“In Lebanon, a country where most people under 30 still live with their parents and are financially dependent on them, it’s hard to properly define the youth segment.” This quote appeared in a March 2011 article in Communicate Magazine titled, “Children’s best interest. Lebanon’s financial institutions are targeting younger consumers. We find out why.” ..It also serves as the perfect introduction to this post.
Perhaps one of the most striking things about Lebanese culture/society in general, is how dependent young people – and when I say young people..I mean between the ages of 20 – 30..and sometimes older – are on their parents. But what’s interesting about this phenomenon, at least for me..is that this is usually at the behest of parents, not of children. Since (from my understanding), parents’ ability to provide for their children (even if their children are well into their 30′s) is very much a part of what Lebanese society considers “good parenting.” As well doing their “adult child’s” laundry, waking up early to prepare lunch and pack it in tupperware, making all of their appointments, etc etc the list goes on. I mean, after living most of your life in this type of environment, it must be close to impossible to move out of your parent’s house for two reasons: 1. you don’t know how to fend for yourself 2. you feel that you owe it to your parents to stay at home until you get married especially after all they have done for you throughout the years! I know what many of you are going to say.. “Well, in America..parents kick you out of the house at 18!!” And I’m here to tell you that that couldn’t be further from the truth. (But at the same time, I can’t blame people for thinking that, especially given the way American society is portrayed on TV and in movies.) Just as a point of reference, 90% of people I know who are around my age (24) still live at home. That being said, they’ve also had part-time, or even full-time jobs since they were in University (and...
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