Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Forbidden Love Story: The Story of Ching

Let me share this real love story of a girl named Ching (not her real name).

Ching is born in an upper middle-class Chinese family. They have three cars and a house and a maid. She's the second child and ever since she was a child, she's always felt less loved compared to her siblings. Her parents are still so traditional (read: autocratic), so you can imagine that freedom in this house is so limited. Everything has to be consented by the parents.

After getting a university degree, she told her parents that she wanted to learn Chinese in China. Her parents loved the idea, so they sent her there. There she studied Chinese for two whole years. By the end of the second year, her grandmother contacted her and said that she wanted to introduce her to the son of a friend since she knew that Ching was still single. Ching consented to being introduced to the son. Let's just call him Huang.

They started calling each other and one day they met. Huang was born in China, but then his family moved to Hong Kong afterwards. So, by the end of the second year, Huang visited Ching in China and then became her tour guide to other cities in China. Ching's parents were delighted at the time, thus Ching's happiness doubled as she knew she had her parents' consent. After all, Huang was her first boyfriend. She had been yearning to have a boyfriend since years ago and now finally her wish came true. They had a WONDERFUL time together touring other cities in China and she was beaming all over. She had never felt that happy before.

Then it was time for Ching to come home to Indonesia. Huang escorted her home as he also wanted to introduce himself to her parents. Unbeknownst to them, Ching's parents had apparently tried to gain as much information about Huang's family background. What they found out was that Huang wasn't as rich as they expected. Ching's parents expected their daughter to marry someone who's owned at least a house, a car, a maid, and a driver. Ching thought that their requirements were too high!

Anyway, the first day in Indo, Ching's parents welcomed Huang well. However, once they found out that Huang wasn't "too suitable" for their daughter, they told him to pack his bags right away and fly back ASAP. Ching was told to break up with him immediately. The lovebirds were devastated, especially Ching!!! Talk about being plunged from on top of the world to the deepest ravine!!! Huang tried to comfort Ching by promising to work his ass off to prove himself as a worthy suitor for Ching. He said that he would try to be a successful man in two years. He told Ching that he would come back in two years and asked her to wait for him. Ching said that she would wait for him.

Once Huang flew back home, Ching's parents forbid her to ever contact him again. However, she bought a new mobile and new card for the sole purpose of contacting Huang. They kept in contact for a while. However, Ching's parents somehow found out about it. One of Ching's cousins called Huang's mother and threaten her not to ever let Ching contact Huang anymore. Then they scold Ching and accused her of being a cheap girl for having contacted Huang still. Ching's Dad even smacked her head a few times while scolding her with harsh words. They told her that starting from that day, she mustn't go anywhere and that she should give them her work schedule so that they could monitor her whereabouts. They told her that she was a whore simply because she had held hands with Huang once.

She cried buckets and she was so afraid of being thrown out of the house. The next day, her mother ransacked her room while she was at work and found some photos of them. Then she told Ching to rip off the photos and throw the pieces into the garbage can right in front of her. She cried buckets again and she wanted to die. Fortunately she could still contact Huang once more to tell him about what had happened and Huang said that they should stop contacting each other and just wait for 2 years until he could come and get her.

So a while passed by without any contact at all between them. It was pure agony. Ching kept on remembering all the good times that they had had and she had trouble suppressing her feelings. After the storm subsided at home and everything seemed to be okay again, Ching gathered up her courage and went to an internet rental to write short emails to Huang. Huang was delighted, even though he was worried about her lest her family found out again.

Thus they started contacting each other. Alas, a few weeks after that, somehow her parents found out. AGAIN. Her Dad could even cite the emails she had been sending Huang and Huang's replies! You can imagine how hellish it must have been for her back then. Her parents told her siblings to watch her. Whenever she touched her mobile, they would watch her. They filtered people who tried to call her. Her brother also watched her whenever she was using the computer to make sure that she wasn't writing an email to Huang. She knew by then that the relationship was doomed. She cried buckets for a while. The thought of suicide did cross her mind once, but she didn't act on it.

Gladly now she's doing fine (as fine as she can be). She never contacted Huang anymore. Through a friend of hers, she told Huang not to wait for her and to find another girl. Right now her parents allow her to use the internet and to go out again as two years have passed by and she's proved to them that she has never contacted Huang again after that. Now she's focusing on reaching her dream: to work and live abroad. However, she's afraid that her parents wouldn't allow her to do so, since there was a time when they didn't let her renew her passport so that she wouldn't be able to meet Huang. Now they've allowed her to renew her passport, but they keep the passport for her.

I just wish all the best for her and that she would be able to achieve her dream one day. Ching, this post is dedicated for you. I feel for you tremendously and I hope you can soar from the ashes like the Phoenix one day.

8 comments:

  1. I am appalled, by this story! Not that it surprises me...In Brazil, situations similar to this one still happen *nodding*! However girls usually run away from home, contact ONGs (NGOs)...whatever it takes to break away from the hell!
    But, although shocked, I understand Ching, cause sometimes it is very hard to separate oneself from one's family; specially if one was brought up to think that family always comes first, and that one must obey blindly one's parents...
    I was raised in a family-oriented environment, but I'd be damned if I'd allow my father and brothers to call me whore! Well, in my family this would never happen (the women in my family are too strong)!
    Parents are to be respected, yes; and obeyed when you're a child (cause they are teaching us, and preparing us for life); but once you grow up parents should accept the fact that you're grown, that you've become an independant individual, and that you are ready for what they prepared you: Life!

    I feel for Ching, but is it all worth it? I am not talking about losing poor Huang (who was willing to wait for her and all), I'm talking about the psychological pressure and abuse...
    I am all for traditions, but radical behaviours: no, thank you!

    Ching's story reflects so many others around the world...that's why I say that the fight isn't over *nodding*!
    This post makes us think....
    Cheers!

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  2. Yep, I know that there are other girls out there who had similar experiences. That's why I wrote the story: to remind others that even in this modern world, there're still "opression".

    I agree with what you said about family. It's very difficult indeed for Ching 'coz she's actually such a DEVOTED child (she truly respects her parents and she cares about them SO much). She's more afraid of losing them as a family (by being thrown away of the house or by running away from home) than by losing her freedom by staying with them.

    I don't think she can be truly be her own person until her parents die, actually. However, I still hope for the best for her. I still hope for a miracle for her. We'll see...:-)))

    You know what my Mom said after listening to her story? She said that if she had been Ching, she would've taken all her precious belongings (jewelleries and money) from her home and moved out of the house ASAP. Even my Mom, who's already 60 years old (she comes from a whole different generation), said that!

    Sometimes I feel so much anger whenever I remember her story. But then again, nobody can change her fate except Ching herself. She's the one who has to have the courage to either stand up for herself in front of her parents or move out of the house.

    I hope someday when I know more about her fate, I can write a more positive post about her. :-))) That's my wish and prayer.

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  3. So sad! I had a friend like that in college, she was from Jordan and was supposed to marry this guy from money back home who was horrible to her! She loved this other guy but he was Christian so it just wasn't allowed. She fought and fought and finally didn't have to marry the one guy, but couldn't talk to the other at all. She was also on watch.

    In the end, last time I spoke to her, she was marrying someone else her parents picked out - but she loved him- so was content. She had long ditched the other guy.

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  4. I also learn Chinese language in Beijing Chinese School. I like to learn in live class with Chinese teachers from Beijing directly. I also like to practice mandarin with Chinese volunteers freely everyday.

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  5. There are some free podcast mp3 Chinese lessons designed by Shanghai East Radio Station on Learn Mandarin. You can try.

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  6. Hi, Vic!!!

    Yeah, I understand your friend's situation completely. It's GOOD that now she's with someone she loves. The bad thing about Ching's situation is that her parents don't even introduce her to any guy that they think "suitable" for her, yet her mother wants her to get married. How on earth is she going to do that? She's now traumatized already about picking her own guy 'coz she knows how high her parents standards are. Crazy indeed!!!

    Hi Lisa Moore and Learn Chinese!!! THX for dropping by and giving me the links. However I'm currently learning Finnish and I don't think my brain can cope with it if I also try to learn Chinese at the same time he he he...THX again, though!!! ;-D

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  7. Asians sometimes can have the strangest culture..leeway should be given to girls to have their own sense..

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  8. Hi, Fayz!

    THX for dropping by and leaving a comment. Yes, some cultures are weird indeed.

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