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Need Help with Chinese Culture issues [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 4

Post time 2005-10-8 10:50:33 |Display all floors
I read many people here saying many negatives about Americans and their ways.  Please try and give me a chance for my intentions are good and I have good character.

I am currently engaged to a wonderful chinese girl.  It all happened by chance from a chinese american friend who suggested I could find someone with good character in China.  I did find her.  We wrote many letters that were translated for a long time before I decided to visit her in Guangzhou.  Before my visit ended we became engaged and I plan to marry her in December.  I have the blessings of her family.

Many of the books and information on chinese traditions that I read are totally false.  Eventually she plans to move back with me to the U.S. when all the paperwork is processed.  She is studying English now at my expense which I gladly have taken care of.  

I have read of Chinese marraiges but they seem to vary a great deal.  I am unsure of the costs and procedures.  Can anyone enlighten me on some of this.  My fiancee will not answer my questions probably due to cultural issues of asking about money.  I have learned much about the culture but she ignores my questions on this issue. My family is so small and will not be able to make this trip so i have no groomsmen to help me when I get back.  From what I read--I would need much help.

Thanks to anyone who chooses to help me.

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Rank: 1

Post time 2005-10-8 12:29:07 |Display all floors

Hey ! Nothing is important but you do love her!

I have read so many post on here discussing relation or marriage between Chinese women and the so-called forgener guys.  They took a negative point. But to be frank, the one you want to live together is SHE, not those talking here. Surely you have your own ways to communicate, and you also can get some advices from the other. But advices just can be a reference, you have to solve problems by you two.

To be sincerely, be frank, be honest is important. Cultural difference is not a big deal, you can take it as a good thing---you can develop different thing every day, isn't it good?

Hope you can have good time with your viancee!  ^_^

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Rank: 4

Post time 2005-10-8 12:32:29 |Display all floors

stop and think

It may be cultural, although all Chinese I've met are willing, able, and quite vociferous about money and legal requirements.   basically, you need to get some pictures taken, get some paperwork from the embassy, and go to the cultural affairs bureau in her town,  Pay the fee and register the paperwork.  In 10 days to 1 month, depending on translation requirements, you will be officially married.

Simple and clear.  If she won't discuss it, find out why.

Also, if you get on the web to the US Embassy page, there is a lot of info.  But incase you cant here is the pertinet part:

      This section gives background on Chinese marriage law and practice.

      According to U.S. law, your new spouse may not automatically return with you to the United States. He or she must apply for an immigrant visa.


American citizens contemplating to marry a Chinese citizen in China should review the following general information on Chinese Government procedures. Marriages in China are registered according to the laws of China. Contrary to popular notion, American diplomatic and consular officers do not have the authority to perform marriages and are not required to witness the marriages of American citizens. One reason for this is that under the U.S. Constitution the administration of civil affairs is one of the powers reserved to the various states. Thus, as Federal Government employees, American consular officers are prohibited from usurping this state role.

The current Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China was passed in September 1980 and went into force on January 1, 1981. Under this law, marriage registration procedures are administered by the marriage registration office of the local civil affairs bureau, Minzhengju, in each jurisdiction. Persons planning to marry should visit one of these offices for specific information. There may be a fee for this visit. The appropriate civil affairs office will be the one in the jurisdiction in which the Chinese citizen is registered ( the location of hukou ). In Beijing, inquires should be directed to the following:

    Marriage Registration Office
    Bureau of Civil Affairs of Beijing Municipality
    1st FL., No. 8 Huayanli
    Chaoyang District Beijing 100029
    Telephone: 6202-8454
    Working hours: 09:00-11:30; 13:30-17:00 Monday- Friday

    As of October 1, 2003, the Chinese marriage registration authorities stopped registering the marriages that both parties are temporary foreign visitors. The new regulation states that at least one party should be a long-term resident in China.

Certain categories of Chinese citizens, such as diplomats, security officials, and others whose work is considered to be crucial to the state, are not legally free to marry foreigners. Chinese students generally are permitted to marry if all the requirements are met, but they can expect to be expelled from school as soon as they do. American citizens wishing to marry Chinese students should bear this in mind. It also should be noted that at least one school in Beijing has required Chinese students to reimburse the school for hitherto uncharged tuition and other expenses upon withdrawal from school to marry foreigners. Schools in different areas have their own reimbursement standards. A school will not release documents the student needs to register the marriage until the fees are paid. Some work units have also demanded compensation for "lost services."

Upon receipt of an application to register a marriage, the civil affairs office will ascertain that both parties are of minimum marriageability age (generally 22 for men and 20 for women, although a higher minimum may be established by the local civil affairs office) and that both parties are single and otherwise free to marry. Persons who have been married previously will be asked to submit original or certified copies of final divorce or annulment decrees, or of death certificates if widowed. The American partner to a marriage in China will generally be asked to submit the following:

    * a current passport
    * if both parties are foreigners, one side should present a Chinese residence permit
    * a "certification of marriageability" which can be prepared at the Embassy on the basis of an affidavit in which the American citizen swears or affirms before a Consul that he or she is currently legally eligible to marry (persons who have previously been married need to show a certified divorce decree, annulment decree, or death certificate both to the Embassy when preparing this certificate and to local authorities. Since proof of termination of all previous marriages will again be required when you file an immigrant visa petition on your spouse's behalf, we recommend that you do not surrender the certified copies of death certificates or divorce or annulment decrees to the civil affairs office. You should take a good photocopy with you when you go to register the marriage. Generally, if you present the certified copy with the copy for their review, the Chinese authorities will accept the copy. This is also true for your spouse if he or she has previously been married.) Please be aware that both the American citizen and his/her Chinese financee are required to appear in person at the Embassy for the above said marriageability certificate.
    * three photos of the marrying couple, taken together
    * a registration fee

The Chinese partner to the marriage will be asked to submit the following

    * a certificate of marriageability (obtainable from the office which has physical control of his or her file)
    * household registration book
    * health certificate (obtainable from a regional level local hospital)
    * Chinese ID (Shen fen zheng)

All English-language documents must be translated into Chinese. Translation of documents usually takes about a month, but can be completed within 10 days at double the original cost. Translations should be obtained from and certified by one of the Municipal Public Notary offices.

In Beijing, translations and notarizations can be obtained at the following places:

    * Beijing Notary Public Office
      206 Jixiangli Chaowaidajie
      Chaoyang District, Beijing
      Telephone: 6553-8989; 6553-8988
      Working hours: 08:30-11:30; 13:30-16:30

    * China Translation and Publication Corp.
      6th Floor Wuhua Complex
      A4 Chegongzhuang Dajie, Beijing
      Telephone: 68002558

Normally, marriage certificate can be issued by the Marriage Registration Office of the Bureau of Civil Affairs of Beijing Municipality on the same day.


After the marriage, the U.S. citizen spouse may file an immigrant visa petition on behalf of his or her non-U.S. citizen spouse. U.S. citizens who reside in China may file immigrant visa petitions on behalf of immediate relatives at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Beijing Office, which can be contacted at 0086-10-85296740(phone) and 0086-10-85296779(fax).

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Rank: 4

Post time 2005-10-8 20:11:04 |Display all floors

thank you!

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Rank: 4

Post time 2005-10-8 20:22:33 |Display all floors

thank yoy

I thank both of you for your responses.  Actually I already understand the processes involved in getting my future wife here and how to register in China.  Maybe I was not specific enough with my request.

My questions are about the wedding in China.  I have read about the groom going to the bride to be house while being met by the friends of the bride at the front door.  I have no groomsmen to help me with their quizzes.  I have no idea what kinds of quizzes these are.  Also the cost of the wedding feast I have questons on.  I want it to be special but at the same time I need to prepare for these costs because I have already spent much money already.  Probably over 80,000 RMB so far.  

Any more help would be appreciated.

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2005-10-11 16:59:29 |Display all floors

Having a feast for all friends and relatives!!!

Ang pows or Red packet with money inside!!! Perhaps as a door gift or entry permit when fetching the bride at appointed auspicious time. Depends on the bargain or the fun of it. One must never be late or too early.

For the feast, it depends on how many tables the friend to invite.
A table with 8-10 courses may cost ~RMB500-2000.

Chinese wedding has the symbol of double happiness!!
So you can see the necessity. And it is also one of the 3 big events in life!!! If one can afford, spend it.

Kind regards

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Rank: 4

Post time 2005-10-14 22:17:39 |Display all floors

thank you


Thank you.  This is helpful information.  I have read of many of these procedures but it tends to vary greatly.  Much of the sterotypes in America of Chinese culture is very inaccurate from my visit to China.  The information available to me from the chinese perspective is non-existant on the internet or books.

Thanks again!

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