Parents react to college students telling them 'I love you'

(Steven Lim/YouTube)

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THE INTERNET — A filmmaker who tackles Asian American cultural issues in his videos recently asked several Asian American college students to tell their parents they love them, and the results showed the universality of parental love.

Steven Lim asked four college students when they last told their parents they loved them. The question interested him, because, in many traditional Asian cultures, it is uncommon to verbally and expressly tell family members, “I love you.”

“We just kind of assumed, I think,” Spurthi Reddy said.

“Love was more shown through action,” Justin Lu said.

The answers from the students ranged from a couple days ago, to never. Regardless of the answer, though, Lim had each student call their parents and express their gratitude and love.

While not every parent said “I love you” in return, every parent showed they cared about their children by asking about dinner, giving them advice or telling them to drive safely.

“Wow, I’ve been waiting to hear this. I knew you’d call. I’ve been waiting and I never give up hope. Thanks,” Lim’s own mother said.

The experiment touched Lim, who wrote about his experiences, saying he was most interested in the reaction of Lu’s mother, who told him he should say it more.

“The more I thought about the implications of her saying that the more I realized how important it is to stop and feel what we are feeling,” Lim wrote. “And then make sure to turn around and tell the people we love and appreciate that we love and appreciate them.”

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Celeste Tholen Rosenlof


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