Discuss From:Akshita Nanda Correspondent, ST Life!, posted on 7 April at 5:50 PM
7 April at 5:50 PM

Squawking Chicken versus Tiger Mother

If you don't know gossip queen Elaine Lui, you probably know the scoops she dishes out before all other entertainment journalists, including the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes split of 2012, and the Brangelina trip to Africa to adopt.

In her debut book out later this month, Listen To The Squawking Chicken, it turns out that her success is all due to filial piety and the feng shui chops of her mother Tsiahng Gai (or Squawking Chicken in Cantonese). If it weren't for the Squawking Chicken overseeing every aspect of Lui's life, her site www.laineygossip.com might never have taken off - currently, it gets around 1.5 million unique visitors monthly.

Listen To The Squawking Chicken is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to overbearing Chinese mums and is definitely NOT to be mistaken for Yale professor Amy Chua's Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother, a guide to authoritarian parenting and sucking the fun out of a teenage girl's life that shocked Americans and had Asians wondering what all the fuss was about.

Tiger Mother is now an international buzzword but Lui told me in an interview - read more in the April 8 issue of Life! - her Hong Kong-born, mahjong queen of a Squawking Chicken mother can beat up that wussy pussy any day. Bring it on, feline.

Okay, what she really said was: "I definitely understand why there might be comparisons but my mother was the Squawking Chicken well before people knew the Tiger Mother."

Differences between the two include:

1) Tiger Mother makes her daughters practise the piano for hours and do endless maths problems. Squawking Chicken makes her daughter drink hot water and eat papaya, every day for breakfast.

2) Tiger Mother refuses to accept sub-standard birthday cards. Squawking Chicken picks a restaurant, several friends and tells her daughter to come along and pay in cash. (At least she negotiates a discount)

3) Tiger Mother's daughters got into Ivy League colleges. Squawking Chicken's daughter gets to rub shoulders with George Clooney, Brangelina and visit Dumbledore's office.


Hmm. Both methods seem to work, but perhaps I'd pick the Squawking Chicken since I rather like papaya. Which one would you rather have at your back?

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