As most of you in intercultural relationships would know, getting your south-Asian man to tell his parents about his relationship with a foreign girl in a HUGE thing, actually it’s a GIGANTIC thing.
And we know why: because intercultural relationships are a ‘forbidden’ type of relationship.
It’s more than just skin colour, yes a brown boy from a rural village will be marrying a middle-class white girl, but there’s also other major considerations.
He’s a Hindu. She’s not. She doesn’t speak the language. He’s not marrying into the family tradition of an arranged caste marriage like his parents once thought he would. He’s living in a foreign country where life is very different. The role of men and women are also very different. And also Nepalis don’t introduce their girlfriends to their parents- they have to be sure this is the person they are going to marry.
I’ve heard numerous stories from girls in intercultural relationships who have been through hell and back with the in-laws.
Mostly horror stories of Indian mother in laws who have threatened suicide or disownment if he married “that girl”.
Well, for us, our story was quite different.
I’ve never blogged about it before but a few of you wanted to know how our “telling the parents” story went.
A long while back I had been bugging Rabindra to tell his parents about me. I felt jealous because my family had met him almost instantly and had developed quite a relationship with him.
It hurt me when he told me he had spoken to his parents but yet I was still not mentioned. It cut pretty deep.
I tried not to worry about it for a while because I knew he was stressing about how to tell his father about this very big decision.
You see for his family, a ‘foreign’ relationship like ours is something none of his extended friends or families have ever done- in history.
Then finally, one day, it just happened.
He rang his father. He told him he was in a serious relationship with an Australian girl (Yes the red-headed girl in the photos you’d already had a fair idea about).
In Nepali it went something like this “Buwah…..*talks Nepali* “hajur”.. *talks Nepali*..”hajur”..*talks Nepali*…”hajur”…..”30 minutes later = SMILES.
In English translation it went like this “Yes Buwah. She’s a good girl. Yes she’s Australian. She helped me do everything here. She helped me find the way. Even helped me get the job I have now. She’s a journalist. She completed university with an honours degree. I am very serious about her. She respects my culture. She likes my culture. We want to bring you and mum to Australia for our wedding. Yes Buwah she’s a good girl.”
Buwah’s response was this: If she’s your future, and you take care of each other, and you are serious about each other and you are going to live there together, then I’m happy if you’re happy.”
Mother in law is also happy.
WHAT A RELIEF.
At that time, I don’t know what would have happened if his parents had rejected us.
I’m just thankful they are rational, loving people who care about their son’s future happiness.
Whilst it’s true I haven’t yet met his parents yet, and new issues could face us at that time, the fact that they accepted the idea of him being with a foreign girl, despite the ramifications for his family, made us very happy indeed.
I truly can’t wait until I finally meet them…time is ticking down 🙂