Ever wonder how meeting your Asian girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s parents is going to be? You’ll find out soon enough because you’ll eventually need to meet them. In some cases where your boy’s or girl’s Asian parents have adapted pretty well to the culture outside of their own, you have nothing to worry about but for really old school ones (and most are), you might want to put your best foot forward.
Now, we don’t want to worry you and we know that you want to make the greatest impression possible on your Asian friend’s parents but you might want to know that some (or maybe the proper word would be most) stereotypes that you’ve heard of are TRUE.
So now what do you do about it?
What does this have to do with meeting your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s parents? Everything! You have to know that Asian parents place a rather high value on education. They want their children to excel and get the most out of the best possible education that they have provided so that means that if you want their approval, you have to get good grades. Asian parents will know if you’re not doing well in school (not sure how but they’ll sense it) during your dinner conversation.
2. Learn to love Asian food.
This is a no brain-er. Of course, if you’re not a big fan of Asian food and you were meant to have dinner at your Asian girl’s or boy’s house to meet her Asian parents who will probably serve some Asian delicacy for dinner, how’s that going to work?
Since you need to develop a love for Asian food, you might as well learn how to use the chopsticks while you’re at it.
3. Work on your manners.
This one is actually more of a general rule but you have to remember that in Asian culture, respect is given to someone who is older than you so, during dinner, you have to be well mannered and courteous.
They’ll know if you’re over the top and it’ll feel uncomfortable if you just sit there, not saying anything. You know what we mean. Just be yourself and a dash of manners on top of that: pass the salt, say thank you, say please, compliment the mom for serving a delicious meal, and etc.
4. Remember the cultural difference when having a conversation.
During dinner time, in the event of someone in the family asking you a question that made you uncomfortable, just remember to not take it too personally and answer the question in the most polite way possible.
We’re not saying that all Asian parents are nosy. It could just be the cultural difference between them thinking that it’s ok to ask otherwise personal questions about people.
5. “Can I help with cleaning up?”
Oh yes, this works! On top of you being well mannered during dinner time, it’ll be plus points if you offer to help with clearing up the table or washing the dishes. To Asian parents, it’ll signal that you’re helpful at home (even if you’re totally not!) and doing chores is always something that’s commendable.
6. Easy there tiger…
Hugging, tickling, holding hands and etc — you may be doing this all the time with your boyfriend or girlfriend but NOT while his or her parents are around. In Asian culture, being affectionate to one another, especially if you’re not married yet, is a big NO-NO.
7. Dress accordingly!
We know that you’re not going to some kind of job interview but you are going to meet your boy’s or girl’s Asian parents so take those earrings out (for men), cover up those tattoos if you have any and try to look like you’re not going to be in a rap video. Asian parents don’t like that.
8. A small gift is a nice gesture.
So the last tip that we have for you before meeting you boy’s or girl’s Asian parents would be to prepare a small gift for them for when you come over. It’s polite and it’s thoughtful and they will appreciate the gesture. You can bring food to share during dinner time, you can bring dessert, or you can bring something useful around the home.