I’ve thought about typing this blog for some time but I’ve always put it off because race and culture is such a personal thing to most that I didn’t want to come across offensive. However, with so many people I know personally who are struggling to find their partner because they are restricting their search to only their own culture, pushed me to write this blog.
Firstly I’ll put it out there, anyone who knows me will know I’m not into cultural segregation whatsoever! Even before I met my husband I had friends from all ethnic backgrounds and I would adopt cultural trends from different people because for me that’s one of the best things about living in a multicultural place! So I really struggle with people who won’t even entertain the thought of marrying someone from another culture when we live and interact with people from all walks of life daily.
With that being said I thought I’d ask a few of those struggling to get married, why they feel they should restrict themselves to a particular culture. Majority of the responses I got was down to what their parents wanted. Now in no way am I saying everyone should go against parents etc but is that a good enough reason? I mean as an adult, God has given us all the knowledge and ability to make rational decisions to help societies improve and establish integrated communities – but instead some choose to further instill that division by conforming to someone else’s norm without any real reason?
A lot of our elder generations who unwillingly left their home countries to build a better life for their families in the UK, fear losing their ethnic identity, they fear changing and becoming someone else and most importantly they fear the future generations forgetting where they originally came from. However, we have to realise that fear isn’t helping us become better people…. Fear is stopping us from becoming even greater! By marrying a Jamaican man I haven’t lost my cultural identity, he hasn’t lost his and God willing our kids will grow up to learn about both cultures as well as others around the world!
This is one of the many reasons why I feel Dubai is a more multicultural city than London! When hubby and I strolled around in Westfield Shopping Centre, which is based in Stratford, London (thought to be one of the most multicultural areas) – we got a number of shocked looks, stares and silly attitude towards us – as if being in an interracial marriage is the biggest problem in the UK lol! Since being in Dubai we’ve only ever been embraced with love. Not a single person has ever looked at us in a bad way – if anything we’ve had people so excited when we tell them our ethnicities! One important thing you will notice here – people have really kept true to their culture here through dress, food and etiquette (Indians constantly horning LOL), but the best bit is – they’ve learnt to adopt the culture of others also! When you speak to people they are so proud to tell you about their homeland, while being intrigued and finding out more about where you come from.
We have met the most random mixed marriages here its beautiful! I’ll give you some examples – American Japanese married to an Emirati, Pakistani married to a Filipino, Ecuadorian married to Chinese… I could go on! I can also guarantee you none of these couples have lost their culture – oh and when you see kids speaking fluent Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and English – please don’t ever try telling me sticking to your own kind is the best lol!
If I stuck to my culture I would have never found my soulmate and neither would so many others who are living enriched in interracial marriages. We need to start understanding that integration does not mean you lose yourself – it means you grow, you become better and you open the doors to share what your own culture truly is!
P.S – this doesn’t mean if you’ve married within your culture it’s a bad thing, it’s also doesn’t mean you’re a sell out just because you marry out of your culture – I just don’t think we should restrict ourselves to a certain culture or race because that’s all we know.