For those people who have been following my blog from the start, they will know that Rabindra and I have been through a lot in the past few years.
My experience of beginning an intercultural relationship with a Nepali man has seen many highs and lows.
The highs have been falling in love, finding out about Rabindra’s country and culture, seeing our relationship blossom and getting engaged.
The lows have been ongoing visa problems, cultural differences, times of anxiety and depression, adjustment to life, and relationship differences.
There were many times Rabindra and I were in complete disagreement because of cultural reasons. I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t tell his family about me, I didn’t understand why he was so shy in regards to public affection. I didn’t understand why he couldn’t communicate the way I wanted him to.
Fast forward to May 2012, and my life has really changed.
One morning in January 2012, I checked my email and we had an email from our migration agent saying Rabindra had been granted his Australian visa.
I burst out crying. It was the most emotional day.
Our visa debacle began in January 2010 and we have spent the last two years dealing with so much stress and pain.
Dealing with immigration matters has been by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. For more than 18 months I was gripped by fear, knowing that Rabindra and I could be separated simply because he is a Nepali and I am an Australian.
January was also the time that Rabindra took me to his home country, Nepal.
It was not just travelling the country that I had fallen in love with from the stories I’d been told by Rabindra and friends, but it was THE TRIP that would really determine a big part in our future.
Meeting Rabindra’s parents and getting their approval of our relationship was the second most anxious thing I’ve done in my life (aside from immigration).
You see for a very long time Rabindra did not tell his family about me and it hurt me in ways no one else could know.
I know why he did it. He was scared. He was worried. He was the first person in his entire extended family to have a love relationship (the rest of his family have had arranged marriages) let alone it being with a white Australian woman, so the pressure was on.
He had to be sure, before telling his family, that we were both really serious about our relationship. It’s not like Australia where parents meet lots of their children’s boyfriends/girlfriends over the years. This was such a huge thing to his family.
Then one day, he finally told them over the phone. Rabindra was so nervous and I literally think he had been holding this anxiousness in for 12 months or more.
He told his father he was in a relationship with an Australian woman, yes the “friend” you’ve seen lots of photos of.
His father insisted that if Rabindra was happy, then the family was happy. He convinced them that we did not get married secretly in Australia and that we wanted to wait until we had visited Nepal together and then discuss it with his parents over there.
So this is the background leading to our Nepal trip.
I’ll continue with part 2 next and what it’s really like meeting the parents and experiencing Nepali village life from an Australian woman’s perspective and as the soon-to-be wife of a Nepali man .