Hi there, 你好, Welkom! Thank you for stopping by to visit! We are a couple hailing from Los Angeles, trying to navigate life, culture, and marriage. Those are challenging waters for anyone to traverse, and sometimes the fact that we grew up literally on opposite sides of the planet (okay, plus or minus 15 degrees) can add a unique twist to the journey.
So why “The Dutchinese Couple”? Both of us actually come from immigrant countries: Junwen’s ancestors migrated from China to Singapore whereas Christine’s great-grandparents moved from the Netherlands to a Wisconsin community where many people yet retain their Dutch or German heritage. Ever since our two paths crossed, we’ve been discovering surprising similarities and beautiful differences between our cultures, and decided to start this blog as a way to share what we’re learning.
We both find that writing helps us to navigate our ponderings, so this blog is also a bit of a free-for-all, as topics may range across the board. We know that’s not what the “blog experts” suggest, so we organize the site by linking to posts about our struggles and lessons about being a Dutchinese couple under the “Dutchinese Topics” link, while classifying other posts under Marriage, Travel, and Food…more to come we’re sure!
We welcome you to come participate in our journey, so we may share our experiences and mutually encourage each other as we explore different cultures, bi-racial relationships, and marriage in general. And, ya know, all the other various and sundry things we decide to muse about….since, like life, we’re not entirely sure where this blog will all take us!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Some Good Places to Start ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Let’s Start at the Very Beginning…
“Since one of the main focuses (foci?) of this blog is to explore the joining of two cultures, we thought a good topic to explore is our initial preconceptions or ideas were about each others’ cultures…” [Read More…]
What’s in a Name? The Name Change
We have been married for almost three years, but I *finally* took care of my name change once and for all. Whether or not to change one’s name when getting married is not so cut and dry. And if changing, what to change it to, exactly? This was my dilemma. [Read More…]
What’s in a Name? (A Different Name Order)
In our very first post, we mentioned that we were quite ignorant about some things regarding each other’s cultures. However, one thing I (Christine) did learn before meeting Junwen was that many Asian cultures give their name as “Family Name + Given Name”, instead of what I am used to (in the West), “Given Name + Family Name”. For example, “Lin Junwen” instead of “Junwen Lin”. If you ever watched Disney’s Mulan, you may have noticed that the Matchmaker calls her “Fa Mulan” instead of “Mulan Fa”. [Read More…]
A very important person in Junwen’s upbringing—and the current matriarch of the family—is our Ah Ma. “Ah Ma” is the name for “Paternal Grandma” in Hokkien, the particular Chinese dialect that most Chinese-Singaporeans speak (originating from the south of China). Ah Ma is 85 years old, and as such, she has a lot of exciting life stories to share—from traveling two weeks by boat while immigrating from China, to dressing as a boy to hide from Japanese soldiers! I wanted to record the ones she shared with us before forgetting. [Read more…]
What would attract a White girl to an Asian guy?
“Hey, I couldn’t help noticing that you two are a couple, so I just wanted to ask you, ‘What would attract a White girl to an Asian guy?’”
It was a Sunday morning. Junwen and I were walking out of the Santa Monica High School auditorium, where we had just attended a church service, when a young Asian man ran up to us to ask this question. Without thinking I burst into laughter and turned my face into Junwen’s shoulder, I suppose out of awkwardness and complete surprise. [Read more…]