This is connected with what Ernesto said earlier. It seems to me, just occured to me the strange, a feeling of inadequacy. Earlier Ernesto was saying about the educated Indian. Or-
Studs Terkel Less of it here in America, the educated Negro not the enlightened one. They who assumes middle class values. Do you see? And it becomes ashamed of his own. Is this a universal problem? Becomes ashamed of his own people and he wants to be a part of it and thus, in a sense becomes the enemy of his own people.
Renata Frese Yes.
Studs Terkel Is this so in India?
Krishna Arora No. It's not that there. It is different. I mean what he said that we have the all the seats in the government, in the central government, in the state government, in the educational programs. All we have, special programs for these classes, for this class and [unintelligible]. But generally speaking, and they are there. And they are educated. They are intellectual, everything. But generally speaking because their way of culture is so different, they are very minority. They have come up but the majority have, is still so behind that the middle class a little hesitate to accept them because when they go in the society and they themselves feel then inferior and won't go there as Renata said that sometimes they won't feel it. They may react some way. They may talk something else but they won't go there.
Studs Terkel [unintelligible] A question that comes to my mind of course here. You heard part of a program involving children of Chicago from working areas, deprived areas. And one of - the part you didn't hear was when the discussion of the bomb came up. And almost all of them said, "Well if it happens, it happens." A feeling of complete helplessness. Do the young of these various countries ever talk about war? About nuclear war, about the bombs? Has that ever entered discussion? Ever?
Ernesto Solace Well, I have not too much experience in this discussion but with some groups and in this I'm referring only to the my area of work [unintelligible], it is a sports city. They know too little about this that they are in a sense abandon to their fate because they cannot do anything to hurt themselves. So they say, "Well if it comes, we can nothing to do that but sit here and wait until it comes in any moment, we'll come." They are, how I say abandoned to their fate completely.
Studs Terkel Realistic. Accepting.
Krishna Arora Well there in India they are more aggressive of course but not acceptable as such but they don't have this specific material bombs or this thing. They may have talk on the wall and the bomb and all sort of things. They do have it. But they don't involve themselves in these parties.
Studs Terkel Has it ever come up in Malaysia on the streets?
Amahn Harun Just like Krishna in India, most of our youngsters when they talk about [uninelligible] or something. Or there's discussion much later on the current affairs in the country not of those very high, say high quality one.
Studs Terkel It's too far removed-
Amahn Harun Yes.
Studs Terkel from the reality of day to day life.
Amahn Harun They do sometimes talks on their own friends. The brave ones will join the army as you went to the frontier. And some of these brave ones do come home and meet them again and ask them to join. They talk something about.
Studs Terkel How about Germany?
Renata Frese I think I don't know whether I'm right but I got the impression that the new generation. That means the generation which didn't fear the war is quite different from us. My sister is quite different then my brother and me. They are young generates very unpolitical and senseless about everything and they are just they even, big group of students don't care for politics at all. [There] lethargy towards a pol-, politic I think. The only exception is as a people as we are and the whole mentality are the Berlin people. They are very different from the rest of the, the nation of the country. They are much more political and the youngsters are much more active and much more interested in. They're real dynamic like new population. But there
Studs Terkel More mixed. [Unintelligible], there's a great deal of apathy but there are some young of course who are very concerned.
Studs Terkel The
Renata Frese By the rest is a majority. It is certainly senseless.
Studs Terkel Isn't apathy then? A sort of
Renata Frese Again they don't join. They don't like to join youth groups. They don't want to have anything to do with, with association. They are more-
Studs Terkel I wonder if that isn't the [unintelligible]. Let me ask this, if the youth group would not have a connotation of the past two generations-
Renata Frese Yes.
Studs Terkel in the manner in which youth groups were used-
Renata Frese Yes.
Studs Terkel under Hitler, possibly.
Renata Frese Yes.
Studs Terkel That
Renata Frese That is perhaps their reaction. They are perhaps afraid or they they just the other way around now.
Ernesto Solace Well, I think in Germany it's a little bit different. I think the youth in Germany do have some interest in politics and what's going on. But let's face Germany as it is right now. It's a country that have been divided into two and it's completely occupied by foreign armies. And since [that?], you go for the, the toll way you see a lot of signs in English and French. And most of the youth in Germany are realizing this and they are not too worry about general politic affairs. But they are very, very worried about their country, as a [unintelligible] as a whole. They want. They would like to be free to decide this debate.
Renata Frese I think they should worried a little bit more. [unintelligible] the Berlin youngsters and the youngsters who are living near the border. Border. If they are living, they don't face everyday the border and so they forgot it, forgetting it.
Studs Terkel You, you've been there? I
Ernesto Solace I have been in Germany, yeah.
Amahn Harun But. In our. Some of the areas that for instance, the youngsters from the age of 21 I should say above, especially in the rural areas, they are very conscious of their political situation. Economic situation. And what they could do for the future of their own brothers in the field of education. And most of them who wish to express their real desire in these activities, join the political movement. And I think they are. Their number are now increasing in our country.
Studs Terkel But in the main, it would seem, from what I gather, general feeling, the general feeling is that the day-to-day human condition is such the problems that the bomb or international [unintelligible] is so remote from their daily lives. Is that the idea?
Studs Terkel Perhaps a couple of more questions of this rountable and then you ask some questions.
Renata Frese They don't feel attacked. They only get alive by being attacked.
Krishna Arora No. I, I can't get you know, what you are saying. And what you'll said, I couldn't, I mean fully.
Studs Terkel Agree.
Krishna Arora The. Yeah. I mean, I didn't mean that when I said that. Of course they're not involve themselves in that specific gang [unintelligible] or to bomb and all that. But they are very much aware of the situation and the political things and they discuss the things and. That I wanted to clear it out. And they, they are having even in the rurals areas. There is, they want. If they don't read they would like to get from somebody what is written in the newspaper, you know. They're very much interested in the news.
Studs Terkel There is a curiosity?
Krishna Arora Yes. Lots of it. And too much political minded they are.
Amahn Harun Yes. Another thing in our country that most of our youth movements are especially in my youth movement we are now in this surge of our own national identity. And this is-
Studs Terkel Of course. This is a vital
Amahn Harun This is a very grave [unintelligible]. They speak of what is national culture? They speak of how to make it more. How what [unintelligible] should be made by the government for this national language. And how we should strengthen our own defense against a, aggression. And what role that we should make in, in in our own foreign, foreign policy and so on. [unintelligible] this international mind that was first started by when we sent our, our troop to Congo and the United Nations, you know, a contingent and this made of our youth, begins to much to be much interested of other countries. And.
Studs Terkel So there's a new country? The fact that there is a new country a national aspirations. A factor here.
Amahn Harun Yes.
Ernesto Solace Yes that curiosity is there but now we must analyze a little bit. In South America for example, specific in Peru, we have not faced the problem of war. Before we have some revolution once a while. But there is not the, the problems of a big war in, in which our whole country is involved. So we don't realize really what the danger of a bomb or a real nuclear war is. We know.
Studs Terkel Neither do Americans. [Yeah. Yeah?]
Ernesto Solace We know that it's a dangerous scenes and everybody to be killed and the whole world will perish if we, we are start a real nucl, nuclear war right now. But their feelings in politics, they, they remain this, I can see very deep feelings of knowing what's going on all around the world, What's going on in our own countries and politics and things like that. Mostly in the with the youngster for example, they are finishing their high school and beginning their college or university preparation. It's a very, very strong feeling of what is good and what's wrong. Don't take a right or left. And there is a very deep conscious of knowing and trying to get more experience of this. Of course in a very general point of view not going directly into the deep matter of what will happen if this comes so and so. But there is a, a very strong feeling of having some knowledge.
Studs Terkel The curiosity is there but the feeling that they can do nothing about. Is that the feeling? The feeling? It's almost beyond an individual.
Renata Frese I think only [children] is afraid of a war. Is, that is a real only thing there. And what I think, they are terribly afraid of war.
Amahn Harun Well, in South America and in this I can talk I think about the whole South America area. Most of the feeling of the youngster is that they don't worry about the world, about fighting by themselves because in the last part where the
The group world [unintelligible
Renata Frese We have this feeling that the first minute of war, we will be.
Amahn Harun Well, that's can't because we have never been involved completely in this experience.
Krishna Arora Well, in India, these youngsters mostly take quite interest in the politic and because it is a [unintelligible] rule because all, everybody can vote and bec- even they cannot vote. But they help the parties to them in the propaganda and all sort of thing, things. So they themselves are quite involved. Not only that, the situation then ari-, arose when the Chinese aggression was there a few years back. There was so much eager and anxious, too. I mean, too and they were so much united! You know? So it shows that they are not afraid of war and they are just ready if the situation is there.
Studs Terkel Of course, that doesn't make me any happier. Right?
Studs Terkel [laughter]
Krishna Arora I'm just telling a fact.
Krishna Arora Means they are so much. What I mean to say, they are so much national minding.
Studs Terkel National
Krishna Arora What she said that they are so apathetic. That is what I wanted to clary [clarify?] That they are not apathetic.
Studs Terkel Apathy, apathy is there.
Krishna Arora This feel In this area. They are more national minded in this
Studs Terkel It's interesting how there are different nuances involved here as each of you comes from a different society, that let alone a different country, you see. You know a question we haven't talked about age, the elderly. The elderly in these various societies, you see. A problem naturally would come up even with underdeveloped countries eventually with more and more cures for ailments, you know, life, the lifespan. I know the lifespan of many of the countries is much too short, you know, but will be longer assuming that nobody goes crazy and pushes a button. [unintelligible] Now the question of elderly. Here we have a problem, you know. Now and then there's the elderly seem neglected.