Ember Swift Interview Part 2 – How China Changed Her Life

Ember Swift and Guo Jian, during one of their wedding ceremonies (photo courtesy of Ember Swift)

Last week, I introduced you to Canadian artist Ember Swift’s professional career — from how China changed her sound to what’s next for her as a musician/singer-songwriter and a writer. If you missed it, check out Part 1 of my Ember Swift interview. Also, you can purchase her music at iTunes and her website, peruse her must-read blogs, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Sina Weibo.

But when it comes to her writing, Ember isn’t afraid to get personal. She has written about her marriage to Guo Jian — the lead singer/bassist of Long Shen Dao — from the unique perspective of a queer woman. She has also shared her experience of being pregnant, giving birth and raising a baby in China, including navigating life with a Chinese mother-in-law who assists with child care.

In Part 2 of our interview, I asked Ember about her personal life — from how she met Guo Jian to what it’s like raising a baby in a Chinese family.  Continue reading “Ember Swift Interview Part 2 – How China Changed Her Life”

Ember Swift Interview Part 1 – How China Changed Her Music

Ember Swift
Ember Swift, performing in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. (photo by Frederick Ellert)

She’s an independent Canadian musician and singer-songwriter with her own label and 11 albums to her name (including one in English and Mandarin Chinese), whose eclectic style defies categorization. She writes for Herizons, Beijing Kids and China.org, and also publishes stories about her intercultural relationship and Chinese family life in her smartly written blogs. And did I mention she’s married to Guo Jian, the lead singer/bassist of Long Shen Dao, China’s hottest reggae band?

Meet Ember Swift, a talented artist — and outstanding yangxifu — that I’m proud to introduce to you. You can purchase her music at iTunes and her website, check out her must-read blogs, and also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Sina Weibo.

In Part 1 of our interview, I asked Ember about her career — from how China transformed her sound to what’s next for her as a musician and a writer. Continue reading “Ember Swift Interview Part 1 – How China Changed Her Music”

Speaking of China’s Top 5 Friday Posts for 2012

Yo-Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma (photo by worldeconomicforum)

As we say “Zaijian” to 2012, I’d like to also look back on some of the best of 2012 — starting with the best of this year’s Friday posts.

Before I unveil the most popular Friday posts of the year, don’t forget…if you like the site, you can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Weibo and Pinterest (at the latter, I maintain a growing board of photos of couples of Chinese men and Western women).

Here they are, starting with number five: Continue reading “Speaking of China’s Top 5 Friday Posts for 2012”

Six Chinese Men in the Movies Who Loved Western Women, from Least Sexy to Most Sexy

Chi Cao standing with Amanda Schull in Mao's Last Dancer
A “private lesson”? (Chi Cao, with Amanda Schull, from Mao’s Last Dancer, photo from http://www.maoslastdancer-movie.com/)

Nerve.com, which remains one of my favorite places for smart writing on sex, inspired me to compile a list of Chinese men who love Western women in the movies (including those who portrayed Chinese men, such as Daniel Henney) and rank them by sex appeal. Now, some of the sexiest guys on this list (ahem, Daniel Henney) didn’t get the highest ranks — that’s because I considered the kind of sex appeal they conveyed through their characters in specific films (and not just, say, their hot washboard abs).

I file this one under Yangxifu Pride — because who in our community wouldn’t be proud to know we have some seriously sexy studs to watch on film, in relationships just like ours? 😉 Continue reading “Six Chinese Men in the Movies Who Loved Western Women, from Least Sexy to Most Sexy”

Yangxifu Pride: Pinterest Boards on Chinese Men and Western Women in Love

Pinterest board - Chinese men and Western women in loveI once wrote about the rarity of couples of Chinese men and Western women, even dubbing us a “lonely club” at times.

Well, three years later, I’m feeling a little less lonely. That’s not just because I’ve discovered so many other Western women and Chinese men sharing their personal stories on the web, and met so many couples through Facebook and Twitter.

My newest reason why? Pinterest. I created three new boards dedicated to making the faces of Chinese men and Western women in love just a little more public. Continue reading “Yangxifu Pride: Pinterest Boards on Chinese Men and Western Women in Love”

5 Famous, Inspiring Asian Men Who Also Married Non-Asian Women

Steven Chu
Steven Chu, the US Secretary of Energy

Some of the most famous and inspiring Asian men in this world also happen to have non-Asian wives (women like me). Even though they’re not all Chinese, they’re worthy of a shout-out. Here are my five favorites, in alphabetical order (by family name):

Steven Chu

Who says a Nobel-prize-winning Chinese-American physicist can’t rise in the world of politics? Steven Chu’s prominent role as US Secretary of Energy — as well as his vocal advocacy for renewable energy — defies the usual stereotypes about Asians in the sciences, especially someone with his accolades. He’s married to Jean Fetter, a British-American and Oxford-trained physicist. Continue reading “5 Famous, Inspiring Asian Men Who Also Married Non-Asian Women”

Yangxifu Pride: 5 Creative Women Who Should Be Honorary Yangxifu

Pearl Buck
Pearl S. Buck (from wikimedia.org)

Some of the best creative works about Chinese men and Western women in love came from Western women who never once had a Chinese husband. I’d like to salute five of these women, who in my opinion will always be honorary yangxifu (foreign wives of Chinese men).

Pearl S. Buck

Pearl Buck didn’t just make her mark in the literary world with her novels about life in China — she also was one of the first to write about love between Chinese men and Western women in East Wind: West Wind. Pearl married twice, both white American men, but some allege she was a secret lover of the famous Chinese poet Xu Chimo. Maybe her supposed affair inspired some of those on-the-page Chinese man-Western woman romances? Who knows, but she’ll always be the ultimate honorary yangxifu in my book. Continue reading “Yangxifu Pride: 5 Creative Women Who Should Be Honorary Yangxifu”

Yangxifu Pride: 8 Memoirs For Western Women Who Love Asian Men

Burmese Lessons by Karen Connelly
Burmese Lessons (photo from Goodreads.com)

Only a handful of Western women wrote about their love affairs with Chinese men (such as those I’ve recommended on this list). But I’ve found new women to call my Jiemei (that’s sisters in Chinese), thanks to the many memoirs I’ve discovered about Western women who found love in Asia (and beyond). In honor of International Women’s Day (March 8), I’d like to salute and recommend these literary sisters.

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Burmese Lessons: A true love story by Karen Connelly. When Karen went to Burma in 1996 for research on the conditions of Burmese political prisoners, love wasn’t on her mind — until she met Maung, a sexy young Burmese revolutionary leader. But this isn’t just a love story, as she beautifully captures her entire experience in this country — the struggling artists and writers she meets, the monks who pull her out of dangerous situation one evening and send her home with crackers, the family in the countryside who helps her understand the state of family planning, her interview with Aung San Suu Kyi. Continue reading “Yangxifu Pride: 8 Memoirs For Western Women Who Love Asian Men”

Speaking of China’s Top 5 Friday Posts for 2011

J.T. Tran, the Asian Playboy
J.T. Tran tops the 2011 Friday posts with his exclusive interview with Speaking of China, where he doles out his dating advice for men. (photo from theotherasians.com)

Once again, we’re revisiting the best of 2011 by views for our Friday posts. Whether you’re new to this blog or looking for some classic articles, check out these top five posts:

  1. Ask the Yangxifu: Dating Advice for Chinese Men from J.T. Tran, the Asian Playboy. My conversation with J.T. Tran early in 2011 still remains one of the most popular posts on this site. A must-read for any Asian men wondering how to find the Western women of their dreams.
  2. Six Western Women of the Past Who Married Chinese Men. My post on these “yangxifu grandmothers” of the past inspired many of you.
  3. Ask the Yangxifu: Chinese Boyfriend Seems Too Chinese to Western Girlfriend. When a Western woman tells her Chinese boyfriend he’s “too Chinese,” he wonders — is “too Chinese” unattractive to Western women?
  4. Ask the Yangxifu: Staring in China at Couples of Chinese Men-Western Women. A Chinese man loves the Western woman he just started dating, but not the stares and attention from his fellow Chinese when they’re in public.
  5. Ask the Yangxifu: Western women in China are NOT all sluts. Despite what you might have seen Samantha doing in “Sex and the City,” all Western women are not sluts.

Happy Holidays and Happy 2012!

P.S.: Don’t forget to check out my Favorites page, with my own hand-picked list of the best posts on Speaking of China.

Yangxifu Pride: 6 Romantic Movies That Should Have Featured Chinese Men and Western Women in Love

Like Crazy the movie
Six romantic movies that should have had Chinese men and Western women in love, including the recent film, "Like Crazy."

I’m a big fan of You Offend Me, You Offend My Family — maybe even more so, ever since I started reading their series called Movies that Should Have Starred Asians. After all, some of the movie changes they suggested would have created an Asian man/non-Asian woman love story.

They got me thinking, what other romantic movies should have had the sort of Chinese men-Western women romances at the heart of this blog? Here are six to start off with (including one nod to You Offend Me, You Offend My Family, who inspired this list).

P.S.: While it seems odd to file this under “Yangxifu Pride,” I see this post as empowering us out there to reimagine Hollywood into something more yangxifu friendly, even if that’s still decades away.

Continue reading “Yangxifu Pride: 6 Romantic Movies That Should Have Featured Chinese Men and Western Women in Love”