It’s a mixed bag of reactions whenever I declare I’m a yangxifu, foreign wife/bride, at least in the United States. As a possibly necessary disclaimer, I do not inform acquaintances merely by translating into English, but may mention my husband is Chinese.
Self-identifying as a 洋媳妇 in China would always illicit positive responses, especially from the taxi drivers who mistook my nationality, identifying me as Russian. Many saw nothing out of the ordinary in a Russian woman marrying into a Chinese family.
I mesmerize millennials and many, but not all, of my peers, when I disclose my husband’s nationality. They get caught up in “the trans-national romance,” many having been abroad understanding the subtle nuances of creating lasting bonds, perhaps not as lasting as mine.
However ill conceived the reactions may be, here are three reasons why I exude pride as a yangxifu:
1. I pick up a new character, word, phrase of the Chinese language everyday, and how many Americans can even claim this?
Although I am not dedicating serious time and energy to mastering Mandarin, I’m always refreshing, revitalizing, or refurbishing the language chops. Yes, many can lay claim to language learning everyday, but yangxifu pick up bits and pieces of their families’ language quirks, and if we’re lucky enough, a dialect. A shroud of comprehension began to envelope me when hearing my in-laws use Shaanxi dialect over Skype on Turkey Day.
2. Daily rituals inspired by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
Limiting your intake of ice water, cold water, cold foods, and fruits during your menstrual cycle. Drinking 红糖, brown sugar packed with ground ginger and dates. Being open to more natural remedies to ward off colds, digestion issues, and other ailments. Understanding, and interest in the yin/yang elements, or components foods, our bodies, and other objects possess.
3. Once a yangxifu, always a yangxifu.
Clearly, I don’t seem to fit the yangxifu bill as hubby and I now live in the US. Does that make him a foreign husband/groom? 😊 No, referring to him as a foreigner does not suit us at all; self-identifying as a yangxifu, because we married in China, and my own adoration for the term (yes, I know it’s not a wholly positive term of endearment), I’ll stick by the affirmation of “once a yangxifu, always a yangxifu!”
Check out the 28 days worth of NaNoBloPoMo challenge:
- shared bizarre foods
- explained gratitude across cultures
- continued wordless wednesdays
- resurrected American Chinese Thanksgiving
- co-opted three reasons not to miss Into the Badlands
- recapped Thanksgiving over the past few years
- covered baijiu and its fiery foray into the throats of America
- digitized a weekly mind-dump
- traveled back to Lijiang & Dali
- debuted wordless wednesdays
- commented on words as weapons
- brought you Monday’s post courtesy of music
- showcased my Chinese persona
- ranted about cultural appropriation
- scribbled a digital stream of consciousness post
- introduced getting started cooking Chinese food at home
- lamented the challenges arising from a month’s life of blogging
- begged for blog content feedback
- accepted the sisterhood of the world bloggers award
- reviewed local Chinese restaurants
- discussed cultural faux pas and language blunders
- covered apple picking, a blast from the past
- pontificated on learning Chinese
- asked whether to declutter or not
- obsessed over the music of Bear’s Den
- reviewed Young’s Fire Dragons