The China Adventures of Arielle Gabriel

China: Good Manners: Living Common-Law In China


There is huge and sometimes comical misunderstanding on this increasing social habit.
In large and sophisticated cities like Shenzhen, there are here and there young professional couples who do live together without being married.  These are still serious relationships and the pair may buy an apartment together.
In rural areas, men from Western democracies arrive to marry young Chinese girls, and are asked to live with the family of their intended bride.
The men sometimes completely misinterpret this domestic friendliness as an invitation
to sample the goods before the purchase is cimpleted.
I know from my students of a heavy-drinking Aussie who was locked in the farmhouse after eleven at night, as the old parents had had enough of his downtown carousing! 
Marrying into Chinese culture involves a lot more thought than arriving with a wedding ring and a bit of spare cash.
There certainly be expectations of some cash settlement to the parents of the bride if they are poor, rural, uneducated, or lower-middle class people.
At higher social levels, the bridal gifts may be only to the bride herself, a cash settlement to prepare her trousseau, her immigration and travel plans, and even her ESL lessons.
The Aussie may have tried to hug and kiss his girl before the wedding, and living common-law with a Chinese family, complete with mom and dad, is absolutely not the bohemian situation it first appears to be.
I myself warned my own Chinese students
this habit of inviting potential husbands 
 to live with naive and sheltered girls
could cause incendiary situations!

Lamma Island * Lantau Island * Cheung Chau Island
Hong Kong * Mui Wo * Peng Chau Island
Tung Chung * Shenzhen * Nanning * Hunan Province
Bobcaygeon * Pointe Claire * Montreal
Peterborough * Lake Sturgeon * Ontario
Vancouver * Richmond * British Columbia

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The China Adventures Of Arielle Gabriel

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