Inter-racial marriages

Our parents, or grandparents emigrated to the UK mainly in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The main reason that they came here was for a better life for their children’s future. Why else would they have left their families and homes behind to come into an unknown world? Leaving a country where they were born and bred must have been hard, but it’s a sacrifice they made for the future. What they didn’t think of necessarily, however was what consequences it might have. For example, racism was probably something they never thought they would have to face. But the other thing they didn’t realise was a risk was losing the Indian culture, and the fact that their children/grandchildren were going to be British born, which meant adopting the British culture – and ultimately slowly losing the Indian language, and the idea of arranged marriages in the same religion and caste. Marrying out of caste and religion is still a big taboo in Asian society, but wasn’t this inevitable?

We, as second generation British-Asians have the best of both cultures, British culture, and Asian culture. This is great when it comes to weddings, clothes, food, films, cinema, but can be so stressful, and put such a strain on families and relationships especially when it comes to falling in love with somebody outside of our religion/caste. We educate, work, and live with people from all different backgrounds so its hardly surprising that often people fall in love outside their religion/caste.

Ultimately the older generations would still want their children to marry in the same culture/religion and that’s because they want their grandchildren to continue their religion. And that’s fair enough because it was something they never had to think about. But another reason is the idea of ‘shame’ in society. Reputation is a big deal in the Asian culture and your children marrying the same religion is a way to show the world that you have done a good job bringing up your children.

However on the other side of the spectrum from our perspective, we were born here, went to school here, work here.

Is it fair that some of us have had to sacrifice our happiness in order to keep our families happy or having to be made to choose?  Perhaps you were made to feel selfish if you chose your loved one.  If you did however love and marry somebody from a different background, how did you overcome any challenges you faced?

Maybe your parents were OK eventually and just wanted you to be happy. Maybe you are under pressure and in a dilemma as you don’t know what to do. Please put your questions on here and people will write back with advice. Maybe you are the parents and your children want to marry into a different background, we also want to hear from you.

Comments

    • Anon
    • October 8, 2017
    Reply

    This is a reality of today. There is nothing wrong with it. What’s important though is that the couple agree upfront between themselves how they are going to raise their children as this is usually the sticking point. I have mixed marriages in my family – both boys and girls and none of the family treat them any different. It does also depend on them to make an effort and accept all the traditions and cultures that they’re not used to

    • Anon
    • October 8, 2017
    Reply

    I was in a relationship with an English guy – I’m a Sikh girl – and I really struggled with him to accept all my cultural traditions. I loved him and really wanted it to work but so many of my traditions were so different to anything he ever knew. In these situations, I guess someone either decides to embrace it and become part of it, or move away from it. Unfortunately, because he didn’t understand it, and didn’t try to understand it, he backed of instead. But at least that showed me what we would have been like if I got married to him!

    • Anon
    • October 11, 2017
    Reply

    I married in the same caste and Religion in an arranged marriage to keep the peace and parents happy. Only person that wasn’t happy was me.
    I was with someone and so was he but we were forced to marry.
    20 years later we divorced as I could not see a future with him we were like chalk and cheese, just two people living together no connection.
    Then I met someone who is same Religion but not same caste, we got marrried and I couldn’t be any happier.
    I would never impose that on my children they can marry who ever they want, as long as they have talked about it and know going forward how they will deal with situations.

      • Anon
      • October 11, 2017
      Reply

      I was in a very similar position to you and I totally agree with you on the children. I’m never going to impose anything on them, I always want their happiness to come first. I wasted so much of my life because I was forced to marry someone just because of their caste and religion. Well, isn’t it much more shame now for them?

    • Anon
    • October 15, 2017
    Reply

    I married out of religion but 10 years on I totally regret it. Before I got married my husband to be made out his mum was totally modern and not religious at all. As soon as we got married she started going on about all these religious days and ceremonies that must be done now that I’m a married . She often says to me that I’m now Hindu but I always point out that I’m still a Sikh no matter what. If I knew what she was like i would never have married him but now I feel too scared to divorce him. Secretly I hope that something happens to him so I no longer have to deal with his mum !

      • Anon
      • October 16, 2017
      Reply

      If you marry a different religion of course you have to adapt and do things according to your partner’s religion but it should be for him, and she should do same for you. It certainly shouldn’t be imposed on you by your mother in law, that’s just a form of control. I bet she’s not even that religious deep down and it’s just all show. I know many women like that.

      • Anon
      • October 16, 2017
      Reply

      This exact same thing happened to my friend, only that it was her husband that was like that. He turned all religious on her after they got married and he expected for her to perform all his religion traditions but he never did the same for her. It was so sad because it was a sudden change. The marriage lasted less than two years. It’s sad because these things should never get in the way but in this day and age they still do. I think that the most important thing is that you have your husbands support, and that as long as you are both solid, nothing else matters. Does your husband know you feel like this and have you tried talking to him?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Use ANON as your username if you wish to remain anonymous.

Related Posts

by
Previous Post Next Post
7 shares