One of the effects of globalization is that the world is shrinking. People from diverse backgrounds are coming together in a number of ways. One of the results of this is that interracial and intercultural marriage is on the rise. When two people from vastly different cultures decide to tie the knot, it can create problems in the mixed marriage if they are not careful. To prevent this, here is a guide to making intercultural marriage work.
Surviving an Intercultural Wedding
From the moment you announce your marriage, you can anticipate problems with your family. Almost everyone who enters an intercultural relationship will have at least one or two friends or family who are against it. Don’t ever feel like you have to justify your relationship to them.
When it comes to the wedding itself, it is best to incorporate elements from both of your cultures. While this will likely further anger some people who feel like the ceremony should only reflect their side of the cultural divide, it is important for harmony between you and your spouse that you begin your marriage by symbolizing that your bond is one that will honor both of your cultures equally.
Ignoring the Negatives
From the moment you begin announcing your pending nuptials, you will experience reactions that will anger you if you let them. People will scoff at your wedding plans. They will tell you that interracial marriage is a bad idea. They will tell you that people from different cultures should not get married. The best thing to do is just to let these people’s negativity go in one ear and out the other. Their negative remarks simply reflect their own narrow world views and prejudices. It is important that you get used to ignoring prejudice as you will likely experience it regularly when you are in a mixed marriage.
Dwell on the Positives
When you are constantly exposed to other people’s prejudices and negativity, they can wear you down eventually. It is important to dwell on the positive aspects of interracial dating. When you enter a relationship with someone from a different culture, you gain a rich cultural background to draw on. If you have children, they will have two distinct cultural heritages. The blending together of two cultural heritages will make you, your spouse and your children better people who lead richer lives.
Find An Inspiring Friend
My inspiration for the success of interracial marriage is my friend Dave. He married a wonderful lady from Thailand who he loves very much. They have had some intercultural marriage problems over the years, but they always solve them by respecting and honoring each other’s cultures. Their wedding ceremony itself was a lovely blending of Western and Thai wedding traditions, and they have carried that harmonious blending forward into their married life.
Everyone who gets married will face problems at some point during their marriages. Entering an intercultural marriage can make any problems you face even more challenging. When you experience arguments, it is important not to criticize each other’s cultures even if the problem stems from cultural differences. It is crucial that you always respect each other’s cultures. When you have a fight, it is doubly important to respect your partner’s distinct heritage. It is only when you respect each other that you can expect the world to respect your interracial marriage.
Making marriage in different cultures work is never easy. However, the rewards of gaining a new cultural heritage that you can pass on to your children are well worth the effort. Keep these tips in mind when you are planning interracial weddings to keep the wedding and the marriage happy and harmonious.
As the daughter of two people from different cultures (Fijian-Indian and Australian), the two cultures can merge in very positive ways - diffferent cuisines, beliefs etc, can definitely enrich both parties.