The best and the worst

What do you believe are the best things about being in an intercultural relationship?

What about the worst things?

Here’s a quick list of my best and worst:

Best

*Finding out about your other half’s country and culture

*Embracing and learning about that other culture and in the long term, really being apart of it.

*The food

*Mixed coloured babies (hehe- obviously hasn’t happened yet- but I think it’s gorgeous)

*Travelling (also hasn’t happened yet but can’t wait for when it does)

*Being happy/scared/excited/nervous/confused/exhilarated by your unique, but yet profoundly amazing relationship where two cultures constantly cross paths.

Worst

*Immigration, visas and paperwork

*Language barriers/difficulties

*Being judged by people

*Having to always compromise with and understand your partner’s culture when sometimes you are not comfortable with it i.e. society issues/outdated cultural aspects (this is sometimes a good thing though…)

I’m sure I’ll have plenty more as time goes on.

Please share your best and worst…

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This entry was posted in Cross-cultural, Culture, Differences, Immigration, Inequality, Intercultural, Intercultural Relationship, Language, Love, Nepal. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The best and the worst

  1. Aakar says:

    Hope Best will overcome your Worst things.
    🙂

  2. BEST:
    – Learning to cook yummy foods
    – Broadening perspective and understanding of the world
    – Becoming part of a family within another culture (it’s completely different than just travelling to a place as a tourist!)

    HARDEST:
    – Isolation: we live in a fairly rural area where there are few people in our situation. This gets lonely, and sometimes even makes us feel like we’re doing something ‘wrong’ (even when we know we’re not…)
    – Compromise: the key to any healthy marriage, though this is probably more acute in intercultural marriages
    – Living far from family: As time goes on, we mourn our inability to interact with both families on a regular basis since they live halfway around the world from each other (US and Sri Lanka).

    I’ve shared a few more thoughts on this here: http://thelinkbetween.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/a-longer-view-of-intercultural-marriage/#more-3198

  3. saathi says:

    Best: agree with everything on your list, plus getting to dress up in amazing clothes and jewelry that I otherwise would have no excuse to wear!! and being able to learn/practice a new language with a native speaker.

    Worst: definately the visa issues. right now I’m dealing with what I call ‘cultural paranoia’…. people hear bad stories from another culture and assume it will happen to you so they feel compelled to let you know what you are in for. For example, people have warned me that my Indian in-laws will kidnap my daughter and hide her with some unknown relatives and I will never see her again. Or someone will put drugs in my suitcase at the airport and I will be locked up in a dirty Indian prison and no one will hear from me for years. Or when I go to India I will suddenly become a second class oppressed woman. Or someone might try to set me on fire. These people mean well, but they don’t really understand.

    • Kay says:

      That sounds really awful. For what it’s worth, I’ve had an amazing experience in India so far. People in metropolitan areas are really liberal (surprisingly a heck of a lot more liberal than lots of Westerners). Metropolitan Indian women are not second class oppressed citizens, they are doctors, CEOs, marketing agents, bank officials and so on. And unless you’re going to a remote village, no one’s going to set you on fire! (or they’ll go to jail if they do).

  4. Shreeman says:

    Best:

    You have a sense you’ve bucked something big and are living on the edge.

    Worst:

    Not having family close – one is always going to be far.

  5. Kay says:

    I guess you could describe both of us as ‘non practising Hindus,’ but our backgrounds are very different (would be like calling a Greek Orthodox from Greece and a Catholic from Brazil both Christian), so you could call our relationship intercultural.

    Good–Get to see more of the world and open your mind to not only other cultures, but also different political ideologies, lifestyles, etc.

    Bad–Visa issues. Luckily, I received an employment visa for India, but if I hadn’t, we would have had to sign the marriage papers right away (and I didn’t want to get married like that!).

  6. Maybe I’m repeating things but this is what I find the best and the worse…

    Best:

    – Enrichment of your life by the best of the other culture because this other culture places things into perspective (maybe some things are not that important)
    – Closeness of families ties and friends

    Worse

    – Interference of every one, not only strangers who barely know you and comment your relationship, but also your friends or family, his friends and family because an intercultural relationship, yeah, it’s weird for them…

    – Language Barrier: Not always being able to explain your feeling or whatever in your mothertongue (for me that is dutch, for him nepali)

  7. Tracy López says:

    I think you pretty much covered it… To the “worst” list, I might add my mother-in-law on some days. LOL.

  8. Taswin says:

    BEST
    – Understanding my own habits/culture in a new light through his perspective
    – Learning what is different and similar in our perspectives and understandings of the world and broadening each other’s views
    – Sharing our sense of humour
    – Travelling to his home and meeting his family (this hasn’t happened for me either but hoping it will soon!)
    – Food 🙂
    – L is refreshinlgy honest, genuiune and affectionate about his feelings, in a way that Australian guys often aren’t (this might be a personal trait of his, but in general I do think Australian guys are more reserved when it comes to expressing affection and emotion)

    HARDEST
    – Visa issues for sure…L already had this sorted when we started going out, but the fact that he had previously gone through probably the worst aspects of the Australian immigration/review process has contributed to our present problems
    – Sometimes our sense of humour doesn’t match…L can’t stand Australian comedies but often that’s all I want to do to chill out (who doesn’t find The Castle or Muriel’s Wedding funny?!!)
    – Communication issues: not really understanding why he might be going through a hard time; miscommunicating our expectations of each other.
    – Family acceptance issues (at least on the part of my family, but this is probably ‘extra-relationship’)

  9. blonde.bahu says:

    Best:
    -getting to see the familiar through fresh eyes
    -getting to go places you otherwise wouldn’t get to
    -incentive to learn a new language
    -meeting people in the same situation who, though very different, share common experiences (i.e. you guys!)

    Worst:
    -staring, staring, staring!
    -USCIS Green Card Interview
    -people’s assumptions about us as a couple and as individuals

  10. Pudasaini says:

    you have definately covered the best and the worse….we are just now going thru the immigration process…not looking forward to that process.

  11. Abby says:

    Great topic, whitegirlinasari! I am a bit late to reply, but here goes…

    BEST
    – Learning a new language, food
    – Gaining a second homeland
    – Many more that previous posters have mentioned.

    WORST
    – People’s assumptions and interest in your relationship. We are more than just an interracial couple. It does not define us!

    I feel that as the years go by, I find it hard to remember what is so different about intercultural relationships. My husband and his culture is such a strong part of who I am, that I don’t even consciously think about it much. Until I mention I’m busy because it is Chinese New Year, or that I give out moon cakes during the Moon Festival, and people who don’t know me give me this funny look, like what is this white chick on about? Haha!

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