Divorce is never easy for anyone. But when you married someone from a country you came to love — or have always loved — and decide to divorce them, you might wonder: what will happen to your connection to that country?
That’s a question Susan Blumberg-Kason had to grapple with some 13 years ago when she decided to divorce her Chinese husband, who grew up in rural Hubei Province. She loved China and Chinese culture for years, a love that moved her to learn Mandarin Chinese and study abroad twice in Hong Kong. For her, the answer was this: that a divorce from her husband never meant she had to divorce China as well, something she will detail in today’s guest post.
Forbidden. That’s what someone once called my writing back in 2004 when I started sharing my relationships with Chinese men. It’s not as if I put some adult-store-version of my life out there, complete with salacious descriptions that would have everyone heading for a cold shower. Sex never even came up.
No, I just happened to write about my former Chinese boyfriends.
“A Western woman walks into a bar…” sounds like the start of a joke. But instead of coming back with a punchline, a number of Western women came back with Chinese men who they would eventually marry.
Sure, bars get a bad rap in the world of dating sometimes — yet these women show that your local watering hole just might turn into the backdrop for your “how we met” story. (In their case, the “how I met my Chinese husband” story.)
I just came across this book Grace an American in China with a foreign woman marrying a Chinese man in the 1930s and going to China. I thought it was pretty cool that they had their relationship then…wow that must have been so hard!! So I wondered if you knew about other actual women like her that married Chinese in the past?
Programming note: from May 2 until May 13, I’ll be in the process of flying to and then settling down in China for the summer. During this time, I’ll be digging up some classic content from the archives, and sharing it with you in the form of theme-related posts. And don’t worry — I’ll be back on May 16. Promise! 😉
Okay, it may only be May — but in the Hangzhou region, where my Chinese husband’s family lives, summer is on like a renao Chinese wedding banquet.
For me, summer is a time of love. That’s when I first came to know and fall in love with my Chinese husband John. So if you’re in the mood for some romance, these entries just might get your heart fluttering:
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:
I just had another piece published in Matador, for their “Love in the Time of Matador” series. Stuck Between Taiwan and Jun (yes, “Jun” is my husband’s real Chinese name — long story why I use “John” instead. Ask me later. 😉 ) chronicles some of the hardships we experienced as an international couple:
It was a rainy Tuesday in a Taiwanese cafe in Shanghai, and Jun and I were having fried rice with a generous side of tears. To the patrons around us, the whole scene had “breakup” written all over it. But it wasn’t that kind of breakup. Leaving melodrama aside, this was the US government breaking up our trip back to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.
To me, Jun was the guy who first kissed me to the tune of cicadas, next to Hangzhou’s West Lake. The man who loved to pick me up from the metro station late at night, and ferry me home on the back of his bicycle. But to the visa officer at the US Consulate in Shanghai, Jun was just another immigration risk from China with no apartment or car, let alone a wife or children. “You’re too young,” the officer declared in Mandarin, stamping a denial in permanent red ink into the passport.
As 2010 comes to a close, I thought it might be cool to look back on your most favorite articles for the year (especially for those of you who have just discovered this blog). The criteria? They must have been posted in the category “China Articles,” and must have been written in 2010.
So, here they are, ranked according to number of views:
1. China Blogs by Western Women who Love Chinese Men. Readers loved this post (so much in fact, that it is the third most popular page overall for 2010!), rounding up all of the extraordinary Western women out there who love Chinese men, and blog about it. (P.S.: My apologies to the new voices I discovered later this year — I promise to revisit this topic in March 2011, and update everyone with the latest list of bloggers out there, which you can always find in my blogroll under “Chinese Men + Foreign Women”)
2. Chinese Men Are Sexy. And, given that this is second most popular post for 2010, my readers agree! 😉
3. Three Inches of Separation: On Loving a Shorter Chinese Man. I wrote this after getting an e-mail from a supportive reader, about how she was taller than her boyfriend. And I never thought so many people would connect with my own tale of overcoming my own prejudices about height, to fall in love with a Chinese man who stands three inches below me.
That Taiwanese teahouse in Zhengzhou, with its weather-beaten wooden facade and rickety sign, faded away beside the signs and storefronts splashed in reds and yellows and blues on the Western end of Weiwu Road.
It didn’t sparkle like the clothing stores on Huayuan Road, where beautiful apparel and even more beautiful salespeople glimmered across the pearl white floors, to a technopop soundtrack. It never shook with crowds like the outdoor vegetable market, where stacks of caged pigeons squawked right opposite the tractors filled with the freshest watermelons in the city. It couldn’t even out-class the luxury of those Beijing-style fabric slippers sold just down the street, in silky pinks and reds and blues fit for an Empress.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.