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Boyfriend's Grandparents 2008/6/18 13:21
There are a lot of questions about meeting a boyfriend's parents, but I'm more worried about meeting my boyfriend's grandparents (and even one great grandma) this summer. He's assured me that they're okay with the fact that I'm American, but I can't help but be nervous, especially given the fact that his great grandma lost her husband in WWII. I'm also nervous because I've seen my own grandparent's reactions.. My boyfriend's met my grandma on my mom's side, and he actually really likes her and thinks she's cute. I thought she was okay with and liked him but apparently she's in complete denial that we're even dating even though we've told her several times. All she ever says to my mom is "Her friend is nice, but I hope that doesn't go past friendship. Remember Hawaii...." My other grandparents that haven't met him say the same thing (except at least they acknowledge that he's my boyfriend).

I guess seeing how their minds are still so focused on a war that took place years ago is kind of discouraging and I'm not sure what to expect from his grandparents and great grandma. How do the older generation in Japan view Americans? Especially an American that's in a relationship with their grandson? Is there anything I can do (besides a gift and being polite) that would leave a more positive impression on them?
by Mary  

family stuff 2008/6/19 04:54
There are 2 things to consider:1-in any family,regardless of the country and culture,some members of the family have strict views about everything. Some believe strongly that marriage has to be with someone from the same country AND from a known family whose background has been checked. And never mind what the young people want. In my case-a man born/ raised in Western Europe-I wasn't allowed to go to university least I fall in love with a girl from an unknown family! Eventually I was told that I would have to marry one chosen girl. So I ran away to another part of the world.
2- Then there is the personal stuff.In my new country I became close friend with a man. From Japan. When we visited my parents in Europe he went shopping, cooked for them, watered the garden etc.(all things that I had never thought of doing) and did his best to communicate with them in their language. As a result they took an instant liking to him. You can't change #1 but you can try #2. The trick is that you have to be natural, not look like you are trying too hard. If you have a natural gift or talent for something, use it in someways. That being said and done,in every family there are people who don't like one another. My mom wasn't liked by her mom, sadly enough, but her mother-in-law (in an arranged marriage!)a smart, truly charming person, became the dream mom she needed. If someone doesn't like you, be very polite and charming with them but don't waste too much time either,
by Red Frog rate this post as useful

what can you do 2008/6/19 10:20
Mary, I can't think of anything you can do at the moment besides a gift and being polite. As implied, you never know if people are going to love you or hate you. All you can do is to do your best at being the great person you already are.

In some families, grannys don't mind as long as parents don't mind. In other families, it's vice versa. And people can be predudice for the most stupidest reasons. My grandmother even said, "I can't believe my new grandson-in-law is so wonderful 'even though' he graduated that other university." As long as she likes him, it's okay.

Almost every Japanese person in that generation has lost at least one person in the family in WW2. Most people have been smart enough to have come over it. By the way, generally speaking people tend to love you if you love them.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Family 2008/6/22 16:45
My aunt spent years as a child in an interment camp in the Dutch East Indies where things were really tough and where she developed beri-beri and other illnesses and she likes my Japanese wife very much.
I know it is just an example, and it all comes down to the persons involved but if you follow the advice of Uco-san and Red Frog I'm sure that it'll work out fine.

As for your grandparents, you'll have to remember that they were exposed to the propaganda machine that was geared up after Pearl Harbor to seek support for the war efforts and that was never really put into proper context after the war ended even though Japan became one of the strongest supporters of the USA in the years after the war. They need time.
by Kappa rate this post as useful

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