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Barry from Australia is a questioning soul who looks at social issues from an alternative point of view and instead of asking, “Why?”, he asks “Why not?” He’s convinced that many of his previous incarnations were spent in China. He feels drawn to the people there; attracted by their rich culture and way of life. If given one wish from God, he’d reply, “I want everyone on Earth to be the same colour, speak the same language, and treat each other as they themselves would like to be treated.”
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Employment Problem for Chinese Ladies in Western Countries    

By Barry Pittman
9270 Views | 49 Comments | 3/4/2014 2:38:28 PM

The employment issue needs to be carefully considered by Chinese who are considering moving to a Western country

This article is the most important one I've written so far on this website.  Because it deals with REALITY.  For too long, too many lovely Chinese ladies have given up their home, plus their friends, plus often an excellent career in China in the naive expectation that love conquers all.  But it DOES NOT.  Read on to see what I mean.


This article deals in particular with  the dilemma faced by many Chinese ladies as to whether or not it’s in their best interests to leave China to live in a Western country.


I won’t mention any names here, in case of possible embarrassment.  Let me say though that it concerns a Chinese teacher (who we’ll call Lady G), who is currently struggling to decide whether to leave her excellent teaching career in China, to face the prospect of probably NOT being able to gain a similar teaching job in the Western country her fiancé lives in. 

Lady G said, "I love my teaching job. Though my English is not good enough...........I will feel sad to give up my good job to move to America to be just a housewife or to do the low work . But I must consider my daughter....Like many other Chinese mother, I do not want her to stay here to suffer from the scourges -  serious air pollution, poison food and other problems I am still hesitating and struggling"


This was my response to her, that hopefully may be of benefit to other ladies in a similar situation.


“I feel your pain, Lady G.  I understand completely your situation.


Let me say this.  I was formerly married to a Chinese lady who was a computer specialist with the Bank of China.  It broke my heart though, to see her having no option but to work here in Australia in a low grade job.  Due to not possessing excellent English, work opportunities for her were limited.   Another Chinese friend of mine here was a school principal in China, earning more than any other teacher in the school.  Yet over here, she was forced to work as a waitress in a restaurant.  THOUSANDS of otherwise highly qualified Chinese are in similar positions, when they move to a Western country.  They often leave high quality jobs in China and end up in much lower positions in the Western country.


I can see that you’re a bright and intelligent person.  I feel you'd certainly NOT be happy if you ended up in a low class job.  I thus feel John's words here are both relevant and worthwhile.”

John Abbot had given Lady G some excellent advice that possibly she could start up her own tutoring business in the Western country  - the full transcript of this can be seen on the “Serious Question” forum thread. 


I agree that tutoring Chinese  - or helping Chinese kids learn English - could be a potentially good start up business.  Please note there's a big difference between teaching and tutoring as far as government rules and regulations are concerned.  Basically anyone with relevant knowedge can tutor;  but one must be properly approved by the appropriate authorities in whatever country you're in, to be a recognised teacher. One big trap  I've seen some Chinese fall into is this, when they think about what work they’ll do in the Western country.


"When I go there, I'll get a job in a school or some sort of training college and teach Chinese".


Sadly this is NOT likely to occur.  Because jobs like these are hard to get and there are already thousands of Chinese immigrants ahead of you.  Plus a lot of government licencing requirements are involved.  So ladies, please do NOT count on getting a teaching job at a school or other facility in a Western country, particularly if you don’t possess excellent English skills.


So where does that leave you, Lady G?  Let's look at the alternatives.


1.  Stay in China.


This is a tough call, especially as I'm currently doing my damndest to convince a Chinese lady to LEAVE the place!   You mentioned you've many work possibilities in China, given your excellent teaching ability and the due recognition it receives from potential employers.   So rather than feeling pressured to make a quick decision on behalf of your child because of the pollution in your area, why not move to a less polluted place and make sure to buy high quality foods?  This at least would give you plenty of time to then carefully reconsider your options.


Let me confirm that the environment in a Western country is on average, much superior to most places in China.  But what good is this, if you're feeling worthless, working in a low grade job?


2.  Create your own job in the Western country


As John advised, there are opportunities to proactively make the most of your talents in a Western country.  The talents you have that immediately come to mind are your intelligence; bright personality; proficient Chinese language ability; and excellent teaching skills.


Though there's one ability here that may be needed that perhaps you don't possess.  I don't know one way or the other at this time.  It needs to be mentioned however.  That is, ENTREPRENEURSHIP.  


This is defined as the ability to start your own business.  Being able to efficiently identify, source and organise the requisite resources required to do this, thus embracing both the risks and rewards associated with the venture.  Not everyone is suited for this.  Even the most gifted intellectual or the cleverest trainer may not necessarily be a good entrepreneur.


If you're not though, all is not lost  - IF your fiance is good in this area?  If so, he could do all the spade work needed, kick starting the venture into operation with your assistance.  But maybe he's not like this?  Maybe he's more of a follower, rather than a leader?  


Also SEED MONEY will be needed to establish a new business.  As with any venture, the first year or two often run at a loss, until it establishes its own momentum.  Are you guys in a position to sustain a possible couple of years' losses?


LOCATION is important also.  Where would you work?  If at home, would the local council regulations there allow this?  If not, how much would office rentals in the area be?   Can you afford this, given all the other costs?


Then there are ADVERTISING expenses.  These can be substantial.  It's no good having a great new business if no one knows about you!  Promotional costs can in fact be the greatest single outlay in the first year, if you want to quickly get your name out there.


These and many other things are the types of issues you need to consider carefully if thinking about self employment.  It goes without saying, nothing is as easy as it sounds.  It’s a known fact that more small businesses fail within the first three years than survive.  Not trying to be pessimistic here, simply realistic.  As a smart person, I know you want all the facts, not just the positive spin.


3.  Work alongside your fiance/husband


This is the option I'll be choosing with my Chinese fiancee.  We'll be working together.  I have proactive plans for what we’ll be doing already formulated for when the time arrives. 

Is this possible in your current situation?  Would you be happy to work with your fiancé/husband -  and he with you?  Or would this be impossible?  Maybe he works in a government job or suchlike, where he’s not in a position to employ anybody?


Also, if you could in fact work with him, would you enjoy the work?  Or would you far prefer to be back doing what you love - teaching?



My message to Chinese ladies considering moving to a Western country is this.

The issues involved are sadly greater than mere love, as nice, cuddly and romantic as this concept is.  Because love can fade, especially if the lady concerned ends up as a dishwasher or low paid daycare worker, rather than in a high class position similar to what she formerly held.


Love is a fairytale concept that's wonderful when it happens, yet so often it fades over time.  I liken it to a RAINBOW - absolutely brilliant when at its peak, but as time passes,  so may the vibrant colours fade, ie the passionate feelings, the fervor, the fire.


I know love between people often can last a long time - fantastic stuff.  BUT divorce rates are about fifty per cent in Western society, that to me unerringly indicates love dissipation, diminishment or disappearance between couples runs at about the same level.


So why would a lady give up her home, her friends and a great career  - on a fifty/fifty chance that maybe it'll work out -  or maybe it won't?  In particular, why would someone with a good job in China move to a new country knowing the likelihood is she'll be working in a menial, low paid job there?


I understand that SOME Chinese ladies want to leave China at all costs, REGARDLESS of what job they'll be doing overseas.  Moving to a Western country is the be all and end all consideration for them.  This article is not intended for these people, although at least I can say to them, "I told you so", when they discover a year or two down the track how prophetic and accurate my advice here was.


To the rest of the ladies, let me say that though it may initially be a very exciting prospect to move to a Western country, amongst many other considerations, in order to minimise the chance of divorce down the track, employment is a SERIOUS issue to consider, not to be brushed off lightly in the adventure and tumult of it all. 


Don’t simply think about the first six months.  How will you feel in two or three years, if you can’t find interesting, gainful work for yourself?  How will your self respect and self esteem be holding up in such a scenario?  If these are being stretched and strained, maybe also will be the precious feelings of love for your spouse?

I urge all ladies here to discuss the work issue very carefully with their prospective partners.  Do NOT accept vague assurances from the man such as, “I’m sure everything will be okay” or “Don’t worry, you’ll be able to get a job”.  These statements don’t show much respect.  Because TRUE love is where the person concerned feels MORE for the other person than he does for himself.  And if the man doesn’t even know what his wife will be doing or where she’ll be working  -  and hence how her possibly deteriorating feelings of long term self worth and personal fulfilment will be  -  what sort of  tarnished “true love” is this?  It's more akin to a selfish love to me, I'm afraid.

I know I'm speaking rather bluntly here.  I don't want to sugar coat anything, just merely tell the facts, as hard as they are.  I'd rather cause the ladies reading this some alarm and concern NOW so that positve action can be taken.  This is much better than let them become potentially very disappointed and disheartened later on, when it's too late.


As for the men reading this, I hope you'll give thought to the issues raised.  Please don't bring a lady to your home country with only a vague notion of what she'll be doing as far as decent work goes.  This is absolutely not fair to her and will possibly do a lot of damage in the future to your relationship as a whole.


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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#2014-03-06 16:07:44 by Grace172 @Grace172

Haha… Barry, be careful! Your article has broken so many women’s dream. (smirk)Most women here are looking for the true love and we have read so many romantic stories overstate the POWER of love. We thought that as long as the men truly love us then we can do anything for them even though have to give up our good job, good situation to do the low work there. Like the flying moths dart into the fire.
But what you said is correct, ‘love can fade.’ Just see many romantic stories just end up with the result that a prince finally marry the princess and saying “They lived happily ever after.” They won’t continue story after they marry. Why? We all know the reason. Will they really lived happily ever after? Who knows?
So I always believe that “Easy to love but not easy to live along with” So I rather to live with my bf a period of time before we decide to marry or not. When I WAS BECOME someone’s fiancé (I did not get fully ready for it at that moment) I lost my head, because the plan suddenly changed. I wanted to find a man who would like to live and work here with me but something happened cause my ex husband. My bf suggested me to move to his country before my daughter’s 21 birthday. Then too sudden I realize that I have to face the dilemma you mentioned because I have to consider my daughter’s future, bad pollution here, his healthy and some other reasons. I become a fiancé.
So stay here is not the best choice for my daughter now. If just consider myself, I rather stay here. In fact I am not an intelligent person with high degree like many other women in this website. I am only a teacher. But I love kids very much. I only teach every weekends (three day a week) but I can get much more money than many other full time teachers. I am “lazy” and like to be freedom, so this job is really fit to me. I can do gardening, reading, yoga in my spare time. I also feel successful in my teaching job because I happen to have a special teaching skill to make my students become the top students in their schools and so many of them have got the seats in the key middle schools so I am more and more popular with the parents and schools. I really feel sad that I have to give up this good job and will lose my freedom to do the hard dirty job for living.
Moving to other city, I don’t think it is a good idea. The pollution in the north city is worse than Guangzhou. To move there we will die sooner than stay here. If move to a small city like Yunnan lijiang, I cannot find a job as good as I have now. So that is the worst idea.
As for what my bf assured me that I can do the teaching job in his country, I have been doubt that. I rather believe your guys words. There is hopeless for me to get a teaching job in a native English speaking country. His ex Chinese wife, a college graduate now working as a housemaid in a family.
Running a business, well, that maybe a good idea, as I used to do the business before. But now I have to consider saving money for my daughter’s tuition. So I won’t take the adventure at the moment.
As for helping my bf’s business. Oh, come on. He has not even a retail section selling cigarettes. He is an engineer. I am too ignorant to help him.
Anyway. Great work, Barry. (clap)I appreciate your kindly trying your best to help us. I also thank for CLM to let us to meet someone to love. But come to now, finding love is not the final aim for us. How can keep the relationship fresh and how can survive and live happily abroad is the issue we have to think of. Authentic love does not imply enduring happiness. When a best friend congratulated me for having a bf and will move abroad, I do not now I should smile or should cry.
I do not know. Really do not know.

#2014-03-11 14:57:26 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Barry, this is a great article, but I think you are painting a much darker picture than necessary. I agree that some of the highly educated, well employed women from China will no doubt take a step down in their employment in foreign countries if their English is not at a very high level. But what can they do about it? Well for one thing they can go all out to develop their English abilities to where that is not a deal breaker. And once they've done that they can seek high end jobs that are suited especially to people who speak both English and Mandarin fluently.

Those jobs are growing at an unbelievable rate, and these same women will have virtually no competition in the foreign countries, because you can bet your ass that western women are not studying Mandarin to any great degree.

It's wrong to think that the circumstances that existed 20, or 10, or even 3 years ago in the west, will exist 2 years from now. China has become the center of attention the world over, and intelligent Chinese people who speak excellent English will be able to open doors for themselves in the West, just as Westerners who speak excellent Mandarin have been able to do for themselves for a couple of decades now in China.

@Grace172 - I suggest you do 2 things after you've gotten settled in the USA. 1. Start improving your English with typical Chinese diligence. 2. Buy a camera, start a blog in Chinese and English, about life in the USA for a newly immigrated Chinese lady and wife. I know from your writing here that you'll write a great blog, and if you can add good pictures to it, you'll have something really worth reading.

And there can't be more than about 400 Million Chinese who would find it interesting. You have an unlimited market.

But if not that, you'll think of or find lots of other good ways to have a great career in the West. You're the perfect woman for the job.

You are heading out on an adventure that most people in China only dream of, your son is being given the opportunity of a lifetime thanks to you, and it sounds like you'll have the support of a good man. You're about to cross a bridge into a new and exciting life. I for one envy you.

#2014-03-11 15:22:13 by purplesea1970 @purplesea1970

fall in love is easy,but give up nice job in china is big risk,how about other field except teaching,such as engineering,design ,IT,are easier for a lady to get a well paid job?

#2014-03-11 17:10:14 by dancingshoes @dancingshoes

I will prefer to work alongside my husband if I move to his place.

#2014-03-11 18:03:15 by melcyan @melcyan

Grace, you are right to think “love is not enough”.

If you move to USA, in addition to “love” you need to commit to your own personal growth and the growth of the relationship between you and your partner. If your partner loves you and shares this commitment and is able to support you for at least 3 years, then you have a good chance of success.

Two of the hardest occupations in the world are parenting and teaching. If you have been successful at both then you can succeed with anything that you set your mind to do.

You can be a “teacher” in the USA but you may for a while (or a long time ) have to settle for a job as an assistant to a teacher. I have worked as a teacher in schools for over 30 years. Many times I have seen the assistant doing a better job of teaching than the teacher they were assisting. Start by doing volunteer work in a private school helping English speaking students learn Mandarin and Mandarin speaking students learn English. Private schools have more flexibility with how they use their money and if you prove yourself to be useful as a volunteer then they may employ you as an assistant to a teacher with the job of helping students individually or in small groups.

Once you are in a school environment using your skills to help students learn then the next stage of your development will become clear. ( It may be gaining a USA teaching qualification or continuing as a teacher assistant.)

I wish you all the very best for the future, whether it be in China or the USA.

#2014-03-11 21:30:43 by lydiawen @lydiawen

Grace 172 : "My bf suggested me to move to his country before my daughter’s 21 birthday......".
JohnAbbot: "your son is being given the opportunity of a lifetime thanks to you......"

I was confused about those two sentences (whew)

#2014-03-11 22:15:28 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

What an excellent post! I too know 'Lady G' and I echo your concerns for her
Excellent response to Barry's article and in may ways I can see both sides of the proverbial 'coin' here - which is why I started what has turned out to be an incredibly popular thread - 'Serious Question'

Dear Grace, you may not think your English is good, but I can assure you that it is at a superb level and you would certainly be regarded as being FLUENT in English

However, as much as you love your job in China, you will not replicate it in a western country

Firstly you would not be allowed to teach English to native English speakers unless you have a university degree in English. However, your wonderful teaching experience and your excellent grasp of the English language would certainly qualify you to teach Mandarin in an English speaking western country

That said, although the west accepts that China is fast becoming our trading 'superpower', there is arguably still a limited 'market' when it comes to western people wanting to learn Chinese

Sadly, in general terms, Western people are often 'lazy'. Many native English speakers seem to think that all 'foreigners' should learn English if they want to communicate with us. They rarely consider that they should maybe learn a second language - unless of course it is French or German that we are taught in schools, yet most of us have absolutely no interest in

Chinese Mandarin (Putonghua) is an extremely difficult language for any foreigner to learn - I often joke with my Chinese friends that we have only 26 'Hanzi' (characters) in our alphabet, yet Putonghua has thousands!

Not only that, but the tones make it even more difficult. One of my favourite examples of this is the words you use for 'Buy' and 'Sell' - In pinyin Chinese they are spelled the same - (MAI) but spoken with different tones to emphasise the need to Buy or Sell something
OK, so maybe they have different characters (spider writing), but for a western student, the use of tones is extremely difficult

This is possibly because we only use tones to emphasise feelings as opposed to meanings. We can tell a good friend to 'Piss off" or we could tell him to 'Piss off' - the tone we use will make him understand if we are just joking around or being serious

So for now, I really think that your potential market for teaching Chinese in a western country may be limited - but who knows what the future holds?

Chinese women may have their own individual motives and reasons to leave China (pollution perhaps being the #1 reason) and while the thought of the 'White Knight on the white steed sweeping you off your feet' maybe a wonderful fantasy, it really does not pay the bills - and this is what I believe is Barry's motive in writing this blog

We all use CLM for our own reasons and we are all searching for the same thing - True Love - but sadly it's not all about fluffy bunnies and fairies at the bottom of the garden. There will be a point in your life when reality will kick-in and you may suddenly realize that you have made perhaps the biggest mistake of your life - but by then it is too late!
(And when I say YOU, I really mean Chinese women in general who feel this way)

Cross-cultural, long-distance relationships are not easy. There is often some kind of feeling of 'desperation' to be together in the same house in the same country

This is totally natural and totally understandable. After we meet our RMB100 we certainly want to start building a life together as soon as possible

But that does not mean we should just jump in without some kind of planning or forethought as to what our joint future will hold

I am halfway through writing my next 'Sad Bastard' blog (Number 2) and when it is published you (and many other Chinese women) may understand the underlying meaning of Barry's blog a little better

#2014-03-12 07:51:36 by shirley9183 @shirley9183

@Barry Dear Mr. Barry, you really tell a very big truth and the job for Chinese women in western country is very important except she is a second rich generation or she really got married with a very rich western man. In my point of view, the western men who like getting married with Chinese women mostly are from middle or under middle economic level from western countries, some of them are really hot for Chinese culture or Chinese traditions, but some of them are really difficult to find the suitable wives in their countries so that they consider to search Chinese women to get married, only a few western men are rich and fans for China and it is a very rare part. Depends on this situation, mostly Chinese women need go to work once they get married and move to be with their western men, therefore, what kind of job that they can get in a strange country? I do not think everyone have the good luck to get the suitable job once they are in abroad, because in many countries, even the local peoples still can not get a good job, how can a foreigner get a better one than a local one? It is obviously, if our Chinese women get married and go to another country to find job, it is very possible that there is no good job, only some very low salary and position job there such as dishwasher, housekeeper, maid for kids and servant for a family, etc. Therefore, I really want to ask our many well-educated women who want to get married with a western me about if you can accept doing such kind of job or not? Because there are really only such kind of job wait there and no more and no better chance than it. I make sure many will be very disappointed and frustrated for sure because we studied too many years in China, we only deserve such kind of job? Where is our personal value? Where is our social position? Where is the achievement? If we do not consider these factors well and we will be much more sad in the future and the love will be fade for sure.

Till now I knew my German boy friend online for mote than 2 years, but I really do not know if I go there to get married with him and what kind of job I can do and find there? I have no idea, he only push me to study German hard and I think he also know the difficulty of the mixed marriage a lot so that he hope giving both more time to prepare for it, because if I can not speak German well and I really can not get a job there and it is also difficult to rely on his salary to let both survive there because it is a very high cost country. I also checked on web about this question and some Chinese in Germany told me that I need to lower my life goal to go there because it probably only have the chance of surviving and there is no so many chance for development for foreigners. They are nice and cute and tell their countryman the truth and they said I am a white even a gold collar in China, but if I go to Germany and I will become a blue or even a black collar especially when my German language is not ok. They tell me to consider a lot except I have enough money to support me to survive well there for some years, if not, I need think about if I can endure to reduce my life goal to live there because of the true love, once I heard their words from their heart and my tear out, because they had never told you how happy and how exciting the life there and they only tell the truth and let me think of the things rationally. I think if I can not speak German well and I still want to stay in China because it is wasting time and energy to go there to study German and I also can study it here, during this procedure I will consider rationally a lot about going there to accept the low goal life or not, maybe I study quite well German and this let me more self-confident to go there to find the sense and I will go there at that moment, if not, I still prefer staying in my country because it has the better chance and circle for me to develop my career. As for my German boy friend and I make sure he can wait because he had already wait for me for so long time till now and he will be patient for sure. Thanks a lot for your lovely article and you said my heart on!

#2014-03-12 08:28:48 by Barry1 @Barry1


"Your article has broken so many women’s dream. Most women here are looking for the true love and we have read so many romantic stories overstate the POWER of love"

Thanks for your intelligent comments, Grace.

The main point I've attempted to illustrate here is in order to minimise the chances of divorce down the track, Chinese ladies should ensure that at the very least, they'll be gainfully employed in their new country. This means working in a decent job, not some low paid, menial one.

Because love by itself is NOT enough. Not when the poor lady is unhappy, getting up early day after day, commuting through the traffic only to then work in a drudging position that she hates. For the rainbow of love to have the best possible chance of long enduring, the lady MUST be satisfied with her day to day life.

You mentioned also,

"When I became someone’s fiancé (I did not get fully ready for it at that moment), I lost my head, because the plan was suddenly changed"

Do you mean that you agreed to this proposal BEFORE you'd fully thought it all through, before you were ready?

"So staying here is not the best choice for my daughter now. If just consider myself, I would rather stay here."

My answer to this is that your daughter is only 21. She has plenty of time left, there's no particular rush. If you’re not feeling at peace or at ease about what’s happening, then you need to ask yourself why?

"I only teach every weekends (three days a week) but I can get much more money than many other full time teachers. I am “lazy” and like to have freedom, so this job really fits me."

In the new country, you'll most likely need to start up a tutoring or blog based business as John suggested. Of course, this’ll time, motivation and energy (plus start up money for advertising, etc). Will this suit you if you wish to maintain your current relaxed work lifestyle?

You also said,

"my bf assured me that I can do the teaching job in his country"

To become a teacher, you must be properly licensed and qualified in the Western country, plus have excellent English. So whilst all this is possible, it’ll take some considerable time.

"When a best friend congratulated me for having a bf and I will move abroad, I did not know whether I should smile or I should cry."

Reading your words here indicates that you have much serious thinking to do about your pending move, Grace. My advice is to discuss all these issues with your fiance. I’m sure he’s a loving and caring person and will want the best for you. It worries me though that you mention you might want to cry, at the thought of the transition. In my mind at least, it seems you may not be quite ready for it.

This very personal and sincere letter you've written here almost seems to be a cry of help - unless I'm mistaken?

#2014-03-12 09:11:52 by Barry1 @Barry1


Thanks for your comments, John.

Perhaps I can respond in a general way, not replying to Grace's situation specifically?

I agree that Chinese ladies migrating to a Western country have potentially many exciting opportunities ahead of them. Though in reality, how many of these are practiceable or useful for ordinary, average people? You see, not everyone is an entrepreneurial type of person who can scope out and seize a potential business plan, then run with it, carrying it through to fulfilment.

Many Chinese ladies are rather quiet, demure angels who are followers, rather than proactive types who can identify business openings, then successfully exploit them.

So whilst I agree that if you're an energetic, intelligent and rather driven sort of person (who also has a bit of money to burn in the business creation process itself), then the potential for a Chinese in a Western country is almost unlimited. But how many sweet Asian souls are like this, especially the older, more mature folk?

You said also,

"they can go all out to develop their English abilities to where that is not a deal breaker"

How many Chinese ladies would want to devote the necessary time and hard work to develop such excellent English - many older Chinese simply couldn't be bothered, in my view.

Your reply to Grace is an excellent one, John - but in my view at least, is applicable primarily to the younger Chinese ladies, not the middle aged ones, many of whom are looking for a more relaxed life, rather than the reverse. Many hope to lead an EASIER life in the new country, not a harder one. I know there's a stereotype that Chinese are all industrious, driven sort of people - but many are not.

The good thing is that hopefully this debate will at the very least, cause people - both Chinese ladies as well as their Western suitors - to think carefully about the important issues involved. If this discussion can save just one marriage from busting up down the track due to shattered dreams, then it would have been worth it.


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