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Two Chinese Terms a Foreigner must know to Live Peacefully, with a Chinese Wife

Popularity 15Viewed 5771 times 2014-4-17 18:05 |System category:Life| with, Chinese, Wife

Prior to embarking upon the tedious task of writing this article, I took few weeks to contemplate about the consequences of publishing it. Some may jump to the conclusion that the objective of my article is to degrade or demean the Chinese women. Actually, the contrary stands true. I am attempting to be objective in mentioning their numerous qualities along with their minor idiosyncrasies or flaws.

Since I am an optimistic individual by nature, I shall begin with the merits of their qualities. Without any doubt, they are, abundantly, loyal to their families. They exert every possible effort to provide their families with clean comfortable environments. They accomplish house chores without complaints. I was never asked to do any housework by my Chinese wife.

When it comes to managing the finances of their homes, Chinese wives are experts. They tend to be overprotective of the future of their children. My own Chinese wife perceives me as an extravagant individual who spends his funds as if there is no tomorrow. She always calls me “Langfei”, which means wasteful individual. To illustrate my point, she gets angry if I take a taxi, through out left-over food or eat out too often.

By no means, I am categorizing the Chinese women as being stingy or misers. Actually, they are abundantly generous toward their families and even toward strangers.

Another quality that merits mentioning is the concern about the reputation among their peers. A Chinese wife would never dare to commit any act that may tarnish her or her husband’s reputation. Rarely, one hears about unfaithful Chinese wives.  For certain, that is a commendable quality from my point of view.

I admire their awareness of the differences between the two genders without being superior or inferior to one another. They are not caught in the vicious cycle of attempting to prove that they are equal to men. Men and women are different in their physical attributes as well as their train of thoughts.

Apprehensively, I shall go through a couple of flaws. Some of them, including my wife, are stubborn. By the way, I must acquire the courage to admit that I am as stubborn as she is.  That led me to master the most useful Chinese characters “Zhidao” and “Dong”, which mean I know and I understand. Those two terms saved me from wasting my energy on trivial arguments that might have led to inflicting mental anguish upon both of us. To give an example, I was unable to convince her that foreigners are not as romantic as they appear on movies.

Another shortcoming is their excessive use of the term “It is good for your health.” You may ask “What is wrong with being concerned about your health?” In my point of view, she is assuming that I am too stupid to know what is good for me or for my health and that is demeaning to my intelligence. On several occasions, I tried to convince her, that I know what is good for me, in vain.

A foreigner can experience great happiness with his Chinese wife if he masters the two terms Zhidao and Dong and use them to avoid trivial arguments.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Comment Comment (13 comments)

Reply Report laoren1234 2014-4-17 21:51 (Pending for approval)
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Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-4-17 22:11
Phew - That's a relief. When I read the title I thought that the two words were MASTERCARD and VISA!  
Reply Report voice_cd 2014-4-18 09:04
Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report BoMiller 2014-4-18 09:36
The opening sentence's express the mood of this post which set the momentum. Tedious and contemplative. Journaling has been effective for many Westerners in an attempt to review the current lifestyle and bring some new order to a somewhat chaotic lifestyle. Personally I see this as a cultural bonding. There is nothing in a guilt free lifestyle, in which many Chinese men and women were raised which can compare to a religious upbringing. In Oriental philosophy the word guilt does not translate, primarily because there is no guilt over actions or thoughts be them wrong or right.

One either has a satisfactory outcome to everything--or not. Repenting is nothing more than words to facilitate a foreseeable punishment by those who sit in judgement-whether it is a family member or society. There is nothing trivial about a relationship between husband and wife when there is one person in charge...and there is ALWAYS one person in charge of most things-not a joint effort.
Herein lies the key to a LONG and LASTING relationship with the opposite sex in the Confines of a union of separate cultures--not just getting by without turmoil. One must know the UNSPOKEN rules of engagement. It is --after all-still a Battle of the Sexes.
IMO a Western religious  union of husband and wife is 20% Love and 80% forgiveness. Anywhere else- it is blind obedience and don't even think about complaining. A good Husband never argues or complains, he submits and it never gets better--only total matter where in this world do you live.

Control the purse strings--control the life.  
Reply Report jiewei798 2014-4-18 11:05
As for your last complaint, "It is good for your health." My mother says this to me all the time. You can either choose to interpret it as she thinks you are stupid and don't know what is good for your own health OR you can choose to interpret it as she loves you so much and wants you to have good health so that you can have a long lasting marriage. The choice is yours.
Reply Report 戏魅 2014-4-18 14:23
You should describe somethings about the differnces on sex between chinese women and western women
Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-4-18 19:54
yeah, I guess I'm a "langfei" too. I know I get a bit of criticizing from my students for my wasteful American ways...
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-4-18 20:28
MissBarbara: yeah, I guess I'm a "langfei" too. I know I get a bit of criticizing from my students for my wasteful American ways...
The langfei concept is interesting as it can be encountered in other countries. When in London many years ago I had friends who were from the Mediterranean. If weather was good they loved to cook their own barbecues in back garden and invite friends round. This was then reciprocated. They saw going out as a large group to a restaurant as wasteful .. Of money I guess. It would cost at least twice as much as the home served version. Of course the culture needs to include some enjoyment of the process of shopping for the meat etc and setting up and managing the cooking.  For me it was often too much trouble and you pay for the convenience of a restaurant. I had other friends in London who would only go to restaurants which allowed you to bring your own wine to drink as they found the mark-up on wine served in restaurants obscene. However when I lived in USA (California), all my friends happily bought and drank wine in restaurants - often amounting to half the bill!
Reply Report claudeckenni 2014-4-19 10:34
"It is good for your health." is Asian woman's way of expressing their care, like a mother to their child. It doesn't mean that she thinks you're stupid, it just means she cares =)
Reply Report idorun 2014-4-19 21:58
Bu mingbai
Reply Report teamkrejados 2014-4-20 11:38
"Good for your health" - my students are constantly spewing that. Do they think I somehow survived a half century by accident? I always get the impression that, while they regard me with great affection, it is of the indulgent type an adult would have toward an errant child. Perhaps they believe that foreigners do not know what is good for them? What do you think?
Reply Report seanboyce88 2014-4-20 19:55
I am known as the stingy miser here, I think it's a positive trait though, not a negative one. I really hate excessive buying and wait. Why go to a bar with loud music and pay 35 yuan for a corona when you can have one before going for around 10-15 if bought at the shop (Which for my favourite beer is still expensive but ah well)

I am always of the opinion if you can save 10 kuai per day, thats 3650 at the end of the year...thats like plane tickets for a holiday right there. free holiday :)
Reply Report Irfan-myslef 2014-5-19 13:35
If you carefully considered the consequences of your words, I want to know your idea about how your wife would feel if she read your passage. If you consider Chinese wives are so noisy, maybe from the beginning your marriage with your Chinese wife was indeed a fault. Anyway, good luck, man. Do not complain your wife anymore. Good luck to your marriage.

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