Love comes in different forms
– Written for Mother’s Day
I grew up in a traditional Chinese family. My mom is a housewife, like most of the women in my hometown. Throughout her life she changed jobs 7 times until she found her perfect one – being a housewife. Cooking is her absolute favorite thing to do. She loves to cook big meals for the family and feels very proud that she can take care of us with these meals. She expresses her love for her family through food.
In Asian culture, parents don’t openly praise their kids or give big hugs. Instead they express their love through actions. It is very common for my parents to ask “Did you eat?” However, It is highly uncommon for them to say “I love you”. I am not sure if my mom will ever say “I love you” but I know in my heart that she does.
How can I know if they don’t tell me?
Love comes in different forms. Your parents might not give you the perfect form you expect, but you can find evidence on a daily basis. For my mom the evidence is in her cooking. Sometimes she will even go out of her way to make my favorite dish.
One of the most popular books in our studio is 5 love languages: gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch. There is a reason this way of looking at love is popular. A lot of times your family and your love ones might not share exact the same love language that you do. This can result in a lot of mismatches and misunderstandings.
In Chinese culture, we love differently, not better, not worse, but definitely different. It is not perfect, like anything else. However, you have to accept who they are, and how they love. They might not give you exactly what you want, and they might not agree with your lifestyle, but you know they are always there for you. We might not be able to change them, but we can learn to accept the love they give.
In our family, we sit down and have a very long meal with over 10 courses. By long, I mean 3 to 4 hours, with no drinking involved. We talk about everything over the meal, laugh at each others jokes, complain about the weather, and share what happened on the newspaper. Our conversations go on and on until I am too full to stand up.
Mom’s love, might not be perfect, or expressed verbally, but it is still recognizable.
It is Mother’s Day in 2 weeks, don’t forget to send your love to your Mom. How will you show your love this mother’s day?