Saturday, October 3, 2015

My Intercultural Love: Chris & Priya


This beautiful Chindian couple combine the cultures of Guyanese, Canadian, American, and Taiwanese!


Introduction....
Hey! My name is Priya. I am Canadian, but I was born in Guyana. My husband is Chris, and he is Taiwanese-American. We have no kids, and we are currently going through the immigration process so I can move with him to Alabama.

Three words that describe you...
Loud, yet quiet. Outgoing yet shy. A Homebody, who likes to explore? I am not good at this one! I asked my husband and he said, "cute, smoosh, soft!" Take that as you must!

Favorite childhood memory...
I grew up in the West Indies, so I just remember the sun peering through the leaves of palm trees very vividly. I think that's why I love the Summer. Another favourite memory is laying next to my dad, when he would put me to sleep. He used to tell me a version of Beauty and the Beast and would knock on the wall next to the bed to make noises for the beast. I loved it - I used to squeal with delight every time that part came up. After the story, he would sing me a lullaby, which was "Everything's Alright" from Jesus Christ Superstar. My husband actually reminds me a lot of my dad. He always sticks a camera in my face, never lets me go hungry, and constantly tell's me I am beautiful. Chris tells me that I remind him of his mom sometimes, but the comparison is less flattering because its usually when I get naggy!


Where/how do you feel most inspired?
I get random bursts of inspiration. Then I go on a crazed spree to do whatever.

Where/how did you meet your spouse?
We met online. We had talked on an Asian cultural forum for a little while, then we started to talk on Google, which led to Facebook, and then Skype. We decided to meet up a few weeks after talking because he lived in Cleveland at that time and it was very close to where I lived in Toronto. We decided to meet up and he came down to Toronto. We did that every 2-3 weeks, for over three years. It was mostly him driving to Toronto because I can't drive, and its expensive to fly to Cleveland. The bus was out of the question for us because the one time I did bus to Cleveland, strange men kept talking to me and that freaked him out. 

How long have you been together?
4 Years on August 16th, 2015 :)

What qualities do you admire in your spouse?
He is naturally very caring, loving and family-oriented. He is smart and a great cook. He is also very athletic and tries to keep fit. I think he has a very cheeky sense of humor. He thinks of the cutest things sometimes and I end up laughing like a fool. I feel like he reads my mind. It's weird to think, but I really do believe we are other halves of the same person.


Favorite memory together as a couple...
When he proposed. It was hilarious and very us. 

What did you know about your spouse's culture prior to your relationship?
I knew a little bit, but I learnt more about the Chinese culture when we started to date. I would say I was aware, but not educated about the Chinese culture. 

How did you tell your friends/family about your intercultural relationship? 
I had dated a Chinese guy before my husband so they weren't too shocked. My family liked Chris right away and were very welcoming to him. The West Indian community is very mixed anyways, so it's not unusual to have an intercultural marriage in my family. The first time my father met him, he greeted him by saying, "Ni hao". I was sooo embarrassed but Chris thought it was awesome. My friends are also from various cultures and there was another Chindian couple already, so they weren't too surprised by me dating Chris. 

How has your relationship enlightened your life? How has it changed you & your outlook on life?
I think I am more aware, as a person, because of him. He taught me how to be more aware about the food I eat and how I take care of my body. When we were getting married, I was determined to become debt free because of his influence so I think that is pretty positive. 

Who proposed and how?
Chris had driven down from Cleveland and called my house to tell me to open the backdoor so he could come up to my flat. I had just woken up from a nap, so I hadn't even combed my hair and I was wearing my oldest pajama's, which had a giant bleach stain down the side! I walked down to the side door and found him standing there. He held out his hand and opened it up to show me a ring in his palm, and said "Ta Da!". I looked at him confused, not really processing the moment. I said, "what?". He showed me the ring in his hand again, and asks "will you marry me?". I stood there, my mouth on the floor for a few moments and then I replied, "Yes. Sure!" and we sealed with a high five. 

My initial confusion over the ring was because he had proposed with a wedding band. Apparently, he wasn't sure which ring he was supposed to propose with and had thought the fancy engagement ring was supposed to be for the wedding!

Describe your wedding...
The wedding was quite small, with only 91 people. It was held at golf course in July and it was a beautiful sunny day. The wedding was Western style because it was mostly my family there. He had a few family members there, but most of the other guests were my family and friends. The day was a blur to me, and I honestly can not remember that much of it! From the guests, I heard it was a lot of fun! We had a short ceremony and wrote our own vows. After, we did some photos and then the reception started. We entered to the theme song from Star Wars and our first dance was "A Whole New World", the Peabo Bryson version. Then we danced, had cake and had overall good time.

What does being married mean to you?
I get to be next to my best friend forever. 


What are your dreams for your future together as a married couple?
The usual...family, kids, travel. I'd say world domination, but I'm brown, so that doesn't flow well in America!

What's the best marital advice that you received from elder family/friends?
From my older brother: "Let him win sometimes". 

What positive cultural values do you bring to your relationship?
Acceptance. People are different, nothing anyone can do about it. You have to learn to accept it, and move on. A rainbow is only beautiful because its made out of many different colors! 

What do you do to keep your relationship alive? What kinds of things do you do to connect with your spouse?
We like to go on small adventures. We aren't very exciting, so small adventures are good for us. We like walking and going out to eat. Eating is a big part of our relationship (and expanding waistlines. We were both 20 lbs lighter when we first met!).


In what ways have you adopted aspects of your spouse's culture?
I am better with money now. Ha ha ha!

Has your family adopted aspects of your spouse's culture?
I wouldn't say so, but they certainly do love Chinese food!

What aspects of your spouse's culture do you find difficult to embrace?
Asian cultures tend to be very patriarchal. I am loud and abrasive at times so sometimes we disagree on certain things. We talk and get over it though. 

Name some cultural faux-pas that you have unknowingly committed...
I have no idea. I don't think I have...I probably should help his mum around the house more when we visit though? 

What was the most challenging time in your intercultural relationship?
Talking about how to spend our money, or if we need to visit my family. I love being around them, but my husband tends to want more space than I do. I win this argument more than he does though, because my family is closer than his. I think the closer we are to family, the better. I'd love to live where he grew up in Honolulu. I have a great relationship with his parents and love my mother-in-law. I think she is amazing. 

What's the best and the worst part of being in an intercultural relationship?
Best Part: Love and Food. 
Worst Part: I haven't really experienced any bad yet!


What do you think are the biggest misconceptions that people have about intercultural relationships?
There isn't always a clash of cultures. There wasn't any cultural clash with my relationship. We have more personality clashes than cultural. 

What are the biggest misconceptions about Indian women? 
We can cook? I can't cook toast!!! I would starve if my husband didn't enjoy cooking!

Have you come across people who disapprove of your intercultural union? If so, how do you deal with them?
Not really. We do get stared at a lot though. Most people are more curious than disapproving. When people stare at us, I tend to stare back. I love a good awkward moment! Ha ha ha!

Take-away advice for other intercultural couples...
Men are men. Women are women. Its a relationship like any other. After a short while, you begin to look past what your eyes see, and then you move on quickly. 


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5 comments

  1. 'There isn't always a clash of cultures.' That is something that I totally agree with. Sometimes differences are not that difficult to overcome as long as there is a level of respect.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aww, what a cute and cool couple ! (Pad)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for hosting our story :)! I love your blog and am thinking of doing one of my own, but I'm unsure at the moment. It seems like a lot of work lol I also wonder if the interest is there? I guess we will see. Thanks again! Priya x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hahaha you're hilarious. And relatable :)
    Meg

    ReplyDelete
  5. Their proposal story is so cute!

    Raina.

    ReplyDelete

Respectful comments only, please! (That means you, anonymous.)

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