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  • I don’t know when I started to like the Indian culture.

    Born and bred in Hong Kong, I was always ‘swimming against the crowd’. While most people in Hong Kong idolised the Japanese and South Korean culture, I did not. Indian culture is never seen in Hong Kong, and whenever India is reported, it is painted as an extremely dangerous and terrible country.

    In 2010, I met Ricky, who originates from Delhi, when he did an exchange programme in Hong Kong. He wanted to broaden his horizon, so he applied for his college exchange scheme.

    Before I met Ricky, I had always talked about Indian culture to my parents, so they weren’t surprised that I found an Indian boyfriend. In 2013, Ricky met my parents for the first time during Chinese New Year and thankfully, my parents liked him.

    Both our parents are quite open-minded. When Ricky told his Mum about me, she told him to be serious and not to break my heart. I was really happy that my mother-in-law accepted and cared for me.

    However, some of my friends and relatives suggested that I think deeply before getting married to a non-Hong Kong person. Their main concern was that we were both very different culturally, and that we did not understand each other enough. They even warned me that India is not a safe country for a girl.

    As I wanted to understand more about the Indian culture, I tried to find a job in India. Luckily, in 2012, I applied for a Taiwan and Indian programme to work in India, and I got the offer to go to India.

    I started my work in Delhi and shared a home with three Taiwanese girls. They were surprised that I had come to India to work, and to be close to Ricky.

    This was my third time to India - and I had already fallen in love with the country. I couldn’t get enough of the majestic palaces and temples, the colorful traditional clothing and the delicious Indian cuisine. The longer I stayed there, the more I discovered new and interesting things about the country and culture.

    The two biggest difference between the Indian and Chinese culture, in my view, is the food and family relations. Chinese people, are mostly non-vegetarians and most Indians are vegetarians. Chinese cuisine is light in flavour while Indian cuisine has strong and pungent flavours. Also in Hong Kong, I am not close with my relatives and cousins but Indian people have much closer relations with their relatives.

    Alas, in 2013, my work contract had ended and I had to return to Hong Kong. Ricky and I both decided to commit to each other and get married in 2014.

    We have temporarily settled in USA and await our next adventure together.

    As some of my Indian friends said to me, “Yvette, you have an Indian soul but a Chinese body!”

    Story of Yvette Tang for The Chindian Diaries​
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