Back in the early 1990’s when my husband and I got married, intercultural relationships and marriage were not as accepted as they are today. When we would walk together in the mall, or eat at restaurants, white people’s heads often turned, sometimes shaking with disapproval. I had a friend who, knowing my husband was Hindu, actually came out and asked me, “How can you love someone who you know is going straight to hell?” Needless to say, my answer to her was to turn my back and never look back in her direction again. My family, though openly loving and accepting of my husband, had a hard time understanding why I wanted to marry and raise children with someone who is from a different background. But, in time, they respected my freedom to marry who I chose, honoring the American tradition of marrying for love.
Among Indian circles, we received even more resistance to our marriage. At Indian social gatherings, on more than one occasion, elderly men would walk over to me and stare unabashedly at me, certainly discussing the peculiarity of my presence amongst them. My husband was pressured by family to have an arranged marriage, instead of committing to me, to follow the cultural norm of marrying within their community. I was excluded from conversations because of the language barrier, and excluded from women’s social circles, making me feel like a sore thumb in the crowd. But gradually, just like my own family did, my husband’s community warmed up to me, and respected his choice of me as a wife.
Today, interracial and intercultural marriage is much more commonplace and accepted by society in the U.S. according to a CNN.com article entitled, “Interracial marriages at an all time high, study says,” the rate of interracial marriage in the country has increased from 6.8 percent in 1980, to 14.6 percent in 2008. An individual interviewed in the article claimed that she felt like she and her husband get the best of both worlds in the marriage. The article sheds light on the trend in the U.S. for cultures to increasingly assimilate into greater American society, a fact that the majority of people in their younger twenties today accept .
Although the fight for acceptance of our love, of our union, from both white society and Indian society was a difficult one that we had to endure, I feel like the struggle resulted in a unique bond between my husband and myself, that grew into our ability to weather any hardship, to weather whatever storms that life might blow in our direction. I also hope that he and I served to pave the way for others who might seek to marry outside of their culture or race.
I am interested in hearing from your readers about this subject.
Do you agree that interracial and intercultural relationships are accepted more these days?
Do you have a personal experience you would like to share on the subject?
Do you agree or disagree with interracial or intercultural relationships? Why do you feel the way you do?
If interested in reading the full CNN.com article referenced here, click on the link below.