How Being "Married to China" Changed How I Celebrate My Wedding Anniversary | Speaking of China

29 Responses

  1. Autumn
    Autumn July 27, 2015 at 8:58 am | | Reply

    Really? You got anniversary cards from someone besides your husband? In my American circle of family/ friends, we kind of leave it up to the couple to celebrate their anniversaries on their own. I have no idea when any of my siblings’ or parents’ anniversaries are unless they post them on FB.

    I suspect a ploy by greeting card companies.

    Of course, this lack of external celebration might also be because marriages aren’t exactly lengthy in my family. I never knew silverware was for your fifth anniversary. Probably because my various parental units never got to 5? 😉

  2. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary
    Constance - Foreign Sanctuary July 27, 2015 at 10:14 am | | Reply

    I think it is the same in Taiwan – people don’t really celebrate birthdays, but I am not really sure about anniversaries.

    We never get any cards or anything from anyone, but my husband and I always celebrate both of our anniversaries [Taiwan and Canada ones.] Like I wrote in a previous post, so many marriages end in divorce these days that love is worth celebrating.

  3. R Zhao
    R Zhao July 27, 2015 at 12:51 pm | | Reply

    No one other than my cousin (she has an amazing memory) remembers Ming and my wedding anniversary. I usually forget myself. It’s right before Christmas which is right before my birthday which is right before New Year’s. Who can remember anything at that time?

    I don’t think my parents make a big deal out of their wedding anniversary either. I guess every family is different. I have also found Chinese people don’t do much to mark anniversaries or birthdays, but I suppose that may change. Any excuse to demand a present from the hubby!

  4. Carissa
    Carissa July 27, 2015 at 1:24 pm | | Reply

    It is the opposite here in India!

    Birthdays are ALWAYS celebrated. It is a big deal… no matter the age. In fact, if people had not flown in from various countries and cities for my partner’s mother’s 85th birthday on Saturday, she would have been terribly hurt. I was once in terrible trouble as I nearly wasn’t back for one of her birthdays – you do NOT want to know what I had to pay to change the ticket and alter work arrangements!! She wants to be fussed over and fetted. It means she is loved.

    You would think with so many arranged marriages, wedding anniversaries would be very understated affairs. While not such a big deal as birthdays, attention is starting to grow marking these milestones too.

    We just came back from celebrating my parents 50th anniversary. While the ‘normal’ ones tend to slip past without much notice, the ‘big’ ones are a big deal!

  5. robert
    robert July 27, 2015 at 4:14 pm | | Reply

    I think Chinese aren’t really into sending cards – any sort of cards. I still remember trying to hunt down Happy Birthday cards some years ago. And simple things like postcards before that (I found those even harder to get). It’s a bit easier nowadays, especially in cities like Shanghai – the made-for-foreigners supermarkets now carry them.

  6. baixiaotai
    baixiaotai July 27, 2015 at 4:42 pm | | Reply

    Yeah, Chinese don’t celebrate those. And my husband is soooooooooo not Chinese! We celebrate anniversaries of our first meeting, of the day we got our “husband&wife papers”, of the wedding… We celebrate our birthdays and the best thing of all – my in-laws learnt it from us! They started to celebrate those after I said once that life is short and we should celebrate as much as we can – just because we can, it’s automatically worth celebrating. They adopted this idea and we are celebrating everything we can 😀

  7. marghini
    marghini July 27, 2015 at 4:58 pm | | Reply

    Since my parents divorced when I was a child, wedding anniversaries were never a thing in my family for obvious reasons. Mr. B’s family celebrates his parents’ wedding every year though. They usually throw a relatively big dinner for family and friends.

    I personally don’t think much of anniversaries in general, so I don’t think i will do much in the future for my own wedding anniversary..

  8. Traveller at heart
    Traveller at heart July 27, 2015 at 8:04 pm | | Reply

    I have never seen birthday cards sold in The Gulf.

    Birthdays and engagements are celebrated in this ultra conservative corner of the Middle East but not in the open. They do at home. hotels or behind close doors. The locals are generous; they really know how to put out a good spread even for their foreign colleagues. Their ‘parties’ are more frequent than ours in the West.

    They will bring in food, chocolates etc to share with their foreign colleagues. too. I have never been given cheap chocolates etc. Oh yes, they do quality chocolates in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia; local too and in my view, superior than French, English Artisan, Belgium, Swiss.

  9. Marta
    Marta July 27, 2015 at 9:13 pm | | Reply

    Happy anniversary! Even if you decide not to celebrate it 😉
    I am not great at celebrating things either… this year we totally forgot our 3 year anniversary, haha (well as there has not been a wedding involved yet, maybe it is easier to forget?).

  10. Lina
    Lina July 27, 2015 at 11:15 pm | | Reply

    Happy anniversary!

    Your post reminds me the time I asked Sing when is his parents’ wedding anniversary (this year they should mark 30 years together) and Sing was like ‘No idea, you know we don’t care’. I forced him to ask his mother but reaction was identical. That’s why I keep reminding him a month before the anniversary that the big day is coming. Sadly, no one besides my parents remembers 🙁

  11. Eileen黃愛玲
    Eileen黃愛玲 July 28, 2015 at 11:06 am | | Reply

    I am happy for the both of you with the happy marriage, Jocelyn. 🙂 I can’t believe I have been reading your blog for many years now.

    Dawen and I just eat out on our anniversary (and sometimes just for Taiwanese beef noodle – ha). 😀

  12. Susan Blumberg-Kason
    Susan Blumberg-Kason July 30, 2015 at 4:11 am | | Reply

    When I was married to Cai, we celebrated our anniversary but only because I mentioned it. We didn’t really know which to celebrate, thought, because our civil ceremony was several months before our banquet. In the last few years I’ve forgotten those dates (like I couldn’t remember which dates they fell on) and resorted to photos to stir my memory. Cai had never celebrated his birthday before we met, but after that we did each year.

    In Hong Kong, where we met and married, people went all out for birthdays. All those delicious cake stores made it so easy. Cake stores were used to personalizing birthday cakes in either Chinese or English. I learned this quickly because I moved to Hong Kong two weeks before my 20th birthday and my roommates went all out with gifts, cake, and dinner. Even more fabulous than in the U.S. They taught me well!

  13. Timo
    Timo July 30, 2015 at 9:17 pm | | Reply

    We havent celebrated our wedding anniversaries either, just went once to eat out thats it 🙂
    My parents are pretty much the same, they only celebrated big anniversaries like the 25th 30th and so on

  14. hr
    hr July 31, 2015 at 2:35 am | | Reply

    Hot Asian guy for ladies joy.

  15. Allison
    Allison August 2, 2015 at 11:29 am | | Reply

    My fiance’s parents don’t celebrate their wedding anniversary either (they moved to the US from Shanghai). I don’t think he’s even seen their wedding pictures actually! I think we will celebrate our anniversary though since he’s almost as American as I am. That reminds me, the next time I see them I should ask about their wedding. His mom is sweet and we get along really well. I definitely want to incorporate Chinese traditions in our wedding!

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