Thursday, February 12, 2015

Now Featured On: Speaking of China


I recently did a guest post for Jocelyn on her fantastic website - Speaking of China - which is such an innovative gem for those who are in intercultural relationships. I am absolutely honored to be featured on her blog as she is an absolute pioneer for all of us.

My article is about raising our biracial child and about different problems that we've encountered, pertaining to people's ignorance. Click HERE to read it and be sure to tell me what you think!

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8 comments

  1. I don't have that kind of experience. I expect strangers to be confused because my husband is darker than yours, meanwhile baby T is quite fair. When she was a few months old, (white) strangers would stop and tell me she was beautiful, they would laugh because of the way she put her legs up in the pram. Now people are amazed because she sucks her thumb. Sometimes people will tell me she looks like her father (how surprising lol). In India I was a little bit concerned when she went from arms to arms in a slum and I thought a friend of our relatives wouldn't give her back. Basically people remark more on her personality, as she has quite a temper. The only side glances I get are from coloured nannies looking after white babies, maybe they think I'm also a nanny. However when we visited London, I got an impression of hostility when people overheard me speaking about baby T to an old Indian guy on the bus.

    To me the challenges of raising a multi-cultural child are the family's responsbility. I feel my husband is not doing enough to teach baby T his culture, so I have to do it a little bit. For instance, I feed her some foods with a spoon and some foods by hand. I let her walk barefoot and with slippers. I search the internet for tamil nursery rhymes etc. I know she may occasionally get a hard time later both from westerners and Indians, but I don't see the point of focusing on a handful of narrow minded people, it's a waste of time and energy.

    Take care (Padparadscha)

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    1. I am not focusing on narrow-minded people, however I'm not going to pretend it didn't happen. If you just look around - people do not mix - when was the last time you saw a couple like us? Especially a South Indian couple? I can only count a handful of times.
      Vancouver is a multicultural city, but the majority of mixes are Asian women/Western men. The Indian community here is Punjabi and very non-mixing. So we often feel on the outskirts, because we literally don't fit into any community here. When we lived in NYC or San Francisco, it was a lot better, but we only lived there for a short time. Unfortunately, it is the way it is....

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  2. Hi Alexandra,

    Thank you for sharing this post. I'm so sorry to hear that you have had to deal with ignorant comments, especially when they are directed at your family unit and your daughter. I am also a non-Indian married to an Indian man. We have been together for over 6 years and married for about 3 1/2 years. We have an 8 1/2 month old son. I used to deal with a lot of ignorant comments...sometimes even from my in-laws. They had the same doubts as what you have faced from others. However, since the baby came along, I think they realized how silly their fears are as it is pretty obvious to them how much we love our child and they see us work as a true team all the time to care for him. Other people have actually been surprisingly respectful. I think the only thing I have dealt with is running into a South Indian co-worker at a restaurant and him not being able to believe I was actually married to an Indian...he actually didn't seem to notice our half-Indian child. LOL. However, I still remain cognizant of the fact that these comments may come as he gets older.

    I think that when you encounter these sort of run ins with people who are ignorant or narrow-minded, the best thing you can do is just ignore them and care for your child as you normally would. When people ask questions that make you uncomfortable, it's really that they are curious as this sort of union is probably a novel concept to them. They could probably never seen themselves do it...and who knows, maybe they envy and/or admire you and your husband's courage to be different. Chin up. Just know this path we've chosen is not the easiest and requires one to be strong-minded and thick-skinned.

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    1. Wow...congrats on your son, I'm sure he is beautiful! Nice to hear from another couple like us.
      That is funny about your co-worker. I also do not advertise that I'm married to an Indian unless it is directly asked - a lot of Indians get to know me first and then are surprised. I don't know why...
      It is true, we can't let every comment get to us. It only shocks me because I forget every day that he is "Indian", to me he is just my super hot husband ;)

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    2. Thank you! Yes, our son is a very beautiful baby....big brown eyes, a smile that melts your heart...and he is such a happy baby. He laughs alot and is so playful. He is the center of our world. :) I also don't advertise that I'm married to an Indian guy, but when people see my last name, they question its origin and I let them know. Most Indians who find this out seem curious more than anything...about how I've adapted to the culture. Also, I wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog. I read it regularly and think you've really done a great job at providing a forum for other multi-cultural couples to share their experiences and suggestions. I wish we knew each other in real life as we would have a lot in common with our shared experiences. I have only one non-Indian friend who is married to an Indian guy. Where I currently live is in a somewhat conservative part of the United States. However, my husband I will be relocating our family within the next couple of months to the San Francisco area for a job opportunity he accepted. I'm hoping and would expect I would find more couples like us when we move there.

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    3. Thank you so much! I really appreciate that...I am really trying :)
      Same here, I only have one friend IRL who is American married to a Tamilian.
      We used to live in SFO in 2008 - you will LOVE it!!!!!!!! There are so many masala couples there...Best wishes for the move :)

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing this! I've heard ignorant comments myself about my marriage to my husband John -- or sometimes, just even dirty looks! It's an unfortunate part of life for pretty much every interracial/cross-cultural couple.

    I think it's great that you write about it -- that's one of the most important things we can do, sharing our experiences. I've also found that, through my marriage, I've helped educate family members about things like racism and discrimination.

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    1. Thank you so much Jocelyn...so many times people do not realize what they say. I'd say 95% of the time people are not trying to be mean, but they are so not sensitive about what is coming out of their mouth! It is just that all around us, there is such a lack of multicultural couples. We are still such a minority...

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