家庭對你的外籍伴侶的反應 – parents reaction to a foreign partner

Interracial relationships have to face many problems: culture differences, sometimes racism and… their own families.6-shocked-parents I must say that Poland is still pretty conservative and I think non of the parents there would be prepared that one day their little baby girl will bring home a foreigner. Not to mention non-white one.
Pretty much is the same in Asia, because let’s face it, it’s much easier for an Asian girl to have ghost-man as a partner than seeing Asian man with a ghost-girl, so it can be pretty shocking for his family as well.

As much as you can ignore second aunt of mom’s outside cousin, you cannot really ignore your parents, in the end they gave you the gift of life (and often threatened to take it back). Some people can be shocked and happy, some other might not know what to say, some other people can be racist – how many people, that many reactions. 

After few selfish ‘me, me, me, me, me’ posts we came back to ‘research posts’ and this week we want to share the list of parents reaction to foreign partners of their children – Polish girls bringing home Asian men and Asian men bringing ghost-girls.

EDIT: I noticed few people got confused – below you can read other people’s experience as an AMWF couples meeting each other’s families. After that (total of 10 most interesting memories in our opinion) you can read our take on this topic.

Polish ‘mama i tata’
Just to be sure everyone noticed – these people are not related to me neither my family and these are their quotes. I guess I need to work on my English haha 🙂

  • “My mom was pretty OK with my boyfriend, but my dad kept making racist comments like ‘Does he eat cats/dogs?’ or ‘Is BGToGFwCMAA4Ux1it true that their penises are small?’. It was disgusting to hear it at first place and even more disgusting to hear it from my own father. Luckily mom had a long talk with him and in the end he just gave up. I think he’s still not really OK with me and X. but at least he tries to act normal in front of him. Hopefully one day he can just accept my partner as a part of our family.”
  • “It was like interrogation but in a good way: they were so opened and curious about him, his culture, everyday life. Asked millions of questions, they really tried to understand him, his lifestyle. Then when we were alone they tried to show me why it might/might not work out, in their opinion, 1313192089468but after all  they wished us luck. The fact is we really broke up later, but it had nothing to do with my family.”
  • “I’m lucky that my sisters cleared that path for me: the oldest one is married to black American man, the other one is engaged with Turkish so me bringing home Asian wasn’t anything that would shock them. Actually the only shocking information for them was that I’m actually having a serious relationship and someone actually would like to have me as a wife. Gotta love them.”
  • “Honestly speaking my parents weren’t happy about my foreign husband but they knew it’s my life, my eventual mistakes and my decisions. I’m not 5 anymore to ask them for a permission and interfering my own business would just make us argue so they never bothered to make a comment. Now we’re married for 2 years, I can still see distance between the three of them but as long as we are happy I know they will be polite to him and take care of him, as he was their own child. What a weird family.”
  • “I thought my parents were doing great – during the dinner they used me as a translator and asked him a lot of questions, smiled when I told them his answers, it went just perfect. Too bad when he left back to his hotel my parents impossibruchanged their attitude. Kept saying how he won’t respect me, that they heard in China women are treated badly (Oops, someone haven’t seen my post about Princess Sickness – click here) and I will come back to them crying. Of course every single time he has seen my parents they were ‘the cool people’ again. They do the same thing until present, hoping that we will break up, but guess what? We are already married! Do I regret on not letting anyone in my family know? Not at all, I’m happy and I don’t need more drama, but I also don’t want to lose them.”

Asian men and their ghost-partners

  • “Our place is not a TOP destination for a foreigner to come so bringing a foreigner and introducing her as ‘my girlfriend’ made my parents silent for few minutes, especially I haven’t even mentioned to them I’m seeing someone but by the end of the day they were only talking like ‘So when do you plan to marry her?’.”
  • “In my family I’m a herodownload I managed to have my own ghost girl and my cousins keep asking me for advice how to get one for themselves. My inside-grandma made a huge deal of it and now all floors of the building she lives in knows I’m dating a white girl. I don’t even want to think what will happen if we ever break up.”
  • “I had only one foreign girlfriend and I don’t think I will ever have one again. I respect my parents more than anyone else, with my ex-girlfriend they could not talk to her, she couldn’t talk to them and she was far away from the image of ‘Chinese girl from 100 years ago’ they would wish for me. She didn’t want to hear about living with them, didn’t want to listen to their advice, didn’t take care of me as they would see it. Now I’m dating very conservative Chinese girl and my parents haven’t complained much about her.”
  • “My ghost-girl was my first girlfriend in general and I think it’s not her skin or different culture she was raised in that made my mom dislike her. I think my mother would dislike any girl I bring home, I have always been her little treasure and thinking about giving me away to another woman, scares her. Of course non of the women in this world could make me as happy as she makes me – of course according to her. We broke up because even thought she didn’t understand a word my mom said she could feel she’s not welcomed. It was tough for me and I don’t think I will have a girlfriend Steve-Harvey-Shockedsoon. Probably a girl who could match me in my mother’s eyes is not even born yet.”
  • “My parents reaction was literally no reaction. They treated her as anyone who comes to our house, I was proud that they didn’t ask weird questions or do things that are not really well seen in Western countries. But you should see my sister – she took millions of photos with her and let all her friends know who she might have as a sister-in-law. Whenever we go back to Taiwan to visit my relatives my little sister tells her friend to come over. Sometimes my bride to be complains she feels like she was an exhibit in a museum, even thought we’ve been together for few years it’s always a big deal.”

Our families

I must say my family was pretty cool about Sing, even my great-grandma (!) smiled to me and said ‘Oh, little child’. The only comment my parents made was ‘If someone told me before I will have a Hong Kong guy as a son in law I would laugh. I don’t mind that he’s not like us… but why he doesn’t like fishing?!’. My dad always knew the priorities.image (14)

On the other hand Sing’s family was prepared for him to marry a white girl. They knew he never dated an Asian girl, he lived in ‘white countries’ and since he was a little boy he made a stupid pose to the photos and brag how one day he will marry foreign girl. I think the only things they were not prepared is that I’m not Australian or American, but basically it didn’t really shock anyone. In the end, just like a girlfriend mentioned above, no matter what I would never be good enough to match Mr. Perfect-Son-And-King-of-Everything, so I just live with it.

What was or what would be your family’s reaction if you told them your partner is from completely different culture? Any advice for people who are doing it for the first time? Share your thoughts and memories! 🙂
http://www.facebook.com/myhongkonghusband
http://www.instagram.com/myhongkonghusband
http://www.twitter.com/my_hk_husband

 

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55 thoughts on “家庭對你的外籍伴侶的反應 – parents reaction to a foreign partner

  1. My husband is an Aussie and I’m Asian American so we have the Western culture in both of us, not much difference in that. My mom have always known I would end up with a “non-Asian” as I’ve never dated Asian men so she just gave up hope. His family, however never understood why he wouldn’t date a fellow Aussie. The only thing that is different between us is the fact that I still do a lot of the traditional things in my Asian culture and his family couldn’t fathom him doing so or them. I have to admit they did try and are trying but it would be a lot easier for them if he had married a fellow white Aussie. Thanks for the post as I can relate with a lot of your other posts as well.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your experiences! It is unfortunate that you had to hear some of these comments from family.

    From reading your post, I realize I am lucky! My parents accepted my husband and welcomed him with open arms. My husband is such a great guy that everyone in my circle of family and friends love him. And he feels very comfortable interacting with everyone! I mean, the last time we went to Canada he sang a Taiwanese song about love at a wedding we attended and had everyone talking about it for days!!

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  3. Hmmm I guess where I come from it’s pretty normal especially when it’s the Asian girl white guy phenomenon. What I just hate is the stereotype of Asian girls being golddiggers etc.

    Probably the more important problems are cultural internal ones between the couple, at least for me. Especially when the white guy doesn’t empathise with people who aren’t white or from a rich country and haven’t been privileged

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  4. I had written a really long reply a while ago but I don’t know where it went :p Anyway, I myself am in an interracial relationship but I can understand how much harder it is for you. My entire family and everyone in my country can more or less speak English and where I’m from foreigners are welcomed and liked. The bigger problems for me would be internal especially when there is a lack of empathy for myself and my background from someone born more privileged

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  5. Hahahaahahaaaaa the pictures are hilarious!!!
    My parents were kind of expecting I would end up with a Chinese man as I had been living in China for a long time, so it was just natural. My boyfriend met them last January and everything went well, they have no problem with him not being Spanish although they of course would prefer if we lived closer…

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  6. Oh I forgot to comment about his parents’ reaction. Well they love me hahaha. And all their neighbours and friends are envious of the “beautiful foreign daughter in law” hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m American and my boyfriend is Spanish. When my family first met him they all took me aside and quietly asked why he didn’t have darker skin or a mustache. They all thought Spanish people looked like as-seen-on-TV Mexicans. It was so racist and offensive to both culture groups, Mexican and Spanish, that I was shocked. I always make sure to take time and explain to my family the differences between all spanish-speaking cultures now.

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  8. my parent’s put it this way, it’s my life and i chose how and who i will live it with. Though they do hope deep inside that it will be someone from my own country or t lest close. 🙂

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  9. That’s sad to have racism in the family, but it’s good it worked out in the end. You’re sister married a black guy… may I ask how they took that?

    After years abroad I think my parents are expecting me to bring home a Chinese wife, and I don’t see that happening any time soon. While my mom and dad can be very offensive, at this point they would be happier that I got married at all regardless of whether or not I brought home a nice jewish girl.

    These days Chinese people seem very open to international marriages, and it’s great that side of the family took it so well for you!

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    1. No, no, no – it’s not me 🙂 I’m the only child. We contact people or google/baidu opinions on a specific topic and just translate them 🙂 I guess I need to edit the post haha 🙂

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        1. I’m sorry, it’s my fault. I often think in my own language and then translate it literally haha 🙂 thank you for sharing how it might look in your family 🙂 hopefully some nice girl will soon approach you 🙂

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        1. I google in PL, Sing takes care of Baidu and Google in Cantonese but it’s really hard to find by randomly guessing the phrase. Sometimes we browse foreign marriage forums like http://tieba.baidu.com/f?kw=%D1%F3%CF%B1%B8%BE to look for some nice topics 🙂 I also talk to people via private messages and e-mails so we have a lot of work preparing posts unless it’s based on our own experience. Oh, there’s also a site for Chinese people living in Poland – pretty a lot 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  10. My parents had about one night of warning me that it might be difficult for me, an American woman, to marry a Chinese man. (This was in 1967, and he was the only Asian in town.) They said it might be hard for our kids. After that, they went along with my decision. No more complaints. He was a very good son-in-law. I think they loved him and were proud of him.

    Thanks for your hard work in preparing this interesting post.

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  11. I could definitely relate to this! My Japanese boyfriend’s mom insists that I’m a ‘good friend, but has he found a real girlfriend yet?’

    …We’ve been dating two years.

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  12. My husband is from the same country as I am, but with a different religion. This still raises questions and concerns; especially when getting married and starting a family.
    In this case, besides the cultural differences, I guess the parents are also afraid they will never see their daughter/son again. As the person is living in another country and you move along with them. That might also be one of the reasons why they try to break you up in one way or another. As they rather want to have their little girl (or boy) close to them and easy to visit 🙂

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  13. My parents were reacting pretty good, actually I cannot think of anything bad anymore, when they got to know that I was dating a Chinese girl. Their only concern back then was that she might be going soon back to China after she finished her studies as was also her plan, but this sorted itself out. Now we are married for a few years and have a little son 🙂

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  14. My parents first reaction was like “Is it for real? Couldn’t you find a guy somewhere in Europe? it doesn’t even have to be Poland. But Australia is like the end of the world!!!” But they accepted my choice, it doesn’t even matter that he is Chinese. My whole family is pretty much excited about our marriage as it is so exotic and unique haha

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  15. “Pretty much is the same in Asia, because let’s face it, it’s much easier for an Asian girl to have ghost-man as a partner than seeing Asian man with a ghost-girl, ”

    This is baffling. Traditionally families have always been more protective and concerned over who their girls are with, not boys – white parents want their white girls to have white babies, black, indian, muslim etc. But not asian. where there is more resistance with their asian son going with a nonasian girl than with an asian girl.

    This lack of resistance is the reason why asian girl-non asian man combos are so common. More common than with asian men. Because – and judging from the comments here – they simply don’t care, or PREFER to have a white man for themselves. In order to think like this you need an inferiority complex, because when you are thinking about the future (kids etc) you must be thinking “oh, I want my grand kids to look LESS like me!”

    So in a way, racist parents are natural. They are doing what they must to ensure that their “future” looks as much like them as possible. Hence the not so subtle racism that MHKHs parents had (and two faced as well, being so nice to Sing before bitching about him behind his back). ALthough of course that usually has the reverse effect of bringing the couple closer together

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  16. Hahaha. Wow. I’m glad my parents didn’t really react that strongly (or ask any inappropriate questions). They were more or less surprised that I found someone who actually wanted to marry me (hah, funny, just like you, I guess).

    They love their Japanese son-in-law~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dad’s concern was that Sing doesn’t like fishing haha but you’re not the only person who got it wrong, I had to put an edit to the post haha. I’m glad your family loves your husband (no wonder, he’s so nice! :))

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  17. My parents don’t care, once you become 18yr olds adults, you’re free to go. if you’re happy, they’re happy to you too, your life is your choice. Hongkongers are very individual thinking. 🙂

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  18. @BHK: Sadly this always applies to all parents. I know many cases where parents mingle into their business even close to 30…I know one guy/man who never found a woman good enough for himself until his mother died with 101 and he died few years later with 75!

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  19. Uhh… Quirky. Norman Bates from Psycho!?!
    Does he German or Mainland Chinese?
    Oh! actually, My parents do care…if they are from Mainland China. 😉

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  20. There have been conflicts like this in my own family too. And ironically in my family its those who claim to be well travelled/cultured that seem to be the most prejudiced!

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  21. For us, there was no resistance from our parents on both sides. They are all pretty accepting. And I think my mother-in-law just really looks forward to the “cute mixed-blood grandkids” she’ll get. When she went to Beijing, she took pictures of every little foreign kid she came across (I’m pretty sure our kids won’t have golden hair like some of the kids on the pictures, but you get the idea). And she’s eager to learn the names of different dishes and vegetables in German – because what would happen if our child wants to eat something and she doesn’t understand what her grandchild is saying? Haha, so cute.

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  22. @chinaelevatorstories Isn’t that (the mum in law) an example of whites being seeing as “higher status” though? I mean, no way would you get white parents admiring and taking pics of mixed race kids in Europe, it would just be weird.

    Oh congrats on Austria winning the Eurovision by the way.

    Also Lina, as you’re from Poland, and we just had Eurovision, what did you think of the Polish entry? Are Polish girls usually like that 🙂 Also, what does your husband think of the Polish entrey? It was the fan’s favourite, I have no idea why 🙂

    Here’s the music video

    DOUZE POINTS

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    1. depends what you mean – so ‘open’ or so ‘pretty’ haha. first of all you need to know that song and video is kinda ironic and in a form of a joke, but if you’re not a native speaker and you don’t understand the specific humor you might think it’s a song and lot’s of boobs. what I think? congrats to Austria, they deserved their win, but I wish one day Eurovision was voted only by people and their SMS, not 50% them, 50% jury – thanks to those 5 people instead of 5th place we ended up on 14th (sadly it’s our 3rd best score haha would be second if not those jury – we got a lot votes from Europe) but at least the winner has beautiful voice (and make up skills, I’m really jealous!’)

      about comment to CES, I think it’s not ‘white superior thing’, but white people are less family oriented – once their child is grown up they start to focus on themselves, which they couldn’t do before. You have a child, that’s OK, we will love our grandchild but won’t get crazy. On the other hand any Chinese mom I know, not only mom in AMWF, is baby-crazy, especially after the wedding. My MIL stares at ANY child – kinda creepy haha 🙂

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      1. Yeah I figured it was some sort of injoke for the Poles, at least for the rest of us it was nice eye candy 🙂 Did you see it all? The Danish hosts kept making jokes in Chinese Mandarin… I think it was about mocking Chinese censorship, but no one got it.

        I think in CES’s MIL it is “white worship” – if they are saying cute “mixed race” kid and taking pics of only the foreign kids, there’s no way about it. And in Europe grandparents are kid mad as well, I don’t notice any less caring, if anything they want to care for their grandkids whilst their parents are working or whatever. But there’s no special obsession with mixed race kids.

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  23. I’m from New Zealand and my wife is from the Philippines. We met in and live/work in Singapore, far from either of our families. Thankfully my parents are very warm and welcoming people and so are hers. I traveled to the Philippines to ask her parents for permission to marry her (old school I know but sometimes that’s a good way to go).
    Both of our families came to Singapore for the wedding and they all stayed in the same house. That was the first time my parents had met my fiancé, other than on skype. Luckily all the families got on well together, especially the mothers-in-law!

    My parents never had any weird questions for me about her or her culture and I believe are genuinely happy for us. Her parents initially just wanted to assurances that I would look after their beloved daughter properly and tried to convince us that moving further away from the Philippines than Singapore might not be such a great idea. Bless them, they were just worried about missing their daughter. We still live in Singapore but might be moving next year so a new series of challenges awaits!

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  24. Funny that your dad was miffed that your husband “doesn’t like fishing.” I had a belly laugh over that one, my husband, a Taiwanese, being such a fishing fanatic and all.

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  25. in my family, i have relatives who are married to an asian foreigner and a couple of cousins who are married to a white foreigner. it’s rather refreshing and i’m glad for it. this goes to show how internationalized and how smaller our world has become. and that connection and love are not limited by race or color or nationality.

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  26. My German family just had some minor stereotypical questions about my HK girlfriend: Does she work overhours? (No.) Does she eat weird stuff? (Yes.) Does she eat cheese? (Yes.)

    Otherwise they were cool.

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  27. Enjoyed the post and comments.
    My first husband was half American half Chinese/Filipino, but brought up in the far east. What was worse was he was from a very wealthy and powerful family (Think a Chinese style “Dallas!” ha!). Though we loved each other it was pretty much a disaster (I must admit I was very young and had yet to learn intercultural wisdom). One of my daughters did much better marrying a fabulous Chinese guy who loves her to pieces (as she does him).. It’s not always easy and they both have had to compromise on many things but they’ve pulled through long term. In their case at least there was no living with in laws involved and he was educated in the west, which made it much easier. It’s a great way to expand your vision, but it’s not easy. Basically it takes a whole lot of love and understanding to work through all the differences, but if you love them it’s worth it!

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  28. My mother would be shocked if I brought home an Italian boy, she already speaks about the day I will give her mixed grandchildren (a day very, very far in the future)!

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  29. I’m a child of mixed nationality and have moved around a lot, so I don’t think my parents were ever concerned about what country my potential partner would be from… just more if I’d have one (soz I’m fussy :P). They’ve been very warm and accepting of him… they just need to get the spelling of his name right and we’re sorted. No probs on the future in-laws side, apart from them worrying that I’m too good for him, hahaha! Those are the most awkward conversations. “No but really, what do you see in him?” “Wait, you’re talking about your son?” “Yes, now really, tell me…” 😮

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  30. I’m from the United States and I met my Fiance at college who is from Hong Kong. When I told my mom we were talking about marriage she seemed very supportive about it. However, she always asked me questions doubting his intentions to marry me (green card mostly). When I tried explaining she was being racist and rude, she innocently claimed she was only asking for my best interest. She has cried many times since then that she believes he will move us to Hong Kong forever and I will lose my identity as an American. And she refuses to ever visit us any place other than the States (I haven’t told her we are moving to HK in two years…shhhhh). My dad couldn’t care less what his age or race was. His reaction, “have fun kids!” My sister was by far the worst. I’m almost 21 and he is 26, he has graduated from college and I’m half way through. My sister made it very clear she thought our engagement to be a sham so that he could get a green card and compared us to Anna from Frozen. My fiance and her share a mutual disliking for each other, but at least no one is prohibiting us from getting married (probably because my mom doesn’t know her grand babies will be born over 6,000 milest away). Luckily, his parents are very open and have welcomed me into their family. His mom paid for our flight to Hong Kong and they are coming all the way to Washington State for our wedding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope your mom will get used to the thought you will be away, but maybe you could reconsider to stay in America? Although if I were you, if I had a chance to go back to HK I definitely Would go as well! Too bad it’s pretty hard to survive there (I’m not a native English speaker but you have that advantage and that’s great for you!) and all the engineers are sent to Mainland so at least now we can’t go 😦 I wish you a beautifulwedding with no drama, in the end it’s your life and your happiness! If you two are happy I’m sure mom will get better one day 🙂 my best wishes to you two!

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  31. Sing is from Hongkong, probably that’s why your parents accepted him quite easily. My bf is from Mainland China and unfortunately my family doesn’t respect him as much as if he would be from HK, Korea or Japan. Stereotypes about China are not good and they think he will treat me badly, that his family will kidnap me and keep in some remote village to plant rice or sell me. They also read many comments about things like abortion, eating dogs and even canibalism. It’s terrible ;( They just think China is less developed than Poland and will always look down on him, just as f.ex. western people look down at Polish people. Sad, but these stereotypes are real ;( It hurts me deeply.

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