Brian K. Kobilka, one of the 2012 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, has a Malaysian Chinese wife, who said, “His favorite food is China’s sliced noodles. I taught him to make Soy Sauce Chicken, and he eventually made more delicious Soy Sauce Chicken than I did.” However, not all foreign husbands like to eat and are good at cooking Chinese food. In fact, quite a few transnational marriages have ended up in divorce due to conflicting eating habits.
Susan from China’s Sichuan province was married to foreign teacher Martin. After marriage, Susan had to prepare Chinese foods for herself and then “foreign” foods for her husband every day because he did not like traditional Chinese foods. Over time, she felt fatigued and often quarreled with Martin. At last, they divorced.
Susan admitted that uncompromising attitude towards diets was the main reason leading to divorce. "After getting married, the passion of love will gradually fade away, only leaving insipid marriage life. The marriage life will not be happy if couples quarrel about whether putting chilies to dishes or not," Susan said. Foreigners generally believe that Chinese food is too greasy and fried excessively, which seriously destroys the fiber, while most Chinese also cannot get used to traditional Western-style food.
An old Chinese saying goes, "Food is the first necessity of the people," which tells the importance of diets in the lives of people. Another old saying also says that seizing a man's stomach is necessary to seize his heart. Although it is a little too assured, it has a meaning of enlightenment: Diets is a non-ignorable factor in people's marriage life.
When Chinese Meng and her South Korean husband settled down in the United States, they picked up her mother-in-law to live with them. Meng taught herself many South Korean dishes, such as kimchi and miyeok guk. Her mother-in-law was moved very much and praised her for cooking a taste of South Korean native foods. Besides, Meng will occasionally cook Chinese dishes for her mother-in-law. Therefore, they get on well in life and both respect and admire each other's food culture and habits from the bottom of their hearts, which made their lives more sweet and happy.
The survey results show that many foreign men hope to find a Chinese wife due to their rising interests in Chinese culture. In real life, there are also cases that foreign women were married with Chinese men under a wide difference. Experts said that it is because foreign women are fascinated by Chinese culture and long for living in China. In this context, the transnational marriages are mostly happy.
Therefore, the existence of differences is not the factor affecting the transnational marriages of Chinese people, and the root cause lies in whether both husband and wife can truly respect, understand and tolerate each other. The marriages will be better if they can frankly accept, respect and tolerate each other's culture and habits and even love these differences. In order to make their marriages stable, they should frankly face the existing problems and find appropriate treatments to ease their conflicts.
Source:People's Daily Overseas Edition , author: Zhang Xin.