[International Marriage] A beautiful promise brings a beautiful family
http://www.dongguantoday.com/     02/05/2013 16:34

Harley Seyedin: From the United States, President of AmCham South China

Hui Sun: From Shanghai, International Attorney

When Harley Seyedin proposed to Hui Sun, he received a memorable answer. “When I asked her, ‘Will you marry me?’ she answered, ‘I would love to marry you in this life, next life, next… next life, and my next thousand lives” recalls Harley whose marriage is now two decades strong.

In 1994, Hui Sun was appointed as the world’s first “Visiting Scholar in Virtual Residence” by California State University (Calstate LA) to teach a doctoral course in “Intercultural Communication” via internet yet she considers herself as a wife first and a mother second.

Hui is responsible for her three boys’ education and activities, waking up early in the morning, taking the kids to school and picking them up. Appreciating how much energy his wife invests in the family, Harley says that Chinese women are highly responsible and committed to the family. Hui also speaks favorably of her American husband as being romantic and gentle.

“When you marry a woman, you also marry her family and when a woman marries a man, she also marries his family,” said Harley whose parents were excited when he first told them that he decided to marry a Chinese girl.

Harley enjoys a good relationship with his in-laws in Shanghai whom he visits with his family. His mother also comes to China once every year to see her grandchildren.

“We, as well as, our children love our parents and parents in-law,” boasted Harley. “My parents love her more than they love me and her parents love me more than they love her.,” according to Harley who is very content with this domestic bliss.

The couple’s three boys are fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, Shanghai dialect and English. “If you are in an environment, you must learn that environment; you must live with the environment and make the best of it,” said Harley who sends his children to a local Chinese school so that they can be immersed in Chinese culture and be given an opportunity to be real Chinese.

This year, Harley’s eldest son was invited as the “Guangdong Goodwill Ambassador of Culture” to New Zealand for the promotion of Cantonese culture.

Harley and Hui believe that a mixture of Chinese and western education is the best for their children. So in addition to a heavy workload in school, all three sons take part in activities such as playing the piano, basketball, baseball and soccer. “Diverse environments render different ways of thinking,” said Harley. “Free thinking and innovation are not my biggest concern. Their mother is an expert in that.”

“If you want success, you have to keep up with opportunities,” said Harley who believes that opportunities are still abound in Guangdong. “Opportunity is more than a single project. As there are many ways one can benefit from the vast areas that are now open to Chinese and foreigners alike. ” said Harley who has lived in Guangzhou for the past 21 years.

Harley admitted he has encountered his share of cultural shock over the past 20 years regarding family issues and education. Several months ago his wife Hui started to prepare wedding rings not only for her sons who have not even reached their teens yet, but also for her grand children who may arrive someday. According to Harley, that is a Chinese trait that shows Chinese mothers are able to connect with several generation into the future. Something he finds himself unable to do.

The couple said that “tolerance” and “compromise” keeps their marriage as sweet as it was when Harley first proposed. Despite having lived in China for over two decades, Harley said he is still on the way of fitting in. “I just know enough to know I don’t know enough (Chinese culture),” he admitted.

来源:News GD     Editor:谭晶