Culture of East Asia

Meeting Asian Parents: Brush Up on Culture First

When it comes to meeting your girlfriend’s family for the first time, it’s undeniably crucial that you’ve brushed up on your understanding of Asian culture, to begin with. Indeed, in many cases, it can be very difficult to know how to behave as a foreigner while visiting your East Asian girlfriend’s family – and the culture of East Asia is irrefutably very different from our own!

With this in mind, taking some time to prepare for the meeting and ensuring you understand your girlfriend’s culture will often go a long way toward making the meeting a success. After all – you’ve only got one chance to make a good first impression, so now’s the time to go all out and ensure your girlfriend’s family loves you just as much as she does!

Brushing Up on the Culture of East Asia Before Meeting Your Girlfriend’s Family is Crucial

The first meeting is a nerve-wracking time, but these worries are often even more pronounced for those meeting an Asian girlfriend’s family for the first time! After all, your girlfriend’s family will likely be incredibly traditional, and even a slight cultural mistake will potentially cause great offence inadvertently! So, to ensure you get started on the right foot, the following cultural considerations are crucial:

  • Always take your shoes off when entering the family home.
  • You should always greet every family member individually – but with particular care given to greet the family elders. Make a special effort to say hello, even if they’re not there immediately; it will almost always be well received.
  • Asian households value work ethic incredibly highly, so always ask if anyone needs help to put yourself in a good light; don’t just sit around and wait!
  • Offer a gift as a gesture of gratitude; this simple act might seem out of place in Western culture, but in Asian households, it’s a sign of gratitude for welcoming you into their home.
  • Don’t speak first or eat first; instead, try to wait for your elders to initiate conversation, especially to begin with. You should also take care not to be too opinionated, as this won’t come across well in many cases.
  • Asian families often want to know about your ambitions and your current financial position – even if it’s a taboo topic in Western culture! So, try to be ready for these questions.
  • Try to speak your girlfriend’s native language, where possible. While her family will likely know English (and she may be able to translate for you if not), showing you have put the effort in to begin learning their language will do wonders for your credential with her family.

Final Thoughts

The culture of East Asia is incredibly diverse from our own. Nevertheless, if you want to make a good impact on your Asian girlfriend’s family, you’ll want to brush up on your understanding initially to ensure that the time goes as well as possible.

After all, many Asian families are incredibly traditional. Without a doubt, their culture means a lot to them; with this in mind, ensuring you understand their culture (and showing that you’ve gone out of your way to do so) is often an excellent way to begin winning your girlfriend’s family over.