06
Apr
10

Cultural Differences

Jessica is European and Lacey is an all-American kind of a woman. The ladies discuss the what ways their cultural differences impact their relationship, and how they try to make it all work.

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11 Responses to “Cultural Differences”


  1. 1 pia
    April 6, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    great vlog+blog !!

    i have a topic suggestion: wish to have children

    much love from berlin

  2. 2 Kiki
    April 6, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    The cultural differences video was awesome!
    Am from Kenya living in the USA. Being the foreigner here has made me very appreciative of other
    cultures. Like Jessica, the open enthusiasm and honesty of the American culture was hard for me to grasp in the beginning, but now I love it. Being in a multi-cultural relationship is a RICH experience. It opens your eyes to a whole new world.

  3. 3 SHG
    April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

    I love this topic. I grew up until I was ten with a traditional Indian cutlure, and then I grew up in Canada. I come accross very western in so many ways, but I suppose my more traditional background has had an effect on me. My other half was surprised to discover my more old fashioned views on courthip before physical intimacy in my own relationship, when I’m so liberal and open minded about relationships in general. But just because I believe that people should be free to have the kind of relationships they want, it doesn’t mean that I also want that kind of relationship.

  4. 4 Walker
    April 7, 2010 at 2:45 am

    Hey! the topic hits close to home cause my parents are from different countries but each has learned [some what] to accept each others’ cultures.

    Good communication is often the answer to many questions, problems, situations, issues, etc. etc etc but often you find people are apprehensive to listen / communicate.

    Like in Religious organisations, some people are very passionate, patriotic and are die-hard believers who tend to not want to hear anything other than what they believe in.
    Then there are other religious persons in the same denomination who are more,. liberal?
    you can have a conversation with both ‘parties’ and you will certainly have diff experiences.

    I dont believe religion/ cultures/ beliefs has much to do with it. Its more so the wilingness of the individual person to conciously let go of what they think the know and be open to new things. You dont have to beieve it. just have the desire to share….
    as you all said “communcation” ….”good communication”

  5. 5 Nancy
    April 7, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I can relate to your comment. I was born in Canada but my background is Asian. I think what is great about living in a country that is multicultural is equality and freedom of choice has to be upheld in order for all the cultures to get along. Countries that do not have many immigrants have such fixed ways of doing things.

  6. April 9, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks for mentioning the Philippines! 😀 hmm.. on cultural diff here, I guess its a bit easier for us to adjust to cultural differences but still there are some things that you know people make fun of, like accents, dictions, the way people dress, etc. (tell me about this, once i tried wearing something that I saw from a japanese mag and people are already staring! :S but when ur in a realtionship i guess one should remove this things and learn to embrace, love and get to know each one’s culture. listenning is also good and respect, never ever forget respect.

    I use to date a korean student back in college (just graduated 08! :D) and I’ve learned alot and started to love the culture, not only that he also get to love the philippines and now he’s working here. and since we respected each’s culture we never had any problem with cultural diffs. 😀

    Btw guys, here’s a suggestion for your next topic, how do you feel about Lesbians in TV? i mean ’cause right now after L word and the boom and success of Los hombres de paco’s Silvia and Pepa almost every show is jumping on the gay or lesbian story line just to get ratings. ( sometimes there really is injustice for gay characters) so how about a discussion about lesbians and gay charactes in tv or movie?

    Thanks!
    P! 😀

  7. 7 walker
    April 15, 2010 at 3:38 am

    L Word was such a hit!

    I do agree that many stations are just putting in the Lesbian story line just to get ratings, but hey! I don’t mind cause more and more people are becoming less phobic and its becoming more normal to people who were once UGHHHHHHH.
    The writers though, should do the story line some justice and its up to them.

  8. 8 Laura
    April 19, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Well I think you forgot to talk about something really important in terms of communication: the language. I mean It’s highly preferable to speak the same language when you are in a relationship with someone, but also with each cultures and languages the way of speaking can be radically different. If I take the example of french and english languages, the positioning of words in french sentences are completly reversed in english. Also english vocabulary is very restrictive compared to the french one. So what was saying Jessica about the reserve of europeans, may also probably come from the way we speak. I strongly believe that the french people (because all european cultures are fairly different) express most of their feelings with words, and not so much about gestures, body expressions. Yeah we greet each other with kisses on the cheeks, but that’s not an intimate kind of gesture you know, basically it’s like saying “what’s up” for an american 🙂 we sort of have a strong personal space established, that could make us cold compared to americans, but once we open to someone, then that’s basically for life.

    Great video girls as usual, keep up with the good work 🙂

    xx

  9. 9 Patti
    June 1, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Oh, wow. I know I am late to the discussion, but this is a topic that I have a lot of experience with and is very close to my heart. My partner and I have been together for over 5 years now, and we are happily in love. It was not always so easy however. I am from a background that sounds similar to Lacey’s upbringing. My girlfriend (really, partner at this point) is Chinese / Taiwanese and was born and raised in Taiwan. So, this would be an example of the East / West combo that you briefly mentioned wanting to hear more about.

    I actually don’t have time to say all I would like to say on this topic at the moment because I have a final in my Mandarin, Chinese class in less than a week that I need to be studying for, BIG time. In a nutshell, I can honestly say that in the beginning at least, dating a woman from such a different culture was very challenging (for both of us). Ultimately, it has proved to be the most rewarding and enlightening exchange in my life. We have both grown sooooooo much. One main point here is that we both needed to set aside our assumptions about what the “right” way is, really and truly listen to one another and keep a watchful eye on our own egos sneaking into the picture.

    It has been humbling to say the least. We are both very passionate about living life fully, being happy, and going for our dreams, and yet, we are very different people. In fact, I think one of the reasons I enjoy your vlog so much is that you two remind me of our relationship in some ways. In particular, we also are crazy, adamant communicators. There really is no way we would still be together had we not both been 100% committed to putting hard work into our relationship. I could go on here, but I should talk about more specific stuff.

    So, basically we both worked persistently to understand where the other was coming from. About 2 years into our relationship, we flew to Taiwan for Chinese New Year. She hadn’t seen her family in 5 years due to being in the US on a student visa with complications of leaving and coming back, not to mention the expense. I couldn’t believe that she was cool with me tagging along since it had been so long since she had seen her family. I fell in love with them immediately. It was just incredible! The challenging part for me was agreeing to go as her “friend” since I have been completely out since age 17 (we are both 30 now). But, we all got along great.

    Anyway, I’m all over the place here… there’s just not enough time / space to get into it, but I have soooooo many incredible stories, really quite amazing things we have been through. So, she convinced me that it was not the right time for her to come out to her parents and that she needed to come out “the Chinese way” (her words). I course, I couldn’t have known what she meant, so this took a lot of trust. I didn’t want to feel like I was lying to her parents the first time I met them. It was all very uncomfortable and awkward to me. But, after thinking it over, I decided that I needed to put my assumptions to the side about the “right” way to come out, respect that it was not my decision, and trust her. Oh, wow… so many great things I could share, damn.

    Basically, 2 years after that (so, 4 years into our relationship) she finally came out to her family. Then, over the course of the next year she would slowly and deliberately drop hints about various aspects of her life. Then, JUST last week (literally, she is in Taiwan RIGHT now visiting her family) she told her mom that I was her girlfriend all along! It has been an incredible journey. I just talked to her mom over skype yesterday. And, because I am learning Mandarine, Chinese I was able to talk to her a bit in Chinese too. Incredible to experience the fruit of my work learning a foreign language with my partner’s mom. By the way, I love her mom and I have been told that she loves me too! In fact, she insisted on buying me a little present for my partner to bring back for me. Normally, it’s difficult for me to keep my mouth shut about these things (because silence really does feel like lying to me). I am one of these super-open, communicative and expressive people (in a different way than Lacey, but I can relate).

    What I will say is that the wait was SOOOOO worth it. I needed to respect my partner’s judgement and trust that she would come out in her own way when the time was right. Before meeting my girlfriend, I SWORE I would NEVER date someone in the closet. The problem was, when I met my girlfriend, she was totally out to everyone in the States (co-workers, everyone), but all of her family lives in Taiwan, so it didn’t impact our DAILY lives that they didn’t know about her sexuality. Wow, sorry to go off…

    I really need to get to my last-ish rambling point: For me, as a white, middle-class, raised casually catholic and and all that kind of woman, I felt and continue to feel a responsibility to meeting my partner halfway. When we started to get serious, I knew I HAD to learn Chinese. She never pressured me into it, and was in fact surprised when I told her about my ambition. But, here’s the thing… if this woman is really the person I am spending the rest of my life with, I want to be able to communicate with her family. But, it’s NOT just communication. So much of culture is imbedded in language. You hit on it a bit Jessica talking about european subtlety, but imagine all that in a different language. This is why it is SO incredibly important to me. So, I went back to school at University of Washington (Seattle, on the west coast) and was accepted into an exchange program. I am just now wrapping up my 3rd quarter of Chinese, and will be flying to China (not Taiwan, I know) to study at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China for 11 long months. My partner has actually never even been to mainland China, but she will be visiting me for the holidays. I will basically be alone over there, full language emersion. So, anyway… I’m terrified in the best way possible. It will def be the most challenging thing I have ever done (and I’ve had some big challenges to overcome in my 30 years on earth).

    I’m sorry if my long rambling response is too self-indulgent. I certainly don’t mean it to be. I just want to make the point (among many points, I’m sure) that for me, learning Chinese was very important. And, I love it! By the way, you asked about different religions. Like I said, I was raised casually catholic and she was raised buddhist and taoist (sometimes spelled daoist in english). So, there were many, many interesting cultural intersections around this as well. I have been doing a lot of reading, and taking relevant classes, etc to educate myself about as much of this as possible. Ok, better not open that can of worms…

    It looks like it’s going to be impossible to cover even 5% of what I wanted to share. I guess I just wanted to emphasize that we have BOTH grown and learned SO much about one another, but also ourselves. We are both insanely curiously-minded people. Love life, love learning, love growing and loving and changing together, but not FOR one another and not in a way that diminishes our own individuality or cultural heritage. After about 2 years into our relationship, suddenly we didn’t have to talk SOO must about everything ALL the time anymore. Of course, we have to keep communication going, but not to the same level of intensity and frequency. Suddenly, after all that work, we could just FLOW and enjoy one another’s company. We could communicate with a glance, a silent gesture, a feeling… we were finally tuned in! Of course, not always by any means, but MUCH more. We have become so happy by accepting our differences, respecting one another deeply and working out the little things. This became our foundation. I believe we can make it through anything because of this! Communication was KEY though…

    I hear you two talk about communication, and you’re SO right on about this. It DOES take work! Everything: talking, keeping the spark alive, daily life, ALL of it. I wish everyone could find this kind of love. And, that is what I LOVE about your vlog. You dare to be exposed, honest, open and de-bunk the whole mythology around true love as being this flowing, effortless process. It takes dedication on a micro level, not just in the bigger sense, to find, maintain and keep alive that kind of love… and, also to see it grow. People look from the outside and say, ‘I want what those 2 woman have together’ but then egos, fears, patterns and whatever else get in the way if you let it. The level of self-awareness, honestly, and raw-hearted vulnerability that is involved scares many away. But, what are we really afraid of?! I get that it’s incredibly difficult, but from one lesbian to another (or maybe 2 or 3 reading this?) I can say that it is SO worth it. It gets easier, it takes practice and it IS possible!

    Wow, how strange to type all that out into cyber-space. I almost feel like I should have sent this over a private email, but at the same time I think we need to openly share our stories and inspire one another to go for it. Life is short! Cheers to you two…. A VERY warm-hearted and BIG congratulations to you both for getting married!!! Very exciting! If things feel a little challenging at this time, I have heard that the period right after committing for life can be a bit tricky in some ways. It is a big deal committing for life, and it’s normal to be feeling ALL sorts of emotions. I hope you always KEEP talking to one another (and, not just on the camera, as much as many well-intended fans would like). Carve out some time for just the two of you, you know?!

    Ha, look at me advising… I hope you don’t think I am being condescending in ANY way. I don’t think there is anything in this world that has so convincingly, so painstakingly revealed to me that I am human than falling in love, as I’m sure you well know. It’s great that people are looking up to you, admiring you two, but I know from my experience (as you do too) that nothing is perfect, even when it’s damn close in so many ways! So, again… a BIG congrats to the newlyweds! My partner and I are talking about our own wedding plans; we shall see. 11 months of long-distance is going to suck, big time! But we’ll manage. After that, she says she wants to move to NYC (it’s been a childhood dream of hers and it will suit her since she is super driven). In fact, we are both so passionate about our life work, NY might be a great place to check out for a while. Perhaps we will even meet someday in the “little” lesbian circuit. I promise, we are not so easily star-struck…lol. After all, we are ALL only human. Take care, keep it real and know that you are doing great work to counter all the cynicism out there… What can be better than that?!
    😉
    (PS- will this thing even allow me to submit such a long reply?! hope so…)

  10. 10 Patti
    June 1, 2010 at 3:34 am

    last thing ~ I forgot to check the box that I wanted to be notified if anyone responds to this. is that what sharing my e-mail address is all about? I wasn’t sure if I would be sharing it with the whole website. Oh well, there it is. please feel free to respond! I know I said a mouth-full…
    😉

  11. May 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Then, either skip X Stretch or fit it in pretty bad!! The good
    news, though, how do i know what order to do p90x in is that a cure for type 1 diabetes is within reach.
    Put your dollars in fresh been yogurt or cottage cheese with one or two spoonfuls of low-fat JIF peanut butter.

    Water: One of the most important aspects partake in
    a P90 X workout with even the slightest hang over.


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