[Asia culture] How we express love in the Chinese society

I don’t know if you knew that already, we Asians suck at expressing love…Chinese I mean, we ethnic Chinese just have some issues with showing our emotion-especially love.

My family is a very typical example. We don’t really say we love each other, we rarely have physical contact with each other- hugging, we complement each other maybe once or twice a year.
Ohhh, I also hug my dad maybe once a year, always at the airport, before taking a plane. Not to brag, but I was the one making the move🙋🏻‍♀️ and he just stood there with an awkward expression and “sort of” patting me back in return. So🤷🏻‍♀️

But don’t we love each other? Of course, we do!
My mom expresses her love silently by preparing all the food we love and boiling Chinese medicine for me and my sister every month which we believe is very very beneficial for health. My dad expresses his love by secretly sending me money just in case I need them.
I…okay here comes the awkwardness because it’s just really uncomfortable to tell how we love someone.

Western vs Asian couple after going through a life-threatening surgery

I still remember this video vividly which I watched when I was a kid.
The video was about 2 senior couples, one western couple and another Chinese speaking. Both old men were sent back to their ward after emergency surgery and slowly regaining consciousness.
The western woman kept sobbing, hugging, and kissing the old man while telling him how much she loved him. On the other side, the Asian woman also had tears in her eyes, but she didn’t kiss nor hug her husband, instead, she said: old man, now you know to wake up! (I hope you understand what I meant, it’s pretty hard to translate this expression)

I can still recall the shock I had that moment.
Why? Even after enduring those Life and death experiences, we still can’t say I love you to the ones we loved the most?

I am no different from that Asian woman

So here is the story which inspired me to start this post.
My boyfriend from Moscow obviously is not used to wear flip flops, so after several days of walking in them, he got blisters on his feet.
Usually, we quit wearing them to let the blister heal, but since we were living by the sea at that time so he just ignored it and kept wearing those flip-flops.

If you ever got one of those, you can imagine how it goes after the blister pops and you keep rubbing it against your shoes. So, of course, things became worse and he applied one of his foam type medicine.
After several days I couldn’t tell that the medicine is helping, so I decided to use one of mine.
We call it the “Liquid band-aid”, after applying a thin layer on your wound, wait several minutes for it to dry and it will form a membrane on your wound. The only minus is that it HURTS at the beginning, depending on your wound.
Anyway, I think it is the best for him so while he was reading I just sat down and without asking started to put the medicine on him.

Of course, it hurts! He frowned and asked me:
👩🏻‍🦲What is this
👧🏻It’s an ointment from Japan. It will help your blister heal.
👩🏻‍🦲 It hurts!
👧🏻It hurts only at the beginning, it will form a cover on your wound later.
👩🏻‍🦲Why didn’t you ask me before putting it on?
👧🏻…I just think it would be useful…
👩🏻‍🦲Although something is good or useful, didn’t I always ask if you are willing to try?
👩🏻‍🦲Do you know why I’m using the foam? Because it doesn’t hurt.
God knows how guilty I was because the liquid band-aid should be hurting like hell!

That’s how we were taught to express love

Then it occurred to me, that’s the love we receive since we were little! As long as we think it’s good, it’s the best, we just apply it to our kids. They have no right to say NO because we think it’s the best for them.
Don’t we love them? Of course, we do! We “know” it’s the best for our kids, so it’s LOVE! Even if it’s against their will…

That’s how we were taught to express love, my boyfriend’s 🦶🏻 can prove it.


Have you ever experienced our Love? How different is it from yours?

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