International relations and teenagers–two things that are nearly impossible to understand. Decades of study have been devoted to both of these bewildering topics, and we’re still no closer to figuring either of them out. Fortunately, they rarely overlap!
However, sometimes even teens can get passionate about politics. And that’s when things get really, um, unique.
According to the Japanese-language side of the Chinese news site Xinhua, a 14-year-old in China was recently so upset by her parent’s choice to buy a car that she left their house and refused to return.
Was she distraught over the potential environmental impact? Concerned about rising gas prices? Perhaps she just didn’t like the color? (Seriously, what is with people buying yellow cars?)
Actually, her reasoning was political, not environmental–the car in question was made by Honda, which you probably recognize as being a Japanese company.
Xinhua reported that the girl told her parents that if her friends found out that they had purchased a Japanese car, she would be made fun of. She also insisted that if they were going to buy a car, they might as well buy a Chinese car to support the local economy.
According to the teenager, buying the Japanese car would just be “helping the enemy with money from our own pockets.” To show just how strongly she felt about it, the teenager left her parents’ house and stayed with friends, refusing to return until they gave up on getting the car. After three days, her parents agreed not to make the purchase, and she finally returned home.
Chinese commenters were split on the subject, but many of them agreed with the girl, calling for a boycott of Japanese products, saying that people needed to support domestic companies.
This girl’s actions were certainly extreme, but before anyone starts criticizing, it’s important to remember that many people in every country are, let’s say, enthusiastic about buying domestic products (often without realizing that foreign companies often employ local workers and support the economy that way…). And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to support you local economy, though we could certainly do without the antagonism. Then again, have you ever met a 14-year-old who wasn’t brimming with antagonism??