Compromise paves path to future for Rainbow Ng, Mohammed Khan
Ethnic and cultural differences no barrier to couple who cherish their core values
Rainbow Ng is a Hongkonger born and bred, while Mohammed Naveed Khan is of Pakistani descent. Although they are from different cultural backgrounds, their willingness to compromise has led to a lasting relationship.
Rainbow, a personal assistant, and Naveed, who works for an airline, wed last month in a Pakistani ceremony at Duetto, an Indian-Italian restaurant in Wan Chai, celebrating with 250 friends and relatives. They will host a Chinese banquet in July.
The couple were introduced by a colleague three years ago when they were working for the same airline.
"He seemed really nice, but I was a little nervous when I first met him because he was quite senior at work," Rainbow said.
It took three months before they realised there was more than friendship between them.
"I was on holiday overseas with my family and my mother fell ill. Naveed was really helpful, sending me advice by text message," Rainbow said. "We really missed each other."
When she got home they went on their first dinner date.
"It was a very romantic and memorable date that showed me another side of him - his gentleness and great sense of humour," Rainbow said. "He's a big guy and he's also got a big heart."
They started dating regularly and Rainbow decided she was ready to take a big step that would please Naveed.
"Naveed is a Muslim so he doesn't eat pork. I decided to give up pork out of respect for him," she said.
It was only later that Rainbow realised how big a commitment she had made.
"It was hard to give up my mum's soups," she joked.
Naveed was moved by Rainbow's devotion, as were their friends and relatives, who offered her support.
"When I was prepared to honour his beliefs, I realised I had found the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with," she said.
Last May, the couple went to Paris for a holiday.
"I thought that maybe he'd propose during that trip, but he scolded me jokingly, saying he'd never do it in Paris," she said.
That turned out to be a well-intentioned lie. When they arrived at the Eiffel Tower, Naveed made an excuse to leave and left Rainbow waiting alone in the plaza. A stranger walked up to her and gave her a rose. A few seconds later, another stranger handed her one, and the roses kept coming.
Next, Naveed returned, got down on one knee and pulled out a ring. Amid a crowd of tourists, he asked Rainbow to marry him, and the teary Rainbow said yes.
Rainbow said she loved Naveed's charisma, kindness and, more importantly, his family values. "He really loves his parents and relatives, and mine as well. I think that's essential in a relationship," she said. "Naveed speaks fluent Cantonese so he can communicate with my family easily. My heart melts every time he and my mum crack a joke."