This post will conclude the series I’m doing on the man who makes all my writing possible, my husband—Herman Chin.
One of the things that first attracted me to this lovely man was the fact that he is Chinese-American. Although born and raised in San Francisco, his parents both migrated from a farming village in Southern China.
I know what you’re thinking, that I was attacked to his tawny skin tones, his dark hair and almond-shaped eyes, his porcelain smooth skin. Well, perhaps a little, but what really drew me to him was his quiet, understated demeanor. His parents developed that manner while living on a farm and working the land, and they instilled it into all their children.
But even as that first blush of romance and attraction faded, I continued to love Herman’s connection to his Chinese heritage. It’s not just a love of good Chinese food or celebrating ethnic holidays and rituals. More than anything it is a devotion to family. Herman comes from a large clan, and his family roots grow deep. There is profound respect for elders, and joy lavished on young people. They meet often to help each other, and simply enjoy being together. It is a bond I have not experienced with my own family, and I love the fact that Herman’s family has included me so that I can experience this kinfolk love.
Herman forms most of his identity from his family and his heritage, as I suppose most of us do. But unlike many people who shun or ignore that part of their life (like me), Herman embraces it. It colors every part of his being. It keeps him humble and gives him his self respect, his sense of existence. And to me, it forms much of his attractiveness, an inner beauty that goes bone deep.