updated 7 Nov 2012, 05:45
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Tue, Oct 02, 2012
The Straits Times
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More Chinese brides with Caucasian grooms
by Theresa Tan

The first boyfriend Singaporean entrepreneur Kuik Shiao Yin, 35, introduced to her parents was a Caucasian American.

They did not object, but raised some concerns: Would Mr Brandon Krause, 36, understand Chinese culture? Would she leave Singapore if she married him?

She said: “If you went out with someone of the same race, there would be fewer red flags.”

Mr Krause, a Chicago native who came to Singapore to work four years ago, acted swiftly.

“I invited her parents to dinner and told them we had just started courting with a view to marriage.

If they had any objections, we would discontinue this relationship.

I basically gave them the honour and decision to say if they were not comfortable with me,” said Mr Krause, who runs a video production firm. “Her dad said Shiao Yin was old enough to make her own decisions and they would stand by her choice.”

The couple married in May with their families’ blessings. They plan to live here and Mr Krause has just applied for permanent residency.

The Caucasian groom and Chinese bride pairing has become increasingly common.

Last year, there were 461 such couples in civil marriages, almost double the 236 from a decade ago.

They comprised the second largest group, or 11.6 per cent, of the civil inter-ethnic unions last year, after Chinese grooms and brides of “other” ethnicities, which made up 50.2 per cent of all civil mixed marriages.

“Others” here refers to ethnic groups other than Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian and Caucasian.

Solemnisers said many Caucasian grooms are from the United States, Europe or Australia and tend to be well-educated. The couple often meet through work or friends.

The Krauses, both graduates, met at a Christian seminar in 2009 and hit it off. They became friends first, and discovered they shared the same faith, similar values and life goals.

Yet Mr Krause hesitated before asking her to be his girlfriend, because he had been through four failed relationships. But after much soul-searching, he felt she was “The One”.

Ms Kuik said she never felt any pressure to marry, even into her mid-30s. Then she met Mr Krause.

She said: “Brandon has a very generous heart and spirit. He was literally giving his clothes away when we went on a missionary trip to Timor Leste.”

The couple plan to start a family soon. Mr Krause said: “I want six kids but given our ages, we are happy with whatever number we eventually have. In Singapore, people say having kids is so expensive, but what else are you going to spend your money on?”

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