Meeting your Chinese girlfriend’s boyfriend’s parents can be both exciting and nerve-wracking.
It’s an opportunity to impress and make a good first impression, but also a chance to learn about a new culture and possibly try some delicious food.
Just remember to be respectful, open-minded, and bring your appetite! 😊💪
Meeting Chinese Girlfriend’s Parents: Do’s&Don’ts
- Bring a thoughtful gift that shows sincerity.
- Show a willingness to help with household tasks.
- Demonstrate a good work ethic.
- Be able to communicate in Chinese.
- Show respect and avoid disrespectful behaviors.
- Little things like filling up their tea cups or peeling fruit for them will be subtle.
- Show interest in their lives and what they do.
- Anything that shows security and stability for example a car, a house and money. They do not guarantee a successful and happy future, but it does indicate a sense of stability and security.
Check this funny commercial AD from Chinese most famous car hailing app DiDi.
- Don’t bring a gift that is too casual or below your affordable range.
- Don’t call Chinese parents by their first name.
- Don’t refuse their offer of alcohol. (Bai Jiu or Fen Jiu)
- Don’t shake your legs, as it is considered disrespectful.
- Don’t rely on words alone, as actions speak louder.
What Should You Call Your Chinese Partner’s Parents in Chinese?
“叔叔—shu shu”for her/his father, “阿姨—a yi” for his/her mother when it is the first time you meet your partner’s parents.
Meeting Chinese Boyfriend’s Parents: Dos&Don’ts
- Bring a gift for his parents, such as something health-related, fresh fruit, or unique to your country/region.
- Be respectful of his elders and avoid contradicting or confronting them.
- Compliment his mother’s cooking if you like it and try at least one bite of everything on your plate.
- Brush up on your chopstick usage and wait to begin eating until signaled by the elders.
- Answer invasive questions gracefully and without getting offended.
- Behave gracefully and observe manners and etiquette.
- Let your boyfriend address any uncomfortable or upsetting situations in private.
- Bring white flowers, groups of the number four, or pears as gifts.
- Bring up sensitive topics like the Cultural Revolution, the CPC, Taiwan or Hong Kong independence or Uighurs in Xinjiang.
- Argue with your boyfriend in front of his family or be overly physically affectionate with him.
- Show negative emotions or disrespect towards his family’s customs and traditions.
What To Wear:
When meeting your boyfriend’s family, it’s best to dress conservatively. Avoid wearing anything too revealing or flashy, and opt for something that is clean and neat.
If you’re not sure what to wear, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.
How To Greet:
When meeting your boyfriend’s family, a simple greeting like “Ni hao” (hello) or “Zao shang hao” (good morning) is a good start.
You can also add a polite “xie xie” (thank you) to show your appreciation for their hospitality. A handshake is also appropriate or a warm hug.
How To Impress Chinese Parents/Chinese In-Laws?
These tips are a great way to make a good first impression when visiting your Chinese partner’s family.
It is important to remember that cultural expectations may vary within families and across generations, so always defer to your partner’s knowledge of their family’s customs.
|Take off your shoes when entering the home and exchange into slippers.
|Most Chinese in-laws live in an apartment and they always change into slippers when they are home. You should do the same and for sure they will offer you a pair.(Most likely a brand new pair.)
|Greet all family members, and be intentional about elders.
|Be intentional about greeting the elders and seek them out to say hello.
|Ask if anyone needs help.
|If you see someone doing something, ask if they need help. Do not sit around if you want to make a good first impression!
|Familiarize yourself with Chinese cuisine
|Do some research and familiarize yourself with the different types of Chinese cuisine, so you can confidently order dishes that your in-laws will enjoy.
Here are recommended Chinese cooking Youtube Channels. If you can even cook Chinese dishes one ore two, I am sure the parents will be blown away.💓
|Speak if spoken to first. Do not be too opinionated.
|Be humble and ready to answer questions and listen to the older people talk. Do not be highly opinionated even if you disagree.
|Be ready to answer questions about financial stability and education.
|Be prepared for questions about financial stability and education, and try to understand their point of view.
|After a meal, help with the cleaning and dishes.
|Help with the cleaning and dishes after a meal to show your gratitude.
|Do not show PDA (public displays of affection).
|Do not show physical affection, such as hand-holding or stroking the back, in front of the parents.
|Learn some of the native languages and use it.
|Learn some of the native languages and use it to show interest and respect to their heritage.
|Order dishes to share
|In Chinese culture, sharing food is an important part of dining. Order a variety of dishes to share, and encourage your in-laws to try new things.
|Use chopsticks properly
|If you’re not familiar with chopsticks, practice before you go to the restaurant. Your in-laws will be impressed if you can use chopsticks properly.
|When you make a toast, hold your glass lower than your in-laws’ glasses as a sign of respect. Toast with a simple “ganbei” (cheers).
|Offer to pay (Usually For Man)
|In Chinese culture, it’s customary for the host to pay the bill. However, as a guest, offering to pay the bill or at least making a genuine effort to do so will show your respect and appreciation.
Greetings: Always greet the parents formally and respectfully, using their titles and family names.
Table manners: Table manners are important in Chinese culture. Wait to be invited to sit down, and don’t start eating until the parents have begun.
Business cards: If you have a business card, present it with both hands and take a moment to read the parents’ card before putting it away.
Politeness: Simple acts of politeness like saying “please” and “thank you” can go a long way in showing respect to Chinese parents.
Body language: Non-verbal communication is just as important as verbal communication in Chinese culture. Maintain eye contact, stand up straight, and avoid slouching or crossing your arms.
Compliments: Complimenting the parents or their home can be seen as a sign of respect and appreciation. Just make sure to keep your compliments sincere and specific.