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January 2012 Features "Diverse Minds"

LastUpDate: January 4, 2012

If Love Exists

Hu Yue

Hu Yue won the Silver prize at the OPU
Japanese Speech Contest 2011

Hu Yue
School of Economics

It’s beautiful - but I was skeptical about the idea that love can conquer all. Differences in cultures and customs are never easy to make up. No matter how good our language skills can be, or how well we get used to a new culture, as far as I know few international marriages or relationships are successful.

When I asked my friend from Argentina out for a ramen (Japanese noodle) lunch, he said, "I had better not. I do not want to slurp ramen and sweat in front of a woman." In Japan it is not considered rude to make slurping noises when you eat noodles. But for some foreigners, that particular eating manner is embarrassingly unacceptable. Another difference I found in Japan is that the Japanese people are generally indifferent to politics. In China, we often talk about politics over a meal.

A successful international marriage will require a great deal of effort, energy and generosity - maybe, to understand and to be understood by your significant other properly, twice as much as a marriage between two people of the same nationality. But thinking about my parents, I came to believe that if love exists it will conquer all.

Would you like to start an international romance?