When West marries East

Updated: 2013-02-13 11:03

By He Na (China Daily)

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When West marries East

Pierre Bourdaud and Sun Tingting have never really had a big argument during the course of their marriage. Photo provided to China Daily

Never mind the cultural differences, He Na reveals the secret to successful transnational marriages.

A humorous recent online posting discussing the headaches a foreigner experienced after he married a Chinese woman struck a chord with many expatriates in the same situation. "Marrying a Chinese woman means marrying her whole family. Within half a year, her parents, sisters, and her sister's kids will come to visit, in a long queue," the post said. "Your home is totally occupied by Chinese and there is no privacy for you at all ..." The post went viral and while many foreigners shared similar experiences, there are those who beg to disagree. Though cultural differences and an alien environment are often cited as obstacles, many still firmly believe these are trivial things in the face of true love. No nationwide data is available on transnational marriages, but Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau said that 1,183 transnational couples got married in the city in 2012, with more than 1,100 tying the knot every year since 2008. The Spring Festival, the most important holiday for family reunions, is approaching. China Daily found two couples, who firmly believe love will conquer all, to share their experiences in making marriage work and prosper.

Love beyond words, life beyond borders

Geography is no barrier on the path toward true love

Pierre Bourdaud, a 32-year-old French actor, claimed that his family holds a motto toward patriotism that goes "Do not be patriotic, but like all human beings".

He has every reason to say so, for he married a Chinese woman three years ago, and now they have a lovely son.

Bourdaud's Chinese name is Bo Xiaolong. He quite likes the name and enjoys when people use it.

His wife, Sun Tingting, 30, is a human resources manager at an international company in Beijing. Bourdaud racked his brain to think of a word to describe her beautiful, elegant, tender, romantic, all of the above.

He took out his iPad to show their wedding pictures, which were shot in a hutong in Houhai. In the black-and-white shots, Sun wears a well-cut cheongsam while Bourdaud is in a pressed suit.

"Wo men hen ban pei ba? (We are well-matched, right?)," he asked in fluent Chinese with a strong Beijing accent. "It's destiny that we will be husband and wife."

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