I was asked (more than once) about my point of view of Shanghainese girls marrying foreigners. This is a controversal topic.
You will see this topic here and there:
Another question for you Jianshuo though it might spark off a lot of hot debates (both positive and negative).
Why are there so many women in China who are dying to marry foreigners (mostly westerners but also Asians from developed countries like Japan, Singapore, Taiwan …you can’t call HK a country but yeah, HK as well? I don’t see as many Chinese man marrying foreign women.
It is a “social trend” or real love? Most of these women are in their early 20s while their “partner” are at least in their 40s (from observations, for course I don’t know their exact age).
Would like to hear your views on this.
Posted by: Elaine on November 9, 2006 02:50 PM
Speaking of marriage, one thing bothers me a great deal is seeing so many young Chinese women (especially the Shanghainese) marrying foreign men old enough to be their fathers, or dating married foreign men knowing they are married. Oh well, this is a touchy subject…
Posted by: tamie on March 20, 2007 12:26 PM
China has been opening up for many years, and the Chinese now knows a little more of the outside world now.
Perhaps you should think of WHY Chinese in some cases prefer foreigners instead of Chinese.
Perhaps because foreigners has far more knowledge of the rest of the world outside China,
due to the free press, and the holiday travels to other countries which most foreigners do quite often.
That makes them more interesting in the Chinese’ eyes.
And marrying a foreigner opens many new doors for you outside China.
Worth to think about, when someone is just fed up by all the control, the rules and the whole system here….
Posted by: carsten on March 20, 2007 09:04 PM
My Point of View
First of all, I don’t think some form of the question itself is not appropriate. For example: “Do you think Shanghainese girl should marry a foreigner or not?” I believe both answers (Yes or No) are not the right answer? Why? It seems like discrimination. I know many people don’t think it has anything to do with discrimination. I didn’t realize it before until I thought carefully about this issue recently.
Martin Lurther King was a wise man. He said in 1963 that
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
It is wise and clear enough. I would use the same words for people debating whether Shanghainese should marry foreigners:
The marriage of two person should be judged by the nature of their love instead of their original, nationality, color of skins, religious, or race
(Some declare to add gender into this sentence. I am not that sure yet, but I am at least not 100% opposite to it)
So, marriage is marriage, love is love. It has nothing to do with whether the husband is a foreigner or not. The same for the wife.
The Question is More Than That
Of cause I know many people ask the question not just because of the difference in nationality, they are asking the other question:
“Are Shanghainese girls marry foreigners just for money?”
“Are foreigners treat girls in China not as seriously, and play with them?”
“Are the Shanghainese girls just show off, or something else?”
I know there are many questions like this need to be answered.
I do agree there are always statistical distribution of certain behaviors. For example, we can say that “the statistical average wealth of expats in Shanghai is higher than the average of local people in Shanghai.”. I don’t see anything wrong with this statement if the real number shows so, but to generalize any statement to be “all foreigners are richer than local people” is not correct, and to generalize all Shanghainese girls marry foreigners just for money” is completely wrong. Percentage? It seems it should be higher but there is no data support.
So the question should be transformed into a new one: “Is it proper for a girl to marry someone just for his money?” This is a question with less discrimination intend. Generally, people’s answer is “No”. This kind of marriage does not only exists in a cross-culture family, and also exists (largely) in China.
To be Short…
To be short, I don’t think it is Right or Wrong for a Shanghainese girl to marry a foreigner, because it has nothing to do with nationality, or race. To take it as a factor to judge whether it is right or wrong is inappropriate.