Random Thoughts

Universal sibling relationships

Last Friday, there actually was another event I attended:



“Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2016”


I watched five short films entered for competition in the International Division, of which two were on sibling relations. One were grown-ups and the other were still kids, but they both had all-out sibling fights (stooping to very low levels… if you have siblings, you know what they’re like!) followed by abrupt and awkward sibling make-ups, resulting in unsaid but well-felt sibling appreciation. They were stories about nothing special – the same old in any sibling relationship.


But then I realized how special it was for me to feel this way. The films were in languages I could not understand, and the situations that caused the sibling fights were atypical to my culture, but I still knew exactly how each sibling felt and why they reacted the way they did.


I do not think the same can be said when we see parent-child relations in films of other cultures. I know because I, a Westernized child, being brought up by old-fashioned Asian parents, proved to be a relation incomprehensible to both sides. And since we ourselves have no clue how to make it work, no one outside the relation can help out with some decent solutions.


Yet my relationship with my brother has never gotten this ugly and messy. Even if I got into a big fight with him, I could talk about it with my friends of differing cultures and have my feelings understood. And they could give me viable advices on how to make up with my brother because they too have had similar fights with their siblings.


Then, maybe it is that sibling relationships are far more universal than parent-child relationships?

Maybe… but if so, why is that?


Maybe it does not matter why. I will leave it to the sociologists to find answers.

Maybe what is important to me is that I found something that tells me we are not that different even if we come from differing backgrounds – that we all hate to love our siblings!


So maybe on some days we have trouble tolerating people of differing cultures.

But we have trouble tolerating our siblings too, do we not?

And yet, at the same time, we know somewhere in our hearts we cannot imagine not having our siblings in our lives.


Maybe if sibling relations are universal, we can make the universe full of sibling relations… maybe we will have fights, but we know how to make up, and we always appreciate having one another.

I think we can tolerate each other a lot more than we think, if we just think of each other as siblings!


P.S. Happy 21st to J (someone I hope to call my sibling here) and her husband!

I wish you many many more layers of happiness to come…




3 thoughts on “Universal sibling relationships

    1. Same here, notewords – another proof that sibling relations are similar around the world! I can’t be the only one who thinks you can learn to live with anyone if you can live with your siblings 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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