Qixi Festival is one of the important traditional folk festivals in China and many East Asian countries. It falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, which originates from the legend of Niulang and Zhinv.
There are many ancient customs in the Qixi Festival. For example, girls will worship Zhinv with their secret wishes, hoping that they can be as ingenious as Zhinv. Nowadays, Qixi Festival is often thought of Chinese Valentine’s Day and many couples will celebrate on this day.
Yama who grew up in Foshan and Jackson from America have been together for six months. Chantal from Foshan and Peter from Nigeria have been in love for over 4 years, and they are married and have two kids. What are the stories of them?
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(Y: Yama, J:Jackson, C: Chantal, P: Peter)
Q1: How did you meet each other?
We met in 2011 butwe were just friends at that time. He was dating someone and I was dating someone at that time. But 2 years later, he came to Foshan and eventually we just started dating in 2013.
We met about...almost 6 months ago. We met at a friend's home. She had come to visitand I was there. I was interested so I pursued her after that.
It’s quite special. He looked at me in a different way… It’s loving and seems like he have been waiting for me for a long time.
Q2: What do you think is the most romantic thing?
C: 我觉得每一天都很浪漫，因为我的老公很好。（P: 是吗？）是啊！
Actually I thinkevery day is quite romantic cause my husband is a very good husband. (P: Am I?)Yes, you are!
I think being withher really changes my life a lot. Every day has been a really romantic day tostay together.
Take a walk in the park. There is a beautiful park here. We take a night time walk sometimes. That's pretty romantic to do this kind of things.Talk along the walk, talk about life, talk about things, talk about relationships.
The most romantic thing is that when we first went out in spring, there were many azaleas. I walked along the road and he took photos for me in an admiring way.
Q3: How do you generally celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Since we got married, we don’t really spend Valentine’s Day. It’s not like we don’t spend Valentines’ Day, but sometimes we just (stay at) home or hand out together. We get these little ones to take care of.
老夫老妻模式 VS 买买买！
I think we want to go... (Y: shopping!) I think we are gonna get something to eat...eat out in the restaurants and have a good chill evening, relaxing and enjoying each other's company.
Q4: Does cultural difference influence your relationship?
It’s all about understanding. Because if you guys understand each other very well, everything works out perfectly. That’s my experience.
Yeah, sometimes, our cultures are different and of course everyone has their opinions about certainthings. But we try to meet in the middle some kind of way. It's the best you can do as a couple. She learning my culture and me learning her culture is a beautiful thing. And that's what I think people should do in life in general.
Some Americans are quite stubborn and direct. He would insist his own way. And I would say: “you shouldn’t say something like that. It hurts.” Then he said: “but this is the truth!”
Q5: What do you like her/him the most?
I think what I love most about her is her sense of belonging. She cares a lot.
To me, I think he is the perfect one for me. I cannot find anyone better than him.
J: 我最喜欢她的性格。她很有趣。（Y: 你也很有趣）我们一直很开心。我还喜欢她的厨艺。这很重要。我喜欢吃中国菜（Y: 抓住他的胃）她做得很好吃。
What I like aboutmy girl the most is personality. She's funny. (Y: You're funny, too) We try tolaugh all the time. And I like that she can cook. It's very important. I love Chinese food (the way to catch a man’s heart is through his stomach) and she cooks great.
Q6: How to date with the one?
Just be yourself and be a gentleman. Don't try so hard to do too much like over-exert yourself with trying to impress. Dinner is always nice when you first meet someone. A dinner, a movie, talking, communicating and see what happens after that.
The legend of Niulang and Zhinv
Once upon a time, there was a man called Niulang living with an old bull. Zhinv was the granddaughter of the Heavenly Queen. One day, Zhinv went to the mortal world and fell in love with Niulang. With the help of the old bull, they got married and had two kids. Unfortunately, soon the Heavenly Queen knew about this and catch Zhinv back to heaven. Niulang chased after them with the magical bull skin, but a Milky Way was drawn by the Heavenly Queen with her golden hairpin, separating the loving couple. The magpies sympathized the couple, so they fly to the Milky Way to build “a bridge of magpies” at the night of the 7th day of the7th lunar month every year so that Niulang and Zhinv can finally meet each other.