There are many cultural difference which I have overcome over the years, some are easier than others, as they should be depending on the individual. In this blog, I will talk about the most difficult one for me, yes even more difficult than someone staring at me as if I am not of this planet.
撒娇 or sa jiao, means playfully pouting or flighty, but in chinese it doesn’t have the negative connotation as it does in the west. If you have any experience with chinese women, you have experience with 撒娇. It is ingrained in the culture, it is actually looked at as essential to feminism. Examples of 撒娇 would be pouting with your lips, making a child-like voice from time to time, basically acting like a teenage white girl from the valley after her father refuses to buy her clothes at the mall….actually, its pretty much like acting like a teenage spoiled valley girl from the burbs entirely. Everything from “Buy me this”, “I hurt my knee, look *pouty face*” “why do you love me?” (this question is asked once a week during the episodes of 撒娇), random out bursts and tantrums to get your attention, and so on.
As an american, especially a black american, this is difficult, because after H.S, after 18, you are raised to be like a spartan, independent, self-sufficient, strong, never showing weakness, never retreat, never surr….you get my drift. We learn (including the women, especially black women) very early that showing weakness can make you appear gullible, weak, immature, stupid, traits that aren’t associated with attractiveness in western culture, heck even complaining too much is an utter turn off, you’ll be called “soft” or a “lame” or in regards to women “airhead” “bimbo”. To the chinese man, it makes them feel masculine, to the american man it makes us feel like a pedo. When my gf is having her 撒娇, I try very hard not to be turned off, when she’s showing me an area that she burned while she cooked (no marking of course) with her pouty face and glazed eyes, I try to care, when she needs me to walk her to the bathroom at the lounge, I just go, when she has her random emotional outbursts, random jealousy and clingy episodes to test my emotional attachment to her, I remain calm, when she’s asking me why I love her for the 4345353 time, I just respond with the exact same generic answer. Why? because she’s chinese, this is her culture, I love her and thus ultimately this is what I signed up for.