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.
I was talking to a couple of girls about this topic. I asked them to tell me some words that chinese say during sex. After that I asked them what they thought about foreigners using these words and they said it was a complete and utter turnoff. I found that a bit strange since they sex talk in english when they’re with foreigners and I’ve not met a guy who was turned off by this. Hmm. When you ask a chinese girl which she would prefer from you (foreigner), she will almost always say english, and then when you ask them why they don’t sex talk in chinese, or you request it, they will almost always say “no!” “its strange!” ” nooo, you can’t understand anyways!” I think most guys get turned on MORE hearing a girl talk in her native tongue, I know I do….from spanish to french, heck even hebrew would turn me on more than them speaking english. Now if we could get chinese girls to be more open about sex talking in chinese….. and I allow me to say some words in chinese since I let them use english 😛
I noticed that in america, we call foreigners, specifically those from “3rd world” countries; immigrants. Even if they are just there for a vacation, visit or work. However, a westerner abroad in any country is considered an expat. Why is that? Truth be told, I am an american and I am indeed an immigrant in a foreign country. Why am I called an expat, but a chinese person in america, even just going to school or business contracting is considered an immigrant? Funny psychological business going on here……
Eastern Girl western culture, western girl eastern culture
music: Biome – Happiness, Sky Wikluh – Pazi Sta Radis (A Serbian Film theme)
filmed: Shangri-La Hotel. Qingdao, China
A short film I shot at taidong night market following a fellow expat. The idea is to get a POV of what it’s like in China on various levels. The interpretation is left up to the viewer.