Double Happiness: How A Chinese Man Found Love in Brazil

Man sitting with a Brazilian woman on the beach
Fred, who was born in Hong Kong and primarily raised in the US, never expected he would marry a white woman, let alone one from Brazil. (photo by André Mariana)

It’s amazing how far people will go for love,  even learning a foreign language and then flying to a foreign land to ask for her hand in marriage.

No, I’m not referring to one of the plot lines from “Love, Actually” — I’m talking about Fred and his story of finding love in Brazil, a story I couldn’t wait to hear after he posted a comment and e-mailed me.

I figure, maybe his story will inspire more of you to “think outside the borders” for love. 😉

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I am a Han Chinese man born in Hong Kong. After immigrating to the West as a young boy, I was raised both in Western and Chinese cultures. When the time came to start dating, my first preference was for Chinese women. I found them attractive and compatible with my cultural background. Plus, my parents wanted me to marry someone Chinese.

I never thought I would end up marrying a white woman from Brazil.

When I started dating more traditional Chinese women — especially those from Hong Kong — I discovered that our cultural differences were much too wide. For example, these Chinese women didn’t like public displays of affection such as kissing, bear hugs and twirling in the air, or pinching. They considered my behavior too Western and rejected me.

Out of frustration, I decided to try Western women. After all, my older brother was the first date and marry a white American woman and my younger sister was then dating a white man.

Initially, I hesitated because dating a Western woman would upset my folks. I guess I wasn’t alone because all of us — me, my older brother and my younger sister — said we would never marry someone white.

When my brother later announced his marriage to his white fiancee, my parents were so upset that they did not even attend the wedding. Neither did my sister, so I went to his wedding on my own. I guess my sister learned the meaning of “never say never” when she ended up dating and marrying a white man, much to my parents’ dismay. In both cases, my parents eventually came around and accepted these marriages, but it didn’t come easy.

After seeing what happened to my siblings, I decided to chase Western women. After all, my parents eventually welcomed their choices. I knew I would probably have to fight for mine, just like they did, and hoped I would win.

A friend of mine was engaged to marry a Brazilian woman, and he suggested finding love in Brazil. I agreed, but didn’t know how. Then he mentioned he would introduce me to a female friend of theirs from Brazil who would attend their wedding that summer.

In the months before the wedding, I studied Portuguese. When we finally met for the first time in the summer of 2000, we liked each other, fell in love, and enjoyed a summer romance. It was the most romantic summer of my life. She didn’t mind being affectionate in public — kissing, pinching, hand-holding, twirling her in the air, sitting on my lap, and many other fun things that shall remain secret. Then she returned to the US for a winter romance with me.

In 2001, the following year, I proposed to her, and she said “yes.” But now I had to win the confidence of her family in Brazil and ask her parents for the right to marry her. I studied even more Portuguese with a private tutor so I could communicate with them.

When I told my parents I was going to Brazil to formally propose, I expected a lot of opposition from them and prepared to fight for the woman of my dreams. My parents weren’t very happy, but they accepted the inevitable.

When I arrived in Brazil’s capital, I felt so out of place. I didn’t see any fellow Chinese, apart from a few here and there. But fortunately, her family accepted me and really made me feel welcome.

After my trip to Brazil, she moved to the US and we married. We now live in Torrance, California with two children, and have been happily married for almost 10 years.

Fred practices employment law in Torrance, California.

—–

How did you meet? Why do you love him/her (or Chinese men/Western women)? How two different people “complete each other” in unexpected ways? We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.

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30 thoughts on “Double Happiness: How A Chinese Man Found Love in Brazil

  • December 16, 2011 at 6:57 am
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    happy for them,haha.I like latino!

    Reply
  • December 16, 2011 at 7:58 am
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    What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Reply
  • December 16, 2011 at 8:55 am
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    what is this pinching thing? i thought it was an asian weird habit?

    Reply
  • December 16, 2011 at 9:23 am
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    I like a lot how you collect these stories. It seems that Chinese men are silently launching their charm revolution.

    Reply
  • December 16, 2011 at 9:39 am
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    Hi Jocelyn. Thanks for placing my story on your blog. I am glad to have shared my story with others.

    Reply
  • December 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm
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    The only issue is that such couples in the US wll be considered Asian-Hispanic, not Asian-white.

    Reply
  • December 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm
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    Wow, what a sweet story. Congratulations and happy holidays!

    Reply
  • December 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm
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    Brazilians aren’t Hispanic. For one, they speak Portuguese.

    Reply
  • December 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm
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    “Brazilians aren’t Hispanic. For one, they speak Portuguese.”
    May be not, but considered Hispanic by the US government and I am very sure by Sheriff Arapio in Arizona….

    “Hispanic (Spanish: hispano, hispánico) is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Portugal, Andorra, Gibraltar and Spain.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispanic

    Reply
  • December 16, 2011 at 7:55 pm
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    I am from Chile a white red haired woman and LATINA who is in loved with a Chinese man! 😀 If I have to label myself it would be a non traditional latina in a non traditional relationship.

    Reply
  • December 17, 2011 at 2:01 am
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    Yay, Fred!!!!!!!! You’re from my neck of the woods too! Sounds like you are happy and I’m glad for you. I did the reverse and came from the South Bay area out to China to follow my heart. I’ve not had the same outcome but am happy to be here learning Mandarin (for fun and future in-laws’ sake).

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    Reply
  • December 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm
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    Me pregunto por donde anda nuestra queridisima Olga…

    Reply
  • December 19, 2011 at 4:31 am
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    Thank you for sharing your story. Good on you Fred. I am happy for you!

    Reply
  • December 20, 2011 at 7:44 am
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    That’s true. My mom was hispanic. 🙂 Spanish, Italian, aboriginal, and Dutch heritage. I am only second generation.

    I know a woman from Colombia with blonde hair and blue eyes – she’s hispanic. 🙂

    Reply
  • January 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm
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    @ Mayte. Why don’t you share your complete story just as I did? I would love to read it on this site. I shared mine. So, why not share yours?

    Reply
  • January 16, 2012 at 11:24 pm
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    @ Fred. Your ears must have been burning today…I was just passing through Torrance and remembered this story and that you were probably a stone’s throw from the car. I’m home for CNY obviously. I don’t think I have a story as good as yours. Mine doesn’t have the happy ending yet. I’m a stubborn one though so I’ll eventually get there. When I do, I’ll probably be sharing with anyone who will sit still long enough to listen. 😉

    Reply
  • January 16, 2012 at 11:32 pm
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    Oh…and for the record… Portuguese are not Hispanic. Hispanic refers to people and countries related to Spain. Portuguese are in fact, Latin (and that term in itself is often incorrectly used interchangeably with Hispanic), but they are not Hispanic. They speak Portuguese, not Spanish and have their own beautiful language and culture that they share globally (Brazil included).

    Reply
  • January 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm
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    @ Mayte. I live and work in Torrance. So, one day I look forward to either reading your story on Speakingofchina.com or see you in person in Torrance to hear it from you directly. When will you story be told? I am dying of curiosity now.

    Reply
  • January 17, 2012 at 10:50 pm
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    @ Fred. One of these days for sure! I’m only here until the 3rd so you’ll have to drop me a line. You’re welcome to email me at [email protected] No real need to be curious though. It’s not so exciting a story. I’m just stubborn, is all. =)

    Reply
  • January 20, 2012 at 9:44 am
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    @ Jocelyn, Thank you for your ideas. I will try to send it as soon as I have a chance. Thank you also for creating an opportunity for people to share their stories like this. It’s very nice to know there are others having similar experiences that you can learn from.

    Reply
  • March 3, 2012 at 12:16 am
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    Hey Fred, if you’re out there….I finally followed up on my promise. =)

    Reply
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  • September 4, 2014 at 5:10 pm
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    OMG that was such a lovely story! But of course, if you move to another country, like your family moved to the US, of course you would be influenced by the local culture and people. So no wonder that you and your siblings married white people…
    One should remember that as an immigrant.

    Reply
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