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Freitag, August 31, 2007

User Manual for Taiwanese Women

The same situation pops up repeatedly in the discussion among foreigners on forumosa.com, Taiwan's expat discussion forum. An American or Canadian foreigner, working here as an English teacher, had a Taiwanese girlfriend for many month, then he wants to change to another one and tells her, "we are through" and stuff like that, without a fight, just his right to change his partner, 'cause we are in the 21st century and stuff. Perfectly normal. THEN it starts, the girl transforms herself into a "Psycho Xiaojie from Hell", a "Psycho Fraulein" or whatever. The former gentle woman suddenly is raving mad, threatens with physical violence and follows her ex-boyfriend for month. "She must be insane", "psychological issues" is the conclusion of the short-term foreigners working here as English teachers in their world, which is perfectly shielded from real Taiwan life (now I am sounding a bit nosy, but basically it's true).
Longshan temple in Taipei. It is an alian culture after all...
Usually in such cases, the Canadian or American (could be another Western nationality as well) man does not understand, why his girlfriend cannot accept the fact that she gets dumped. "This is perfectly normal in the 21st century" is what is usually written in the forums, so she must be mentally disturbed to react this way.
Taiwan is full of dragons (here Longshan temple). Before having one as a girlfriend, you should understand the very basics.
What is forgotten is, that Taiwan's culture, originating directly from Chinese culture (to the point of actually being Chinese culture) is totally different when it comes to "mating rituals" than Western culture. A typical middle class guy here will first get his career sorted out. And when he is a little past 30 and has a good job and some money on his bank account, he will get his first serious girlfriend and by that time they will talk about sex. Many couples will wait with sex after marriage, others will do it within the preparation time, which you may call "engagement". However, a Taiwanese engagement is actually the marriage party of the bride's family (where only the groom and wife family take part) and the real marriage party (with bride and groom's family) follows straight afterwards. Chinese and Taiwanese people are very serious about relationships, there is some kind of "family discipline" originating from the Confucian idea to find and fulfill your place in society. A family is a functioning and well organized part of the whole society, which parents on top and then the children with sons first and then daughters. Even the children will be sorted according to their birth order. The first son of the family is the most important child and second and third son have to listen to him! Finding a steady partner in a relationship means finding a husband or wife in Taiwan and that is not for fun in the first place, but part of organizing your life.
Not knowing things can get you stir-fried in the oven... (another temple)
Going out with a foreigner is socially acceptable for a girl in Taiwan, but viewed with some kind of concern and skepticism. Having a Taiwanese boyfriend is more easy for a Taiwan lady, because if they break up, neighbours, colleagues and family will NOT assume they already had sex. However, having a longnose boyfriend means, they surely HAD sex in people's opinion. Honestly, I do not believe in a Western guy dating a Taiwan lady for a few month without it, as Western culture sees intercourse as a part of longer relationship between girl and boyfriend nowadays - Taiwan culture does not. But when a man marries here in Taiwan, he wants a virgin or at least a woman which can pass in public opinion as a likely virgin. It is about saving face. The actual fact of being a virgin or not is not so important as the public opinion about the girl. Now this is unfair for women and women's lib still has much to accomplish in Taiwan, but those are the facts of life here. Conclusion is, a Taiwan girl who had a Western boyfriend and has broken up with him will be regarded as a non-virgin and has difficulties of finding a Taiwan boyfriend or groom. She has to look for divorced man, which is not easy in a society where divorce is regarded as a dramatic personal failure which can even get you fired in your company. A lady of 28 or 32 will have to look in a different age category as well to find a divorced man. If a foreigner gets a girlfriend here, it is very likely she is a virgin. Having intercourse with the girl and then dumping her is a personal catastrophe for the lady. She is out of the marriage market, a no-go zone for the Taiwanese guys! Not because she had a foreigner, but rather because she is an OBVIOUS non-virgin now. Remember, in a Confucian society, it is about what people THINK, not what actually IS. Having a non-virgin girlfriend could lead to the same drama, if the girl thinks after a few month of relationship, she finally found her Mr. Right and marriage will be finally on the horizon. And then ZAP. "Darling, I am not into a longterm relationship now. BYE". And then... the dragon will show her claws, because those cute and small Taiwan ladies are courageous and brave women. Which makes them great partners in life (but not the most easy ones if you are a Western guy). Dumping them after having gotten serious with them is not a good idea.


Anonym hat gesagt…

very well written!!!!

Rina hat gesagt…

Na ja! Sehr gut geschrieben! If western girls have less pride, they will do the same things like Taiwanese do. You are writing from men's side. Or is it OK to dump a virgin Western girl??? Or no virgins in the West anymore??? Or non-virgins are totally indifferent??? It doesn't matter what culture we belong to, it is always a pain when one you loved dumps you like a rubbish.

Bob Honest hat gesagt…

Of course Rina is right with a lot of her comments. I just wanted to point out some problems which occur here, without saying that it is without a problem to say goodbye to a Western girl.

Anonym hat gesagt…

Naja so schlimm ist es jetzt auch nicht mehr. Ich habe in Taiwan 4 Jahre lang studiert.
Von meiner Japan heraus halte ich "weiten" Abstand von meinen Studienkolleginnen, aber meine Guete die Taiwanerinnen, oder auch Japanerinnen gehen richtig ab.
Ich meine die "Aufpasserinnen" von den Austauschstudenten, tauschte mehr aus als sie eigentlich sollte und ein schwedischer Student beklagte sich bei mir "She is too tight". Sowas kannte ich von meinem Diplom Studium in Deutschland nicht. Vorallendingen die Diskogaengerinnen, gehen offenbar nie allein nach Hause.
Ein Studienkollege aus Panama erzaehlte mir viele Geschichten von den Schwestern und Muettern seiner Studienkollegen. Ich komme hier als Westler mit meiner Moralvorstellungen wie ein Moench vor.

Anonym hat gesagt…

Aus aktuellem Anlass lasse ich mal einen Backlink als Trackback da:


Anonym hat gesagt…

Aus aktuellem Anlass lasse ich mal eine URL als Trackback da:


"Ludigel" hat gesagt…

Interessantes Feedback für mich und sehr amüsant die Vorstellung, dass Du meinen Artikel einem Pograbscher in der Bar unter die Nase gehalten hast ;-)
Das von mir beschriebene trifft sicher nicht mehr auf alle jungen Taiwanerinnen zu, aber auf sehr viele. Jedenfalls 30+. Die Zeit verrinnt und mit denen, die jetzt in die 20er kommen, kenne ich mich sicher nicht so sehr aus.
Hier ist eine supernette hübsche Kollegin, mit 30+, die immer noch keinen Boyfriend hier findet, weil sie über 28 ist. Kurzzeitiges will sie nicht, daher ist sie Ewigkeiten solo. Oh, wenn ich Single wäre...