This isn’t probably true to other nationalities, but almost 100% undeniable to Filipinos. You must know that I have no intention of shaming anybody. The motive is only to express my sentiments. If you think you can’t open your mind to this matter, you might as well skip reading.
The biggest decision I’ve ever made in my entire life was marrying a man of different nationality. That makes us a Korean-Filipino married couple. I’ve been in such blossoming and like a roller coaster international marriage for almost 2 years now. But let me make it clear, his nationality wasn’t the reason why I married him. Not at all.
As soon as I shared this special page of my life on Facebook, hilarious and awkward moments began. These were the moments when I was frequently asked the same questions in every chat. I really don’t mind people asking me about things, however the one thing that I find a bit annoying is when they assume things. Not just annoying, but also insulting.
Majority of the Filipinos don’t hesitate asking other people’s ages especially when someone is married to a foreigner. They want to know if you married one that’s way too older than you or not. Why? Obviously they’ll see you as a gold digger when you come from a not that rich family while your husband is old and seems to be affluent. I must say that this actually happens, but not all the time. Not all Filipino women are born that way. My husband is 12 years my senior and I couldn’t care less. He doesn’t act like one in a way that he treats me like a woman not a kid. I am well-respected. I was 25 when we got married so I was at my right mind.
2. What does he do for a living?
Seriously? Do you really have to know? And when they know that he does have a well-paid job, expect that the reaction is like “Wow!”. It’s like they’re telling you how lucky you are and they forget that you too had a good job back home.
3. Does he help your family?
Uhm.. isn’t this a family matter? If he does or not, why do you care? When I was younger, I heard about stories of other people marrying foreigners and eventually their Filipino families owned houses and lots. Good for them! This has been like that for years and unfortunately has become a common notion. I can only say that there’s a big difference between helping and using.
4. He’s Korean, why do you live in Japan?
I cracked up at this many times. Just because he’s Korean, doesn’t mean we have to live in Korea. Not that he ran away from something or someone in Korea, he just decided to work and live in Japan. International couples can be seen anywhere in the world, I guess.
5. Do you have a baby? / When will you have babies?
First, they assume that you got married because of the baby so they’ll ask because this isn’t uncommon these days. If the answer is no, they’ll ask you the second question. Having kids is certainly not for everyone and explaining things isn’t that easy. So instead of asking that, just wait and see. And don’t impose that I should have kids. What if I don’t want to? Does that make me less of a person?
6. Are Korean men nice?
Just because I’m married to one, doesn’t mean I have the power to know whether they’re kind or not. I think you don’t always get to know a person well through his nationality. It depends on his values. Culture? Not always. Say my husband, he can’t say that he likes his country that much. He doesn’t always conform to the culture, but he does do what he thinks is right. I’m not saying he’s perfect because nobody is. What I’m trying to say is people are divergent, thus you can’t always say who’s good or bad based on the citizenship.
7. Do you understand each other?
We are no different from the other couples in the world. Don’t couples make effort to understand each other? The only thing that differs is that we speak different languages. In this case, fortunately we have English as our bridge in communicating. We also speak in Korean at times especially when I feel like it.
The list goes on but I prefer not to include the others that may sound nonsense already. There’s nothing wrong with asking, just know when and what not to ask. Don’t forget that the person you throw the questions at has feelings. If your intention of asking is to degrade someone, that’s just so rude of you. Mind your manners, love! 😉
*Featured image taken by Joey Lee Photography.