Post # 1
We’re getting married in California but we’re honeymooning with his family in Indonesia. I’m really excited about going out of the country and seeing a different culture and how my Fiance grew up and all of that. His mother is super-excited and wants us to get married and visit ASAP – she’s talking about giving us this elaborate Indonesian wedding cremony with 3 dresses (American, Indonesian, and one specifically traditional to their particular island in the country) and all that good stuff.
I’m just worried. I’m socially awkward enough for English people, I don’t want to offend his entire family in 2 weeks – they don’t speak English, I don’t speak Indonesian, and I really haven’t a lot of clues about what their customs are. I’m worried that I’ll be so clueless and confused that they’ll either think i’m disrespectful or stupid.
I see his family very night with him on Skype but it’s mostly me listening and them talking. Sometimes I add in something if the timing is right but I already feel weird when he says “They want to talk to you” and I don’t know what to say. They’re really nice to me and I feel like they love me already, I just don’t know how to show the same appreciation I feel for them.
Fiance says everything will be alright and not to worry but I still have jitters.
I don’t know where I’m going with this post. I guess I just wanted to get it off my chest lol.
Post # 3
It just takes time! My best advice would be to watch as many indonesian language based movies, read books about it, get rosetta stone and also take a language course. As your Fiance to speak to you only in indonesian or as much as possible. The more you can absorb the better.
I studied many languages and picked up Argentine spanish just by living amongst them in a household. I also took an introductory course to get the basics down.
It is so exciting to learn about new cultures and get involved! Just jump in , and don’t look back!
Post # 4
I agree with PP. Jump in and learn the language. Your new family will only love you more for making the effort. Plus you have the bonus of having the best tutor, your FI!
Post # 5
I agree with PP. Also, presents never hurt either 🙂
Post # 6
he’s taught me “akuchinta kamo” and “bego” which mean “I love you” and “stupid” lol.
Important – don’t say both phrases in the same sentence.
I don’t know if anyone’s a fan of I Love Lucy but I keep thinking about the episode where Lucy goes to Cuba and tries to speak Spanish with her hubby’s family and winds up calling the head of house a fat stupid pig
Post # 7
I agree with PP.
And don’t worry, people are usually very understanding if you don’t know the language or customs. Just pick up stuff as you go =)
Post # 8
This was me a few years ago! If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to calm the F down and just be myself. No one expects you to be fluent in the language, just show that you are happy to be there and that you are making a small effort (know some basic words like “thank you” at least).
God, I was such a trainwreak, I was so nervous! I had a giant coldsore on my face from all the stress of traveling, so I had to try and dodge everyone’s faces as they were trying to do the European kissing thing, ha. I didn’t speak any French, and they didn’t speak any English, so my Fiance had to translate a lot and learning the language was a very humbling experience.
Try to learn the culture, but don’t worry about it too much – chances are you’ll have to learn some of it by experience. Before I came, I read a ton of books on French culture and got myself so worked up about following all the rules! I read somewhere that the guys are always supposed to open the door, so for the first four months I was always worried his dad would judge me if I opened the car door myself! lol! I have no idea how that book was published, I think that custom isn’t even true!
Post # 9
@Au Jardin: Thank you so much, that makes me feel tons better
So far, I think the only person I have to worry about is his grandma cause she’s a super-religious Muslim, and the high elder of the family but she’s a lot like me so hopefully it will be ok.
I found out our names, birthdays, and wedding date were given to her so that they could be approved and thankfully we came out compatible in every way lol.
The funny thing is I did the exact same thing, but unlike her, I just did it for fun. I looked up our Western astrology, Chinese astrology, and Numerology just to see if we’d fit. I loved it when Fiance said “my grandma did that too, but she used books instead of the net”
Post # 10
Don’t worry you will be fine. I agree with you that it feels a bit awkward not knowing a different language but you will learn little by little. My husband is Polish and his family always speaks Polish around me. I am usually very quiet as i only understand a few words. But i am learning little by little. I’m sure you’ll be able to catch on some words as time goes by. Good luck!