March 8 — International Women’s Day — is just around the corner, so it’s time for my homage to other fabulous Western women out in the blogosphere who love Chinese men.
If this update is any measure, the state of the community — that is, the community of Western women who love Chinese men — is strong and growing. Last year, I featured only 16 blogs. This year, it’s over 30. Either there are more of you out there speaking up on the internet, or I’m just getting better at finding you.
So, in alphabetical order according to title, here they are:
Aimee Barnes. She’s more known for thoughtful, probing interviews with China’s up-and-coming movers and shakers — but she once loved a man from Shandong (and, I hope, hasn’t given up writing about it). I’ve come to appreciate her voice even more after reading this post about how she went against expectations (she had a learning disability) to master Mandarin and succeed in college and graduate school. Aimee is now living in Singapore with her Asian husband.
American Family. An American woman with a Chinese husband, a hapa daughter, and an adopted daughter from China, living in the US — and blogging about it since 2003. While it’s not all Chinese culture, all the time, you have to love a woman who writes about things like learning how to cook good Chinese (for her husband, of course ) and death rituals in Taiwan.
AMWF Love. Laura Nguyen’s husband is of Vietnamese descent, but she blogs with Brian, a Chinese-Canadian man, and supports the community with all her heart. She and Brian explore Asian male-White Female relationships with a psychological perspective, and they cover everything from long-distance relationships to the Asian fetish.
Aorijia. Our only blogger en espaňol, Aorijia (also known as Olga) is a translator with a Chinese husband and a daughter who, as she describes, “has the good fortune of living in an intercultural family.” Aorijia, you had me when you recommended studying Mandarin Chinese through five Taiwanese soap operas (including my favorite Meteor Garden).
Asian Man White Woman Magazine. J.T. Tran, The Asian Playboy, may have founded this magazine, but its heart and soul are the women who love Asian men (Chinese included) — Heather, Sarah Ann, and Brooks. (In full disclosure, I’m a contributing writer too.) My favorite post is Heather’s take on why Asian men are better.
China Excerpts. Christense Anderson Jiang has turned her life — as an English teacher, and the wife of a Chinese national — into a delightful series of mostly dialogues, hence the title “China Excerpts.” English teachers will smile at posts like a little too progressive, while those of us with a Chinese boyfriend or husband will laugh at her conversation on infidelity.
The Downtown Diner. Melanie Gao, who lives with her Chinese husband in Beijing, has no pretensions about her — and her blog is a homey, welcoming little slice of the China blogosphere. She posts about her children’s experiences in Chinese schools (trees can’t have green trunks?), but I really love how she’s willing to step in when there’s injustice (see this post about a fight she wanted to break up near their home). She’s also my unofficial twin in the China blogosphere (we really do look alike). Thanks for keeping it real, Melanie.
Foreigner in the Family. Elliot, an English woman with a Chinese husband, writes about her ‘ordinary’ Chinese family — with an extraordinary sense for character. Her thoughtfully written blog feels more like a novel about Chinese women, whose portraits come to life with each paragraph, such as this entry on Meimei. The blog hasn’t been updated since March 2010, but it’s still worth reading.
Happy in Asia. Elise — who you might know from Elise in Korea — is a French-Canadian woman with a Chinese husband and, since 2010, a newborn baby. After moving to Beijing and getting this “new addition” to her family, she’s turned her focus to to cultural differences in child rearing methods (for example, the question of cribs, something many Chinese parents don’t use).
Hot Asian Men. This Jilin-based woman, who calls herself “the ham hunter,” is on a mission — to find the hottest men in China, and blog about it. While it’s not always easy (see this post on how some Chinese men want to rush into marriage), she’s still out there on the prowl. Check out her HAM wall of fame.
[Insert Suitably Snappy Title Here]. Kathmeista is a New Zealand woman living with her husband in Taiwan — with an appetite for the written word, so her blog focuses on great reads. She does, however, slide Taiwan into the stacks here and there, including this entry on a book about Taiwan. You’ll also love her take on Amy Chua’s controversial memoir, the Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
Julie K in Taiwan. This Taiwan-based mother of two children has a Chinese husband and a thing for scrapbooking. If you’ve ever wondered how to get your scrapbooking groove back in Taiwan, you’ll love Julie’s post on scrapbook stores in Taiwan.
Life Behind the Wall. The only blog here written by an African-American woman with a Chinese husband. Jo Kelly-Bai, who teaches English in Yuyao, Zhejiang, is one extraordinary woman, and her writing provides insight into a life rarely chronicled in China. Love her recent post called S#%! My Chinese Husband Says, and can’t wait to read her upcoming book, also titled Life Behind the Wall.
Lin Family. She’s from Minnesota, but now lives in Taiwan with her Taiwanese husband and two children, and blogs about her life as a mom and more. My favorite posts? One about a lovely wedding between an white American woman and Taiwanese man, and another on a wedding in Taiwan, which covers traditions even I didn’t experience (the tea ceremony, for example).
Living A Dream in China. Sara Jaaksola, who has a Chinese boyfriend, writes with a lot of heart and soul as she works on her Mandarin in Southern China (love her post on why she loves China, and also this one on face in China). But what I really love about this woman is her support to the community — she started the Foreign Women in China discussion forum (any woman anywhere is welcome to join).
The Local Dialect. Jessica is one unique yangxifu. She fell in love with and married a Chinese man who speaks no English. She also has two children, and is the primary breadwinner for her family, working as an English teacher at an international school. And, with no inlaws (her husband’s parents passed away), the couple has had to care for the children themselves. I admire Jessica for her ability to balance work and family in China — and that she shares her experience with the world.
Mighty Maggie. Maggie lives with her husband Phillip, the Devastatingly Handsome Chinese Man, in Seattle with two kids. She’s a stay-at-home mom who blogs about everything from religious issues to parenting. This is an older post, but she brings up an interesting dilemma when she writes about the problem of sending a child to Chinese language school, when she and her husband don’t speak the language well.
Musing Mandarin. Marie Cardenas is a Southern California woman, living in Shanghai, with the love of her life — a Chinese man she calls Ken. She’s at her best when she shares those small moments that surprise you, such as using a cell phone while bicycling in Shanghai.
My Half of the Sky. Jana McBurney-Lin, who has a Chinese husband and children, penned the novel My Half of the Sky, which also is the namesake of her writing- and family-focused blog. But as a Tai Chi enthusiast, I loved this older post about trying out this venerable martial art.
The Natural Laws of Good Luck. Ellen Graf was over forty and looking for love when her Chinese girlfriend suggested her brother in China — and the rest is history (or, rather, the stuff of her touching memoir, the Natural Laws of Good Luck). She also blogs every now and then, giving us a glimpse into her life and even her Chinese husband.
One Person, Seven Billion Lives. Sonja is a Bosnian woman with a Chinese boyfriend who blogs about everything from atheism to heritage to stereotypes. There’s a lot of humanity in these virtual pages, and her post on what it means to be a “real man” is one of my favorites.
Out to Lunch. Carolyn J. Phillips doesn’t just have a Chinese husband. She loves to eat too, and shares her passion with the world through some of the most authentic and mouth-watering recipes for Chinese food on the web (like this one for Dongpo Pork). And for vegans like me, she even posts Buddhist vegetarian dishes, such as Vegetarian Dongpo Pork and Crispy Vegetarian Eels. Don’t read on an empty stomach, and be on the lookout for her upcoming books, “Simple Pleasures from a Chinese Kitchen: Authentic Seasonal Recipes from Every Region of China” and “Culinary Goddesses: The Women Who Changed Our Dining Landscape… Recipes Included.”
Plate of Wander. Ellis, you had me after this line in your About page: “she teaches college English, travels China, and eats enough food to feed two or three grown men.” You have to love a woman who is passionate about writing and travel, and never apologizes for her appetite. While she has no Chinese beau, she’s written about the rarity of such relationships (and expressed an openness). Ellis has since moved back to the US, but China and food are still close to her heart.
A Round Unvarnish’d Tale. This Lutheran mom of three with a Chinese husband — and a residence somewhere in upper Midwest of the United States — blogs about literally everything under the sun (her tags range from “Mitt Romney” to “Sylvia Plath” to “Theology”). I love her take on the Tiger Mom.
Shandongxifu. Ericka, who used to live in Qingdao with her Shandong husband, is better known to us through her posts at the Lost Laowai blog — where she confidently reminded us that Laowai Girls Love Asian Boys. I share her passion for Jay Chou and, yes, Meteor Garden (quiet sigh). Now in the US, she grapples with an issue all too familiar for me – reverse culture shock. When the smoke clears, I look forward to more thoughtful posts from her.
Studio Lacosta. You can’t help but call Laura, a Swiss woman engaged to a Chinese man, super-cute after you visit her “pretty-in-pink” manga-inspired blog design (especially with a little heart-strewn graphic on the bottom that reads, in Chinese, “my husband”). But don’t underestimate all of that sugar and spice on those pages — she is, after all, on a mission to learn Korean and Japanese (on top of the English, Chinese, German, Italian and Spanish she already knows). (Warning: I have had a lot of trouble accessing this site, with many server timeouts. Try using Google cache.)
Susan Blumberg-Kason. Once upon a time, Susan was a yangxifu, living in Wuhan with her Chinese husband and first child. She’s since moved back to her Chicago roots, remarried and added two more children to her family, but is forever connected to China. She offers tidbits of Chinese culture in her blog, such as this tasty post on Wuhan Street Food. If you’re living in or near Chicago, or passing through, check out her book, All the Tea in Chicago.
Tales from Hebei. Canadian Kelly Sandor has taken her marriage to a Chinese husband, and turned it into one of the funniest blogs on this list. From how her husband’s family and friends have hijacked the wedding planning to her husband’s take on what makes a great marriage, Kelly’s blog is highly addictive and relatable.
Tianjin Shannon. Last year, Shannon’s blog mad me feel red all over — wedding red, that is — because she and her Hunan boyfriend had a wedding ceremony in Hunan in February. But this year, she’s blogging about the experience of re-adjusting to life in the US with her Chinese husband, something I know all too well. If you’ve been there too, you’ll find her posts on reverse culture shock, and her husband’s take on the US fascinating.
Too real to be mythical. Juliet, an American woman, and David, a Chinese man, decided to start their blog to show the world that couples of Asian Men and White Women really do exist — hence the name. Their blog offers a friendly window in family, raising children, marriage and more, and, unlike the other blogs listed here, also includes David’s voice, such as in this post.
White Girl in a Chinese-American World. This is the voice for the Western women in relationships on the opposite side of the pond. She’s a blond Southerner, he’s a Chinese American, and they’re in love in America. Yet, not even this melting pot will always understand relationships like theirs, as she wrote about misgivings from her grandmother. But she writes courageously about their love, and the cultural misunderstandings. Currently she’s planning her intercultural wedding — if you’re getting married soon, read her posts on the planning process and more.
White Girl in Korea. Even though she had a Chinese boyfriend, her soul is really in Seoul (sorry, I couldn’t resist). So I guess it was only a matter of time before she and her guy broke up. Still, she’s a sister as far as I’m concerned, and I wish her luck in the Korean peninsula when she gets there.
Wo Ai Ni. Rhiannon, an American woman who met and married her Chinese husband in the US, creates a whimsical collage of an intercultural family (see this trip to Florida) on her site. It’s a snapshot of daily family life — including two blonde-haired children from a previous marriage, and three young half-Chinese kids. (She’s having some difficulties with her current pregnancy, so keep her in your thoughts these days.)
Wrapped in a Chinese Leaf. Sarah is an Irish woman studying for her master’s in international business, but she also knows a thing or two about international relations, thanks to her Chinese boyfriend. She loves telling stories through words, and you’ve got to love this post about a Chinese feast, including her confession that she was clumsy with the chopsticks (been there!).
Yin-yang Jin Feng. Jin Feng (not her real name) discovered a passion for Shaolin martial arts, and after a trip to China, also discovered love for a certain Chinese man. She writes about Buddhism, spirituality and martial arts, and I look forward to hearing more how training at a martial arts school in China changed her life.
Update: added in China Excerpts. Fixed inaccuracy in AMWF description. Added Studio Lacosta.
Do you know of other blogs by Western women who love Chinese men? I’d love to add them to this (hopefully growing) list of unique voices online.