White girl meeting my Asian boyfriend's parents for first time in Hong Kong?

Hi guys, I've recently started dating my boyfriend, we've been going out for about 2 & a half months now, & we like each other very much. He's already met my family & extended family, & seems very serious about our relationship even though we are still a new couple.

We've already booked a holiday together later on in the year, & we will be staying with his parents on Hong Kong. (I should mention me & the boyfriend live in Australia). I am thinking he wouldn't plan to meet his parents this early on if he wasn't serious about me. I'm just wondering as we are in our later 20's, I'm 26 he's 29, I've heard that meeting parents especially in Asia is the prequel to an engagement? I am not worried about that, I'm more worried about how I should act & what gift I should bring to his parents (they are fairly conservative) & what can I do to impress them a little. I've begun learning Cantonese, as some of his family members don't speak English.

I just want to know any tips or helpful hints when meeting parents from another culture & meeting them in another country! Freaking out!


Most Helpful Girl

  • Learning Cantonese was a good move. :p Just be extra polite and be more serving, stepping aside kind of thing and always pay attention incase anyone is talking to you. If you miss it, that's huge disrespect. I live in Australia too and even with how washed out my Asian culture is, those are the main points I can give you. When eating, they usually have the dishes in the middle and you take from that, make sure that you only take a little bit at a time because if you take a lot at a time, or enough for the whole meal, they'll see it as rude.

    • And yeah, if applicable, please offer to wash the dishes but tell your boyfriend beforehand he might think that is super weird if you're not usually like that lol, plus I know Aussies hate doing the dishes.

    • If I comes to paying bills, one person is likely to pick it up, just be thankful. If you're shopping with his mum alone, if you can, offer to pay her bill. If you're in a small group and someone wants to pay, do not say that you'll split the bill, that's just not cool. It's all or nothing. ;) Also maybe call the other elder ladies aunty and the males uncle.

    • They love to over feed their guests too. They might keep putting food in your bowl. Keep saying thanks even though you might find it annoying. Don't tell them you don't like the food. This is just if you want it to go smoothly but it's still better to be you...


Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 3

  • Woohoo, score one for Asian guys.

  • I don't understand how some of his family doesn't speak English, Hong Kong was an ENGLISH colony. Be very aware that Asia is a chauvinist society and they expect women to be submissive. Be careful.

    • Most of his family members do speak English- but his grandma & grandpa don't speak it.

      I am generally submissive anyway. So I don't think that will be the problem.

    • What I mean is that Asian guys are "traditional" on the outside, but they can be hypocritical. A female friend of mine (Latina) even had children with a Taiwanese guy - with the children having Chinese names, then this guy decided to run off and marry someone in Taiwan. Also I've heard Koreans cheating on the wives here in Nicaragua.

  • Say this to them...


    That should sum it up.


What Girls Said 5

  • A friend of mine brought her bf's mom a gift of high end tea, the really good stuff. I understand they love tea and spend time having conversations while sipping it. She absolutely loved it.

    www.teavana.com has some really nice gift sets and tea accessories that I believe his mother would appreciate, especially since she could share it with everyone else.

    Here is a great link that gives you a really good idea of the culture, what they expect and what you should expect.


    Good luck and have fun!

  • Try to be sweet and demure. They don't like a girl to act like she wants to control things. It's most important that you be polite, considerate, and sweet.

    Also, the more Cantonese you learn, the more impressed they will be :)

    You will be fine, just make sure to dress feminine and conservative, too. You can always ask your boyfriend for tips, too. Also do some online research about Chinese etiquette and confirm them with your boyfriend.

    • Appropriate gifts would be flowers, chocolate, cookies, and pretty decorative things, like putting it in a pretty box. Just make sure you get the right type of flowers as they have different meanings. Boyfriend will help :)

    • flowers, chocolate, cookies, and pretty decorative things are not necessary. We mostly bring fruits when visiting someone. flowers are for patients in hospital, we seldom bring flowers to home. Better bring sth can eat or special.

  • Hi, I am Cantonese girl.

    But I don't know much about gifts. I know how to behave when you meet his parents.

    Most of Chinese parents hope to see their son in law is a submissive, not ambious and very kind, nice person. Polite is very important. If you are eating at their house, after the meal, you should try to initiate to wash the dishes (Although they don't need you to). But if they have their own maid, of because you don't need to do that.

    And I am telling you, Hongkongese parents always like the girl be humble and submissive, better listen to your boyfriend's mother, what she said, you'd better nod, and give good comments.

  • Asians tend to kiss white people's asses so they'll probably adore you.

  • I'm a Hongkonger too (or used to be I guess lol)

    Like others have said, politeness is so very important. When meeting his grandparents, I would say to hold off on hugging. Maybe like a combination between a handshake/hand hold lol. I think it would be best to follow your boyfriend's lead, just because he knows his family best. As for the gift, either a fruit basket or some Chinese dried goods (e.g. dried Chinese mushrooms, dried scallops, ginseng etc...i'm sure you'll be able to find a lot when you arrive in HK and I think this will probably impress them). It's awesome that you're learning Cantonese, I'm sure his family will appreciate it. And even if they start talking in Chinese and you don't understand, just nod (haha) and ask your boyfriend to translate later :p

    Meeting the parents isn't necessarily a prequel to an engagement..but he definitely sounds serious about you :).