Every month of the year, we here at WWAM BAM! have set out to spotlight an interesting lady married to an Asian man in our WWAM of the Month edition. We have met some fascinating, strong women, from PhD candidates to YouTubers and business owners. Now, at the end of this exciting year, we are taking a look back at the WWAMs of 2016.
January: Barbara Chen
Married for 26 years this year to a lovely gentleman from China’s northwest, I would consider Barbara Chen a gold card member of the WWAM (Western woman with Asian man) club. Susie Hart was fortunate to have some time to sit down with her and learn a little more about how all this came to be and what it’s been like for her.
February: Kristel Ouwehand
Kristel Ouwehand is a Canadian artist, who paints in the traditional Tibetan Thangka style as well as realism with a focus on Buddhist motives. She runs an art school with her Tibetan husband in the Southern part of Gansu province. If you think that already sounds amazing, just wait till you hear that she spent a decade living in a monastery in India! It has been an absolute pleasure and an honour to ask her nosy questions about her personal life. Enjoy her eye-wateringly funny account of what it is like to be a WWAM in the highlands of Gansu.
Hailing from America, Brandy’s been living in China since 2006. She’s a teacher turned entrepreneur who also balances life as a Chinese daughter-in-law. Brandy also enjoys singing and voice acting, card and board games, writing, and hanging out with her cat who thinks it’s a dog. Kim spoke to her about her life.
April: Anna Sophie Jakobsen Cheng
Anna is a lady whose story deserves a place outside of library special collections and thesis papers. From the limited eight lines on her Wikipedia page it is difficult to see just how remarkable this WWAM and her experience is. While WWAMs today are still not very common, Anna Sofie Jakobsen (1860-1913) was among the first Western women to fall in love with and marry a Chinese man. Felicity Miller put on her best sleuthing hat and went on a hunt for more information.
May: Felicity Miller
Some people were born to tell stories, and you can count Felicity Miller (one of our contributors to WWAM BAM) among them. If you’ve ever spent any time around this Scotland native who married a Chinese man from Gansu, you’ll find yourself fascinated with her tales. So, it was only a matter of time before we were all longing to know the story behind Felicity, hence crowning her our WWAM of the Month. Jocelyn dug deeper into her story.
June: Badminton Becky
Becky has been in China for 8 years, and has been living in the hot and humid heaven that is Xiamen for the past 3 years. She’s a blogger and the face behind Ms Wai, our very own intercultural dating column. Aside from that she is also the queen of Xiamen’s badminton scene (ah, who I am kidding, she’s the Badminton Queen of China! – or the BQoC) and just an overall superstar! Find out more about this fabulous woman.
July: Jo Bai
She’s the voice behind the popular blog Life Behind the Wall, but Jocelyn also admires her for her entrepreneurial spirit (she launched her own online clothing business Heilan Fashions) and willingness to take risks in the name of living out her dreams.
If the WWAM community held a talent show, you can guarantee Toni would shine onstage. This native of Alexandria, Virginia is a singer-songwriter who can play piano and the guitar. She also speaks Mandarin Chinese, one of the languages she shares with her fiancé Min, who she met while teaching English in Zhengzhou. Jocelyn sat down with her for August.
Pamela hails from the beautiful beach community of Tampico, Mexico, and now calls Taiyuan, China home. With her Spanish-language Youtube channel, she’s helping folks around the world get a new perspective on China en español. (You can also follow her on Instagram.) Jocelyn chatted with Pamela to learn more about how she landed in China and what it’s like connecting with people on Youtube.
October: Bianca Wan
Chongqing, the spicy hotpot capital of China, is also where Brazil native Bianca Wan lives. While she never expected to come to this country or marry a Chinese man, she’s now happy to call China home. Jocelyn spoke to Bianca about everything from her pathway to China to what she thinks about Chongqing.
November: Ana C.
For November, we talked to Ana from England, who has been married to Andi, a football fan from Gansu province, for three years. They live in Beijing with their beautiful dog July, where Ana is working on a PhD degree. Find out her China story and what it’s like to be a female foreign PhD student in China.
December: Julia C.
From a quiet county of around 700 000 our WWAM of the Month December found herself transported to the mega-city of Chongqing, with a population of over 30 million. We spoke to Julia about life in the Southern metropole.
Thanks to all our WWAMs for opening up and sharing their story with us!