Chinese affection: not saying “I love you”

Cindy is the most (and perhaps only) fully bi-cultural person I know, meaning she is fully functional and accepted in Chinese and American circles. Her perspectives on Chinese-Western mutual misundersanding and suspicion are always worth reading. In her recent blog post “I love you = Wo ai ni?” she tackles American perceptions of the typical Chinese aversion to verbal expressions of affection.

“Chinese families know how to love fiercely. They do it through immense generosity, unwavering loyalty, and a lot of food. We love differently, not better, not worse, but definitely different.

“This is not to say I don’t think there’s value in verbal expressions of love. Some non-traditional Chinese families are starting to freely say I love you to each other and I believe that can be a healthy development. But I do believe the community should decide for themselves when or how they want to exhibit the love without being judged for being unloving unless they express themselves a certain way.”

For more about family in China, explore Cindy’s blog or browse our related topics:

2 thoughts on “Chinese affection: not saying “I love you””

  1. This is a really open-minded perspective, I’m going to check out her blog! I am an ABC, and have been posting about my parenting philosophy – Kangaroo Mom is sort of the anti-Tiger Mom. But Amy’s perspective makes me think twice about some of the judgments I have passed…

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