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!
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.
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.
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.
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 :).
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