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Natalie and AJ: Interracial and Crosscultural couple in Beijing

A really well done video about an English girl who moved to Beijing, and met a Chinese guy.

I especially like the part where AJ tried to explain to his Chinese mother that she was a vegetarian.

His mother said: “So, chicken then? … No? … Fish??”

Quite funny, as being a vegetarian is not at all common for folks in China especially if you aren’t a monk, and you have money.

Can you imagine trying to explain vegan? πŸ™‚

δΈ­ζ¬§εˆη’§ – AJ and Natalie from Jason Lee Wong on Vimeo and Via AF..

I liked watching this video because it made me think of my own relationship. Interracial relationships are still a small percentage, even in North America.

I think it’s easier between people from Western countries to mix because language is not a huge issue, as it is from less-exposed countries like China.

Most people in Europe can speak or know a bit of English, and as I already had a small start in French, I COULD have tried to speak it if it was the only way to communicate with BF.

(Luckily, we are now bilingual… πŸ™‚ .. He is far more perfect in English than I am in French. )

But going from English to Chinese? I give her props for learning Mandarin.

She sounds SO good to me.

I also particularly like this video because it’s a sign of something small starting to change in China, although it is not indicative of relationships in China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau from what I could observe from my travels.

Any interracial relationships are mostly Asian girls with White guys (not many other nationalities or races either, other than Caucasian), not the other way around, as I’ve mentioned before.

Read: Why don’t Asian guys date more Caucasian girls?

They are still pretty much the kind of folks who stick to their own “kind”, and will encourage their children to stick to their own “kind”, even offering bribes or threatening them to do so, mostly out of fear and ignorance of the unknown, of the “others” (foreigners).

They want to preserve their culture, the language, and the customs… and they think foreigners won’t understand this deep-seated desire to do so. They’re scared of change, as most people are.

This is why it was even cooler to hear how open AJ’s parents were, talking about personalities matching, rather than colour or culture, although I’m sure her speaking Mandarin and wanting to be in Beijing helps immensely as well as his mother having been exposed to foreigners before.

Very cool.

(I still wouldn’t want to go back to China to visit any time soon however. Hong Kong is as Chinese as it gets for me.)


  • MakintheBacon

    I really enjoyed watching this short movie. I found it nice that his parents were very open-minded. I would have never guessed that, especially coming from Chinese parents. I have always been in an interracial relationship. People would often ask if my bf was the same background as me and I almost laugh before saying no, because I have never even dated an Asian guy. I’m not going to lie, but I haven’t found any attractive. The only one I have ever found attractive was a guy who was a Eurasian mix.

  • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

    You did not miss a thing. I hate to put suspense on you but I have a whole long series coming up in 2014….. πŸ˜›

    It’ll run every Saturday starting January 2014 with my observations and views on having visited China.

  • Tania

    Interracial marriage is very common in Hawaii. When I was growing up it wasn’t looked down upon but was less common than now. Being “hapa” or half white and having those blended features of a Eurasian mix was seen as being special even in the 80s. Now, so many kids are hapa. Btw, my dad is Japanese and my mom is German/Danish.

    I remember going on business trips to the mainland and many thought discussing ethnicity was rude. Here it isn’t rude, you are merely showing interest in one’s family. Asking what someone is normal and and considered just fine in terms of etiquette. I also feel that I don’t have any identity issues that I’ve seen mainland hapas express through writing because my mix was always treated as special or good fortune. Although it is weird for me from time to time when people identify me as just a “haole” or white person because I identify so strongly with my Japanese culture since Japanese food and traditions are so prevalent here and because I spent so much time with my Japanese grandma growing up. It always feels weird when I get reminded I don’t look very Japanese (in my opinion I look very much like my Japanese side of the family who actually has very big eyes, my eye shape is all them but more hazel colored but people often assume it comes from my white side of the family).

    I do hope one day interracial will no big whoop everywhere but do know that’s unlikely.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Tania: Did you also learn to speak Japanese, German and Danish? I think it’s so cool that half-kids or hapas learn so many languages SO fluently.

      Yes here, discussing or asking “Where are you from” is rude, ONLY if you are for instance Japanese but you speak perfect American English and tell them “America, I was born here”, and then they say to you: “No but REALLY where are you from?”

      Then they get exasperated and say: “No where are your PARENTS from?”

      …etc etc…

      That is the height of rudeness here, even if people feel like they’re being curious. If they don’t bring it up, don’t mention it or prod them to reveal what ethnicity they are.

      I think interracial is becoming a more common thing these days, but then again I am in North America. In Singapore, I noticed that most people do NOT mix. Chinese don’t mix with Indian, Indians don’t mix with Malays.. it’s really segregated there, worse than in North America.

  • D Wong

    I loved this. In the 1940’s my Scottish grandmother and my Chinese grandfather met and married. My mother was raised in Scotland and in her turn married my Hong Kong raised father who was studying there. I married an American raised Canadian born Chinese. When we spent several months in China together I felt that we had come full circle. Check out the website for a bit of my family’s history.

  • Tina

    Interesting post. Even in the US in this day and age, being in an interracial relationship draws some stares. I don’t care what people think of us, but I’m worried about the identity questions our future children may face.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Tina: Plenty. I know half-race kids who are frustrated that they are not considered one race, nor the other. They have an identity issue of “So who am I then?”

      It’s a tough thing, and it’s the reason why I see a lot of half-race children bond together even without knowing each other.

  • The Asian Pear

    Thanks for posting this. Having been in interracial relationship, I agree it’s not easy but certainly not as difficult as it would have been 20 years ago or something as Natalie pointed out.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @The Asian Pear: Can you imagine 20 years ago? You’d have been SHUNNED!

      Actually, even now you’d be shunned, no? Although your parents are probably a lot more open to the idea, I know plenty of people who tell me their parents threatened to cut them off if they didn’t marry “their own kind”.

  • eemusings

    Yeah, I can’t say I personally have any desire to visit China.

    I’ve definitely been quite aware of the fact that I’m an Asian woman with a white guy the past few days while travelling in Cambodia. “You very lucky!” called one street seller to T today. Hmm.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @eemusings: *LAUGH*!

      It’s because they think you married him to get out of a Third World country for a better and richer life. They’re jealous of you in a way.

      China is definitely on the very bottom of my list, although I’d go to China before visiting the Middle East or Brazil.

  • femmefrugality

    Super interesting! It’s awesome that his parents are so open. I don’t know if your travels in China are something you’ve written about a lot in the blog, but I’d love to hear why you wouldn’t want to go back. Could you point me to a good post about it? Sorry I missed it!

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