Zheng Momo, who hails from Guangze county of Fujian Province had never imagined that she could marry a man from India. For them (the people in China), India is geographically near China however still stays a mystery to most of China’s population.

She married Raj Shekhar Singh for 9 years, and live within the US. Raj hails from Bokaro, India.

The range of China-India go-cultural relationships and marriages has increased in current years due to the extra common financial and cultural exchanges among the two international locations, according to Zheng’s observations.

Zheng-Momo-Raj-Shekhar

Hu Zhiyong is a research fellow at the Institute of global family members of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. Zheng and her husband Raj met in 2008 in the US while they had been taking part in an academic exchange program. They fell in love and 12 months later, they got married.

Ever since they met, Zheng has been observing the trend of China-India cross-cultural relationships and marriages. Back in 2008, there was no information about these types of relationships online. “But now when you search on the internet, you can always find new stories about China-India cross-cultural relationships,” Zheng said.

Zheng is a member of a WeChat group made up of people in China-India cross-cultural relationships and marriages. “This group alone has 200 such couples,” Zheng said. Most of the relationships consist of an Indian man and a Chinese woman. According to Zheng, there is only one couple in the WeChat group where the woman is Indian and the man is Chinese. Most of the couples in the group live in China; a small percentage of them live in other more developed countries like the US.

“This shows the inequality of men and women in India. Men have more opportunities to get an education, go into the world and be free to choose their own marriages. Not many women in India have these opportunities,” she said. The increasing number of such couples indicates the more frequent exchanges between the two countries.

“More Indians are coming to cities in China like Guangzhou, Guangdong Province and Ningbo, Zhejiang Province to conduct business in trade. Once they are here, they meet the love of their life in China,” Zheng said.
Barriers to surmount

To Zheng and her husband Raj, their road together is a bumpy one, and they had to go through many obstacles to be together, mainly from their families. When Zheng first announced to her parents that she was dating a guy from India and they were going to get married, her mother cried for an entire year.

Zheng-Momo-Raj-Shekhar

“They didn’t even know where India was, and they just assumed that people from India are poor, could not provide a good life for me, are superstitious and abuse women. They came to those conclusions based on the pieces of information from the internet where the media only report extreme cases as a hype to attract audiences. My family threatened to disown me if I insisted on being with him,” Zheng recalled.

While Zheng was under pressure from her own parents, her boyfriend Raj was under even more pressure from his parents. Raj’s mother also cried every day and worried about their relationship.

Arranged marriage is still the ideal choice for most Indian families. The older generations still believe that only by arranged marriage can their children have a stable marriage and that free love is a bad thing, according to Zheng, especially since Raj is from a place that tends to be closed-up to foreign cultures, and Raj is the first person in his hometown to marry a foreign woman that he knows of.

Free love is frowned upon, not to mention finding a foreign woman, that’s a catastrophe. This is due to the stereotypes the older generation has for foreign women, according to Zheng.

The literacy rate and the internet penetration rate are not high in India, so their perception of the outside world is limited, according to Zheng. India went through a rather closed period, and the media created some stereotyped images of foreign women, like in the popular Indian movie Purab Aur Paschim (1970), the Western women in the movie are depicted behaving rather loosely and they trick the kind, pious Indian boys, according to Zheng.

“Under those circumstances, it is no wonder that many older Indians are defensive about foreign women. The obstacles we went through are mainly because of the misunderstandings between people from the two countries,” Zheng said.

Fortunately, their love for each other is determined. Zheng and Raj eloped in the US, where Raj was doing his doctorate degree. Later, due to the constant persuasion and the confirmation that they are nothing like the stereotyped images, their parents finally accepted their marriage.
Barriers to surmount

To Zheng and her husband Raj, their road together is a bumpy one, and they had to go through many obstacles to be together, mainly from their families. When Zheng first announced to her parents that she was dating a guy from India and they were going to get married, her mother cried for an entire year.

Zheng-Momo-Raj-Shekhar

“They didn’t even know where India was, and they just assumed that people from India are poor, could not provide a good life for me, are superstitious and abuse women. They came to those conclusions based on the pieces of information from the internet where the media only report extreme cases as a hype to attract audiences. My family threatened to disown me if I insisted on being with him,” Zheng recalled.

While Zheng was under pressure from her own parents, her boyfriend Raj was under even more pressure from his parents. Raj’s mother also cried every day and worried about their relationship.

Arranged marriage is still the ideal choice for most Indian families. The older generations still believe that only by arranged marriage can their children have a stable marriage and that free love is a bad thing, according to Zheng, especially since Raj is from a place that tends to be closed-up to foreign cultures, and Raj is the first person in his hometown to marry a foreign woman that he knows of.

Free love is frowned upon, not to mention finding a foreign woman, that’s a catastrophe. This is due to the stereotypes the older generation has for foreign women, according to Zheng.

The literacy rate and the internet penetration rate are not high in India, so their perception of the outside world is limited, according to Zheng. India went through a rather closed period, and the media created some stereotyped images of foreign women, like in the popular Indian movie Purab Aur Paschim (1970), the Western women in the movie are depicted behaving rather loosely and they trick the kind, pious Indian boys, according to Zheng.

“Under those circumstances, it is no wonder that many older Indians are defensive about foreign women. The obstacles we went through are mainly because of the misunderstandings between people from the two countries,” Zheng said.

Fortunately, their love for each other is determined. Zheng and Raj eloped in the US, where Raj was doing his doctorate degree. Later, due to the constant persuasion and the confirmation that they are nothing like the stereotyped images, their parents finally accepted their marriage.

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