|(Illustration: Peter C. Espina / GT)|
Key Words:sajiao; cultural difference; reliationship; romance; childish; ice queen
>>When Chinese wives meet American mothers-in-law
Nothing is more humiliating for me than my best guy friend encouraging me to master the art of sajiao, or acting like a spoilt child. Some Chinese women use this playful approach to melt the hearts of men. "No wonder you are still single," my friend tells me. "You're too much of an ice queen."
Sajiao behavior forms a big part in any romantic relationship of China. It is a combination of pouting, flirting and whining. One way to identify sajiao behavior is to notice your Chinese girlfriend making a sweet, innocent or even bratty face, yet cooing in a baby voice to convince you to do what she wants. You will know it when you see it.
Imagine you're shopping with your girlfriend when suddenly she turns to you, bats her eyelashes and babyishly begs: "Honey, my handbag is too heavy. Can you pweeze carry it for me?"
Cute? Yes, apparently. I've heard many Chinese men have no immunity to the sajiao assault. But from a Western perspective, it's a massive turnoff. I've heard from many foreign men who have dated Chinese women that sajiao behavior is unbecoming.
My friend Andy, who has a Chinese wife, said he tends to react with disgust or disdain whenever his wife goes sajiao on him.
"It's degrading and unrepresentative. I hate seeing her behave like a baby," he told me. He blames TV, saying sajiao behavior is perpetuated by every Chinese sitcom and drama.
Meanwhile, my Chinese friend Chi, who is dating a foreign woman, moans about suffering from a sajiao drought.
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