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Interview with five Asian-American students on reasons for high Asian-American scholastic perforamnce




   On 60 Minutes last night they interviewed a group of five 
   Vietnamese students and asked them why it was that Asian-
   American students were so far excelling American students all 
   over the country.  The reply of the students was that the whole 
   secret lies in hard work.  They just worked a lot harder than 
   American kids.  And they worked so hard because their parents 
   were strict with them.  Their parents made them work hard.  The 
   parents believed that education was the secret to doing well in 
   life, that it was the way up to the good things of life.  They 
   told them this as the reason why they must work hard.  Another 
   reason they said they worked so hard had to do with family 
   honor.  Being best was a matter of family honor.  Not to be the 
   best would be to disgrace the family.  It was a matter of honor 
   and maintaining their honor.  They all agreed that the reason 
   Asian students do so much better than Americans was, at bottom, 
   a matter of culture --- cultural values.  They were asked if 
   they did any dating.  They didn't.  Their parents wouldn't 
   allow it.  They wouldn't even have the nerve to ask.  They 
   wouldn't be able to date until they were in their twenties and 
   out of school.  And, of course, they didn't drink or smoke or 
   do any of those things either.  When asked what they did in the 
   way of socializing they said they got together with other 
   Asian-Americans and picked topics, philosophical topics for 
   example, and talked about them.  They were very clean-cut , 
   wholesome looking kids.  Four were girls and one was a boy.  
   When asked what their advice would be to American kids their 
   reply was: "Get busy and start working.  Anyone can do it." 



   Feb 1987


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