There’s a question that has floated inside my head for a long time.

“What is the definition of a strong woman?”

I kept seeking for the answer somewhere so far. I’ve read several seem-like-related books. I’ve spent time reading quite many psychology articles and even quotes about strong woman. But none of them makes enough sense.

I became absorbed in those stuffs and forgot to look around until I watched the movie named “English Vinglish”. It reminded me of my Mom, other traditional Vietnamese women, girls around my age and myself also.

My Mom is exactly the kind of woman like Shashi at the begining of the movie, a household wife. She is really good at cooking and taking care of the family, spending most of her free time on those two tasks. Although she has never graduated from any university, she still managed to make ends meet during our difficult time. I’ve never heard any complaint from her, yet several years later, I knew how many difficulties she had suffered.Not only my Mom, but also your Mom and those who are called MOTHERS are strong women when they’re trying their best to protect their families.

I do hope we (I and my younger sister) didn’t say any bad words to my Mom during our childhood. For now, she’s my brightest lighthouse.

If you watched the movie, you would remember there’re two meaningful quotes that Shashi said at the end of the movie. (If you haven’t watched the movie and are going to watch it someday, stop here!!! Remember, I’ve already warned you!)

Following is the first one.

“This marriage is a beautiful thing. It’s the most special friendship, friendship of two people who are equal. Life is a long journey. Meera, sometimes you will feel you are less. Kevin, sometimes you will also feel you are less than Meera. Try to help eachother to feel equal. It will be nice. Sometimes married couple don’t even know how the other is feeling. So… how to help the other? Does it mean marriage is finished? No. That is the time you have to help yourself. Nobody can help you better than you. If you do that, you will return feeling equal. Your friendship will return. Your life will be beautiful. Meera, Kevin, maybe you will very busy, but have family… son… daughter. In this world, your small little world, it will make you feel so good. Family can never be judgemental. Family will never put you down, will never make you feel small. Family is the only one who will never laugh at your weaknesses. Family is the only place where you will always get love and respect. That’s all, Meera and Kevin. I wish you all the best.”

I think this quote is also true in every real relationship. Family, lovers, friends. Those who are truly love you will never put you down nor give up on you, no matter what happens. You can easily realize them among this huge world. They are those people whom you always feel equal, safe and happy when being near, because you know they will never intentionally hurt you.

Some people might argue that trusting is like taking risks with our hearts and emotional investment. They might be right, because the truth is, if we open our hearts we might get hurt, but we will never know unless we try. I believe if you know yourself well enough, know how to make yourself happy, you will never let people hurt you and let their betrayals stop you trusting.

Strong woman knows how to love and make herself happy.

That’s what I’ve learnt from girls around me, my sweet sisters and my dear friends. They, the same as me, are on their way to find who they are and what they live for.

And this is the second quote Shashi said to the French guy who was in love with her (but I think it’s more likely that she said it to herself).

“When you don’t like yourself, you tend to dislike everything connected to you, new things seem to be more attractive. When you learn to love yourself, then the same old life starts looking new, starts looking nice. Thank you for teaching me how to love myself.”

Being love is a wonderful feeling that everyone deserve to experience. I’ve learnt to appreciate every good or even bad thing comes to my life and simply accept the fact that people I love will sooner or later leave me. I no longer put my happiness outside. I believe that the world full of happiness and without misery is nowhere but inside each of us. Make yourself happy first, and then, help the others or vice versa, help the others first and that will help you anyway. That’s how to keep your bucket always full.

I’m still on my way to form my definition of strong women. What is yours?


I finished my practice writing this time here.

Any comments, corrections, suggestions (on grammar, word usages or anything related to this writing) are welcomed! 🙂


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