Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Modern day "Kai-Shao"

Growing in a Chinese family, I frequently hear the word “kai-shao” ever since I was small. This actually means (in Filipino) “pag-papakilala” or in English, "to introduce". Let me tell you though that nowadays, this word is very powerful and Filipino-Chinese kids hate their parents when they mention that they are to be introduced to somebody. This is probably because youth nowadays have their own sets of friends and they usually prefer to meet “the one” on their own. I must admit, I myself had my own “kai-shao” experience which I could tell you later on. Let me share some of my thoughts and insights on this kind of tradition that has passed from generation to generation and yes, it being practiced until now.

1.       Meeting new friend that’s outside you circle – as elder people introduce you to people that you don’t actually know, your circle of friends will grow that would eventually lead you to meeting “the one”
2.       Most of the time, it’s the friends of your folks who wants to set you up and this “kai-shao” thing is initially mentioned to your parents. More or less, your folks have already helped you in checking the family background of that person. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that your parents are approving your relationship 100%. It's just that on the initial research, they have passed.
3.       Most of your criteria in finding the right person are met because elders will usually ask you of the qualifications that you require. Of course, it is not 100% sure that the both of you will click but it is a big help to have somebody aid you in looking for your ideal partner.       

1.       You wouldn't know what to expect until you've actually met the person. It's a good thing there is Facebook nowadays - you can have a sneak peak of the looks of the person who is about to be introduced to you. But until you actually get to meet and talk to that person, you wouldn't know what he/she is really like. As the old saying goes, "don't judge a book by its cover".
2.       People will do a follow-up on your meet-up. This is normal with your group of friends/barkadas but may seem a bit awkward when elders are the ones who asked you on how your introduction date went and when the second date would be. But after a few kaishaos, I'm sure you'd pretty much get the hang of it and you'll know how to answer them.
Kaishao doesn’t mean that the two of you will end up marrying each other. It's actually a good chance of meeting new people and seeing whether the two of you will get along well to go to the next level of your relationship and eventually get married. Do take note too that in this modern world, kaishao is different from arranged marriage, so don't fret when a friend of your folks would want you to meet a new person. Remember, you always have the right to say no.

Do you have your own "Kai-Shao" story? :)

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Anonymous said...

You forget the complication: "When the parents like each other already the thoughts of the children no longer matter."