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Man storms out of sister's birthday after she asks his Chinese wife to speak Mandarin.

Man storms out of sister's birthday after she asks his Chinese wife to speak Mandarin.


Nothing harshes the vibe of a birthday party quite like an adult sibling squabble.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for leaving a birthday party because of a translation request. He wrote:

"AITA for leaving a birthday party because of a racist translation request?"

Going to try to keep this short and sweet. I'm still getting text messages and it's making me more upset to read them. I went to a birthday party for Annie, my sister (F34). I (M36) and my wife (F36) went as we were able to get her parents to watch the boy (our 16 MO son). It was a normal adult birthday party as she has no kids.

She had some of her friends over and our parents. I'm white and all of my family are all white (important for the story). My wife is Chinese, was born in China, and became a citizen when her and her family moved to the US when she was 16. She's 100% a US citizen, no green card, and she and all of her family speak Mandarin. My wife can speak English very well but her family, mostly elders, don't speak a lick of it.

I've been learning Mandarin as it's my wife's cultural language, it's cool AF, and I want the boy (and future children) to be able to speak both of our languages. It's been about 2 and a half years and I'm not very conversational yet, but I pick up on a lot of things, can understand most conversations, and I can speak basic sentences like, "Is the food hot?" or "The boy's diaper has been changed?", etc.

I'm also learning how to read and write Mandarin. Mostly reading right now as I find it helps me learn better, and I sometimes drop cool sentences into the Family Chat on Facebook. Annie doesn't speak very much in it but will post Fox articles, usually articles about China that are very critical of the government.

I'm not sure if she's racist against Chinese people. She's never said anything negative to my wife in any way. So last night, we're at the dinner table when Annie hands me a slip of paper. I ask what this is as I unwrap it. It says, "Tiananmen Square 1989", and I look up at her and she has this dumb grin on her face. I ask her what this is and she goes, "can you translate that into Mandarin?"

This is where people seem to think I'm the AH: I got really freakin' mad. I immediately started yelling, called her a racist, and said we were leaving. My Mom and Dad got mad, Annie said I was being dramatic, and her friends (all of whom are also white) didn't see what the big deal was. I basically told everybody off using very big adult words before leaving.

My phone started blowing up with text messages saying, "you're not even Chinese what the hell" and "you ruined her birthday party". I briefly spoke to my Mom this morning where I tried to explain why what she did was racist, targeted towards me and my family, and is unacceptable behavior. I told my Mom that I won't be going to the house anymore if she's there and that she needs help.

My Mom softly echoed what my sister said. With all these text messages, I'm not sure anymore if I overreacted. My wife was unaffected by the whole thing but understands why I'd be upset. I don't I the AH for reacting this way?

Redditors quickly weighed in.

ResponseMountain6580 wrote:

I don't understand why people can't see that his sister is picking on his wife in a way that is racist.

NTA your sister is.

StellarPhenom420 wrote:

NTA. What the f#$k was even her point in giving you that paper and asking you to speak it out loud?

Did she think your wife, whose family had a reason to leave their country and come to the USA, would be slighted by it? This isn't even a microagression, this is a macroagression, and I applaud you for standing by your wife and future children (they will have to face this same ignorance from your family when they get older).

OBoile wrote:

Hard NTA. Your sister is very clearly upset that you married someone of Chinese descent. Posting Fox "news" articles about China is not a normal thing to do in a family chat. I wouldn't back down on this at all.

ParsimoniousSalad wrote:

NTA. Are you sure Annie is in her 30s? What a childish dig to try to make to insult your choice to learn Mandarin and your wife's heritage.

Working_Alps8384 wrote:

I had to look up the Tiananman Square 1989 as that is something I didn't learn about, and I am absolutely disgusted by your sister. She is blatantly and passive-aggressively racist and the fact that she would ask you to basically translate about a massacre, what is with her.

Her friends siding with her isn't a shocker, they probably are racist too. Your parents on the other hand by taking her side agree that her behavior is acceptable. I would honestly distance myself from all of them. Imagine them saying racist or prejudice things to or around your child. Smh NTA op.

OP is definitely NTA here, his sister was majorly out of line.

Sources: Reddit
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