Inter-cultural marriages and relationships

>> Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy new month everyone. I am craving for some personal updating on this blog but I think I will save it for next time.
I want to say express my opinion on inter-cultural marriages and relationships. FYI; I use the term to include any relationship between different ethnic groups, belief systems and 'race' although I prefer not to use that word..According to scientists there are no such thing as race, only different versions of HUMANS which have developed as a result of evolution. I want to hear your opinions.

First of all, I am in an inter-cultural marriage myself. Long story short; the other day at school, I ended up working in a group with what I call a super-christian girl. I got the same old [ignorant] question from her:

"Can I just ask you something? How do you handle the cultural differences?"

Don't get me wrong. I know she doesn't have any bad intentions with her question. She's very sweet - but in my humble opinion - not very grounded. Neither am I saying that it has something to do with her being christian, but from this part of the world, many of the, what I call "happy-christians" are very lovey-dovey, naive, sweet, but without a clue. She has no idea what the world is like, but wants to be a missionary. Sorry, I don't like the concept of missioning..I have never liked it. Doesn't matter what religion you have, I think it is crucial to respect each other and not force something, wheter subtle or directly, on someone else. I don't think that is the key to development. Whether people have practices that need to be abandoned or not, changing religion is not necessarily the solution, at least not for all. Anyway, I get that question from any one who secretly have a few preconceptions[-judices]. Fair enough. I give them the same answer every time:

Since we both have tolerance for each others cultures, since we are both open-minded and want to get the best from both worlds, the only problems we encounter are the regular problems husband and wives may encounter. Problems that may lie in the differences between the genders, rather than culture.

Sure, if I was a stuck-up patriotic nationalistic girl (which is impossible since I come from such a mixed background, lol) we would probably be experiencing some culture clashes.

But doesn't everyone have to compromise in marriage and relationships anyway?

Secondly, I've grown up with friends from all over the world. Muslims, hindus, christians, buddhists. Some of them have had huge problems in their life down to the fact that their parents won't accept them being with someone outside of their religion/nationality/ethnicity etc. I know at least 3 girls who have fallen deeply in love with the right man, but he just happened to be white, or just happened to be pakistani while she was Indian, or just happened to be Muslim. They end up torn between their feelings of loyalty towards their family and significant other, and ultimately have to make a choice.
`Many of the girls I know, simply can't imagine being with someone from their own nationality. They are just not attracted to them. This includes my bestfriend. Thank God her parents would accept it, although with difficulties. But how about the stories of all these other families who are willing to KILL their daughters for finding a man outside their ethnic group?

Personally I think we all need to get over these old ideas. We live in a globalized world, and humans have emigrated and immigrated since the crack of dawn, actually since we all emigrated from Africa ;-) I do understand the other side of things..Sometimes they are due to years of war and conflicts, sometimes for the intent of preserving their nationality and culture etc. but also sometimes out of pure prejudice. Nevertheless - the most important thing to parents should be their son's or daughter's happiness, not the appearance of their partner.

Have a nice week everyone!

post signature


Lady X November 4, 2009 at 2:32 PM  

I strongly agree! Some people are not friends with people because they don't believe in God or they are a certain religion or tribe. I don't let such things get in the way of a good friendship. Wow about the Muslim girl and Norwegian guy. He doesn't believe in God or Allah? Cuz they're the same thing. She got him to actually respect the virginity thing which some muslim guys wont even do, he actually wanted to marry her and she loved him? She threw all that away cuz he didn't believe in God? Wow is all I can say.

The- Damsel November 4, 2009 at 4:30 PM  

Relgion shouldnt matter. But people should be honest with themselves about it, if you cant convert then re evaluate the relationship. Race also shouldnt be a factor. I do understand why some people have a problem with it, they dont want their culture to die out or they dont want their children to lose their culture. I personally prefer to marry a Nigerian but I am keeping my mind open and I wont limit myself to only Nigerian guys...

leggy November 4, 2009 at 5:17 PM  

i couldnt marry someone who isnt a christain,imbeing truthful to myself..i couldnt handle it.i can be really good friends with them but not marry them.
but as for the country and ethnic group ish i think i can marry from anywhere.

Good Naija Girl November 4, 2009 at 6:06 PM  

Great post my busy friend; thanks for finding the time to share it.

I know you have probably shared it before but are you part Nigerian while your husband is full Nigerian? I think like you said, regardless of the background of the couple, there will be some adjustments to be made after marriage, period.

Anyway, I think as parents move from Nigeria to come to a different nation, they have to be accept that the chances (if we look at it as simply a numbers game) of their son or daughter meeting someone with the exact same nationality or background to call boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife is slim! I think my parents have accepted that fact before me, and even I have not fully accepted it sef. I grew up thinking I would marry a Yoruba man, even though I didn't have any close Yoruba friends in school. I don't know how I ended up so naive and irrational, but that is how I am.

But for me, like you have said, the most important thing in the end will be to marry someone who loves me and accepts the fundamental aspects of me (religion, family, values, morals) without wanting to change me. And I have to accept that he may not come in the package I am hoping he will come in. But it will be worth it.

I'm not ashamed to admit that it is something I'm still struggling with!

Have a beautiful week too! xo

Nice Anon November 4, 2009 at 6:30 PM  

Like you said, we live in a globalized world now. The one that accepts you for who you are is all that matters. Happiness is key.

Myne Whitman November 4, 2009 at 6:35 PM  

Being in an inter-cultural marriage, I understand your answer to your friend completely. Being happy in a relationship is the most important thing and that comes from good communication and conflict resolution not based on ethnicity, religion and so on...

Harry-Rami Itie November 5, 2009 at 10:38 AM  

Well....personally I am not against inter cultural marriages... I even wanna marry a Latin American... The thing is I have to date a Christian... dating a non christian doesn't work for me... I have them as friends but as for dating...nah

Harry-Rami Itie November 5, 2009 at 10:38 AM  

Well....personally I am not against inter cultural marriages... I even wanna marry a Latin American... The thing is I have to date a Christian... dating a non christian doesn't work for me... I have them as friends but as for dating...nah

Anonymous,  November 5, 2009 at 2:39 PM  

Its amazing how us as people can "box" ourselves in our own minds. I believe in God and would not force my faith on anyone, God himself gave us free will. I broke up with my ex because of cultural and religious differences, i was given only one option, to convert to his religion or lose him. I choose God, no man is worth that

I think discrimination takes many forms, whether in religion, by culture or race. However we wrap it up it's still ugly.

Yngvild November 5, 2009 at 4:53 PM  

Hey girl, and thanks for your comment on my blog:) And thanks for congratulating me on my INTER-CULTURAL marriage! :D

Loved your post, its all so true. I get the same question alot. And I feel the same as you, the cultural differences are not the problem. It is one of the things I love most about our relationship. I mean, come on... Norwegian guys??? ;)

But, i live and work with people so deeply rooted in their small town culture, not knowing who is a Moslem and who is a Buddhist and thinking everything is the same - FOREIGNER. ANd those people couldnt agree with someone from the big scary AFRICA I think.
I think you might find an article I blogged about here amusing! ;)

Uhh..I am confusing myself with what I'm writing. Just wanted to say your post was great, and I also read your blog although I dont comment all the time!!

Vera Ezimora November 5, 2009 at 7:56 PM  


I did not know you're married. Is it to late to say congratulations? :-)

Okay, back to the post. I think whatever works best for the two people involved is what needs to be done. On that note, I know that I would rather marry an Igbo man, but that's not to say I cannot marry a man who isn't Igbo. In fact, I had never dated an Igbo man before now. If I were to fall in love with an Indian man who is everything that I desire in a man, his tribe will not be the reason why I would not marry him. If we don't end up married, perhaps, it's for another reason.

That said, I have to have a Christian husband. I cannot compromise on it. Perhaps, I'm narrowing my possibilities, I know, but I have no choice but to anticipate the problems I know we will have in the future. Example: will we raise the kids as Christians or as whatever religion my husband is? Even before the kids come in, I am not open to serving God through another religion. It's not about the name of the religion. It's about my faith. I am of the Christian faith, and there is no way on God's green earth that I can - for example - serve God through Buddhism. It's not going to happen.

So for me, Adaeze, it can never work. But if it works for any two people, then everyone else needs to back off.

Anya P November 5, 2009 at 8:04 PM  

Love conquers all fear & prejudice & insecurity & doubt!

Lady A November 5, 2009 at 8:49 PM  

For each person it's different.
The 'happy christian' girl, have mercy on her.
Some people can handle the hardship/challenge of being with someone of a different culture. Others can't. I understand why some parents don't agree with this. Go back in their era, now do you see why without me even going in depth with it. But times have change. I'll do culture, but I won't be with someone that has a different religion then me. Too long to type reasons why, but when I say trust me, TRUST. Later it's one of those issues what will blow up in your also depends how deep they are into their religion....

jhazmyn November 7, 2009 at 3:57 PM  

I was chatting wit a client and wen we exchanged cards she went..." married a yoruba man?...hmm, i havent seen the love that wud make me do that one o" I laughed and told her..."that's cos u never met my husband".

A close friend told me "over my dead body, i can never marry an ibo man, afterall yoruba men are still out there" before i could say a word my sis said "Dont sweat it luv, its really not ur type they are after"

Hey're u doin

Mrs. E November 8, 2009 at 11:59 PM  

I agree with you. I wander the same thing. But, the way I look at is, when did it become somebody elses business who I marry or who I date. In order to fall in love with someone, there has to be something that attracts you to that person in the first place. If your not physically attracted to them then how do you move forward. Everyone has different views on what they find attractive and it is not up to someone else to judge them for that.

joicee November 11, 2009 at 6:13 PM  

Wow at that moroccan girl who throw away the chance to be with the love of her life just because of religion....

This is the thing...there are so many so called christian guys/girls who will use and abuse for all you are the end of the day a GOOD man/woman is a GOOD man/woman no matter the religion tribe or tongue.

Hadassah November 15, 2009 at 6:56 PM  

Hi Adaeze

Lovely blog and interesting post. I don't think ethnicity should stand as a barrier between two people who love each other and want to get married, we marry individuals and not an ethnicity. I'm not saying it doesn't come with some challenges but that depends on the individuals involved. I don't have a single friend of the opposite sex from my ethnic group, I don't even know how that happened but people are people and should be judged as such. However, I do understand where parents are coming from when they express reservations due to this reason. A friend of mine ended a relationship because her parents were 'dead'-set against her marrying, get this not outside her ethnic group but outside her state! I was shocked, after almost 15 years living in the UK! However, when it comes to faith, we must be on the same page. My faith is at my core and the foundation from which I derive my value systems therefore I cannot commit to a lifelong journey with someone who is not going in the same direction!
Will be coming back here..

SOLOMONSYDELLE November 24, 2009 at 2:44 PM  

I was going to mention that my husband is from a different country and so, logically, I agree with you and then i realized that my maternal grandparents were from different countries and my parents were from different tribes. And here I thought I was unique, lol!

How are you, sis?

Long time...


munirat December 16, 2009 at 8:17 PM  

hey! first time here.. great blog btw..
something caught my eye in this post,. the part of the norwegian not being able to believe in Allah.. well that means he doesnt believe in God then, because Allah is just an arabic word for God.. no difference.. but i dont know why the world tries to create such a huge difference between him and the Christian God. am a muslim but i have been to churches, i read the bible because in my opinion, we serve the same God only in different tonuges(languages) why is then such a big deal made of saddens me...

munirat December 16, 2009 at 8:19 PM  

lady X i comend, u.. i cant blive she threw all that away cos of that.. am thinking she doesnt know that they are the SAME herself...

munirat December 16, 2009 at 8:20 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
SOLOMONSYDELLE December 24, 2009 at 5:16 PM  

hey you! Merry Christmas! and by the way, you've been tagged at my blog in the SAY SOMETHING NICE MEME!

VikiASig January 12, 2010 at 4:21 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Writefreak January 13, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

Adaeze, how're you? Happy new year!!! Been a minute!

Anonymous,  January 18, 2010 at 5:41 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Post a Comment

Make my day!

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP