Despite the differences, love finds its way!
Marriages between individuals who belong to different cultures, castes or backgrounds often face difficulties, not only from the immediate family and the society at large, but also between themselves. Though we live in a multicultural world, & especially India is reverently considered as the land that upholds “unity in diversity”, things aren’t as simple. Till date, couples who choose to marry outside their community have to face severe opposition, and eventually, might have to brave friction even with their partners, owing to the “differences.”
In our attempt to be cosmopolitan and thanks to science and technology, the world has shrunk to a cocoon today, inter-cultural marriages are much more common now-a-days than it was a few decades back. However, there are always two sides to a story. When two individuals hailing from different cultural backgrounds are united in a conjugal tie, it provides them with a unique opportunity to learn, experience and appreciate each other’s culture, religion and values. In a way, it gives them a scope to look beyond a person’s appearance and other superficial factors and get to know the person beneath. During this journey, perhaps we all realize that every person is same on certain levels, and no difference can come in the way of love. Culture, language, religion, caste etc. hardly have a role to play when it comes to emotions, feelings and sentiments. It builds harmony and a deeper understanding that transcends cultural barriers.
Needless to say, initially, they have a lot of adjustments and compromises to make, besides winning the approval of their families. They often have to deal with communication gaps and misunderstandings which are accompanied by differing customs and cultures. They have been brought up with different values, ideals, lifestyles and beliefs. They might find it difficult to understand or respond to each other’s ways, be it in whatever respect. Even after been through the stages of dating and courtship, if the relationship matures into marriage, they have to decide for their future generation. What values to instill in him/her? Will he/she pick up the mother tongue first or the father’s language? If the religions are different, which God will the child worship and what religious instructions will he/she follow? It is the duty of the parents to raise their children in such a way that they do not grow up to be confused with regard to their identity and heritage.
Such individuals should give each other the necessary time and space to grow familiar with each other’s cultures, to learn to respect their entity, and appreciate the differences rather than creating conflicts. If they nurture prejudices, it will only widen the gap between them. Rather they should remember the common factor that drew them together: love. Despite the differences, an intercultural couple is capable of loving as deeply as any other couple. They just need to invest a little more time and energy to learn about their mate’s culture and adapt to it without losing his/her identity. They can overcome all the hurdles and boundaries with love. It is advisable not to harbor unrealistic expectations or pressurize the other person in any way. Let both retain their originality and still be in love with their partner.