I’m writing about our intercultural and interracial relationship from my point of view. These are my thoughts on stereotypes I’ve heard, my confrontations with them in reality and overall experience I gain.
But every relationship has the other person who might see it in a completely different way. Sing had his own expectations, he heard stereotypes about Poles, he has experienced things in our relationship differently.
Have you ever wonder how he felt about Poland and Polish people? How it is for him to be married into Polish family (I bet much cooler than having a Momzilla as your mother-in-law)? Here’s his answer! And yes, I couldn’t leave it without my comments!
To be honest I never thought my future wife will be Poland. Even though I am not attracted to my own race, I still could only image my wife most likely will be from somewhere like US, UK or any other major English-speaking country. That seemed to be the only natural way of thing going since me and my dream future wife would use English as a language to communicate.
Poland to me is very far away because it is not a popular tourist destination in my country. If Hongkongers visit Central Europe they will more likely choose Czech or Austria rather than Poland.
The very first time I heard of Poland is that they got invaded by Nazi Germany and World War II started since then.
From my parents’ point of view, they thought Poland is still a communist country like Czechoslovakia (which no longer exists) and Yugoslavia (which also no longer exists). My mother grew up under the Communist China like many older Hong Kong parents and this stereotype has been passed down to me.
It took my parents awhile to get over this impression, not to mention my outside grandparents (I wait for the day when Sing’s grandma asks me do we have color TVs in Poland – Lina).
However, since I am interested in politics and current affair, I at least know Poland is a part of the EU since a decade ago. (Way to go Sing, almost 3 years of marriage and you know which year we joined EU! – Lina)
My first impression of Poland was very warming. Many buildings were built in one style and not many historical buildings like in Western Europe except the city center due to over two black centuries in Poland’s history. All those elements added together gave me a feeling of Shanghai in the early 90s, where I spent my summer holiday almost every year. That was the Shanghai I like, not the city with fully of the skyscraper like now because I got Hong Kong already. (#FirstWorldProblems – Lina)
With all the familiar feelings after arriving Poland, I have to say my parents in law are very sweet. Most of Polish people I met were really sweet to me, always smiling.
To be honest I wasn’t sure how Paulina’s parents will behave in front of me, especially since I knew nothing about Poland and I am not white. In some way they are also very Chinese – they will treat the guest of the house like God. Eat more, eat this, eat that, maybe you want something to drink, have a cake. And not only them – any aunt we visit, any neighbor we meet will ask about the same thing and offer the best things they have. (It’s because we don’t want Momzilla to call us that we make you starve – Lina)
However, by showing respect I was able to communicate with them even if I don’t speak the language. Furthermore, since we can’t communicate verbally, they pay more attention to my behavior and they can understand who I am by that. I feel I am treated with respected.
Before going to Poland, I heard that eastern side of Europe is not as welcoming towards foreigners comparing to the West. I have to say it is half true, I think it is because they are not used to openly express themselves to random people so foreigners don’t find them as friendly. But speaking of racism, I had much worse experience in Italy than Poland, Hungary or Czech.
The thing that I cannot get used to is bread and butter. Mostly butter. So many years together and I am still not used to put butter on bread or I will eat the main dish without bread because it’s not obvious to me. The very first time I went to meet her parents she had to help me to make a sandwich because I had no idea how to do it. (Engineer who can’t make a simple sandwich, that’s funny – Lina)
I guess this is the preference I can’t get change since I am Asian.
At the end, Polish parents are not difficult to deal with. I think Paulina has it worse with my family.
She even jokes that they treat me better than her (well, I can’t joke that Momzilla treats me better than her Little Prince – Lina).
I believe it is all because of being respectful and polite. They show me care because I was the one their daughter chose. You might think Polish parents can sometimes be too close to their child and advise too much, but it’s only because they want a good husband (or wife) to their little ones.
My words to your guys who want to have a foreign partner, but are too scared of differences, is: go for it and be yourself with respects to other ones.
Aside of my personal experience, Poland is great travel destination. If you have not been to the Eastern side of Europe, I strongly recommend you give a go because it is a totally different experience than what you see on TV. And who knows, maybe you can find love there as well?
Have you ever felt the same way about your partner and his family? Maybe you have similar experience? Feel free to share it with us!