Under their definition, Cantonese would be regarded as a separate language because it is not mutually intelligible with Mandarin or other dialects of China. But issues relating to the status of Cantonese are likely to rear their ugly head any time debates on languages surface. How a Mandarin course caused chaos at Baptist University The sensitivity surrounding language debates is not hard to understand, as language is closely related to race, culture and identity, and impinges on politics as well as education. Politics and the English language:
If you go to any major city in China, you will invariably run into the foreign man-Chinese woman pairings in any major tourist or shopping destination; not so with foreign women and Chinese men. There are hardly enough books depicting foreign women with Chinese boyfriends or husbands.
West Wind Buck, Pearl S. Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Several years ago, when my husband enrolled in a New Oriental class in Shanghai for GRE prep, the instructor warned all of the Chinese men: When you have a Chinese husband or boyfriend, sometimes you feel as if you belong to a lonely club.
One of my dearest e-mail friends, a woman from Germany, once found me on the net Why chinese mother are superior she had a — then — Chinese boyfriend and yearned to find someone to share her experience with. So I began to wonder — why are there so few Chinese guys and foreign girls becoming couples?
Of course, some of it has its roots in the usual stereotypes — stereotypes in the Western World. Rarely have they been depicted with traditionally masculine traits.
Lacking machismo, they almost never get the girl. However, the subtext is often that foreign women are a dangerous choice — too casual, the temptress, etc — or could not accept a Chinese way of life.
Generally, the pressure to split up comes from the family since, after all, in China, marriage is a family affair. There was one Chinese boyfriend who told me, flat out, that his parents would never accept me. Even my own husband was first told by his parents that he could be friends with a foreign girl, but not date her.
Fortunately, their ideas changed when they met me in person! On the other hand, there are Chinese men — and their families — who would be happy to have a foreign woman in the family. But there are other complications.
For example, my good friend in Hangzhou, Xiao Yu, once told me that some Chinese men cannot overcome their feeling of inferiority — that being an American girl, a citizen of one of the most powerful countries in the world, made my presence somewhat intimidating.
According to Xiao Yu, some Chinese men could never believe that such a girl would become their one and only. And then there are the more unmentionable reasons. A driver who took me to the Beijing Airport this summer admitted he once had a Russian girlfriend when he was a college student.
But he said he was never able to satisfy her yes, in that wayso they parted. The experience was so traumatic that he never sought another foreign girlfriend again. On the flip side, I suspect that some foreign women might be unwilling to give Chinese men a chance because of money.
Average Chinese men tend not to earn big salaries in China, unless they are, for example, bosses, high-powered execs, or an in-demand talent. And if they are to leave China to go to her country, they will face even more obstacles to earning money — language, culture, prejudices. Still, despite the odds, sterotypes and other barriers, it does happen that Chinese men and foreign women get together.
On occasion, it even creeps into the news, like this story. But because I love him. Or are you a Chinese man dating or married to a Chinese woman?
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