Saturday, December 12, 2015

My Intercultural Love: Silvia & Vee

This beautiful couple is Italian & Indian, and live together in the US with their 10 month old son!

My name is Silvia, and I am from a small but gorgeous city near Venice, in Italy. I am married to Vee, who was born in Mumbai, from a Gujarati family. We now live in the US with our 10 months old son who is keeping us very busy!

Three words that describe you...
Curious, sensitive, overly-romantic.

Favorite childhood memory...
I used to spend Saturday mornings with my dad at the local farmer's market. He was always away for work during the week and that was our "special moment" together.

Where/how do you feel most inspired?
I feel inspired when travelling in the East.

Where/how did you meet your spouse?
I had moved to US for about 1 year for my job when he was transferred from Shanghai by the same company. I helped him get settled, as I was an expat myself, and we have been together since. What he *still* does not know is that I had spotted him way before...

How long have you been together?
We've been together for 3 years, married for 2.

What qualities do you admire in your spouse?
I admire his integrity, his ambition and the fact that he is a truly caring person. He is tough on the outside, and may seem not to show love, but he really cares about people.

Favorite memory together as a couple...
The time spent talking all night long for days on a bench outside his hotel when he first moved to US.

What did you know about your spouse's culture prior to your relationship?
I had been several times to India, for work, and being as curious as I am, I had asked a lot of questions to my local colleagues about history, culture, food, arranged marriages...but there was a lot that I did not know before meeting Vee and a lot that I still do not know now...Even today, I have mixed feelings about India.

How did you tell your friends/family about your intercultural relationship?
My mom came to visit me and I introduced him as a friend even when we were already together. I had not been introduced to his family yet, and I was afraid of the "refusal", so I kept quiet. She thought I was single and she really liked him so she kept asking about him...So when the time came it was not so difficult...although I told my parents directly "we are getting married".

How has your relationship enlightened your life? How has it changed you & your outlook on life?
Before meeting my husband, I was somehow a "spoiled" girl. I am not saying this in a bad way, just that I had everything from life without much effort. With him, I really learned that you can be happy with simple things.

Who proposed and how?
Nobody! I knew he was going to marry me when he invited his parents to US to meet me (and they came and started asking about details of our future wedding but this is another story). One day, we were at the Niagara falls and he just said "I sent the marriage application" (how romantic!) At that point I was full of joy!

Describe your wedding...
We had a court wedding in the US (after work; he did not even want to change his clothes I had to force him!), then a small celebration with the exchange of the rings in Italy and finally a short version of a traditional Indian wedding in Mumbai. Our son was born on our first anniversary.

What are your dreams for your future together as a married couple?
I hope we can keep growing together and enriching each others lives, as we've been doing so far.
We are going through a stressful period in our lives, but I know this will only make us stronger as a couple.

What's the best marital advice that you received from elder family/friends?
My MIL told me that in marriage it is better for the wife to shut up! (*note that she does not speak English and I do not speak Gujarati so our communication is through gestures*) This may seem like archaic advice, but I am such a strong-willed person and arguing on everything can be pointless. So, sometimes (and I say sometimes), it is better to count till ten and let it go...

What positive cultural values do you bring to your relationship?
Italian and Indian culture are not so different in many aspects (family, friendship etc). But I am proud of the beauty of Italy and the excellent taste we have for beautiful things and try to make this part of our life.

In what ways have you adopted aspects of your spouse's culture?
I became a vegetarian.

Has your family adopted aspects of your spouse's culture?

What aspects of your spouse's culture do you find difficult to embrace?
I still have some issues with the lack of privacy, especially because I am an only child and I've never been used to share my belongings and space. I am getting better at it though...

Name some cultural faux-pas that you have unknowingly committed...
When my in-laws came to the US to meet me, I went to pick them up at the airport. Even if I knew I was supposed to touch their feet, I could not do it...So this is actually a knowingly committed faux-pas...

What was the most challenging time in your intercultural relationship?
I think it is now. We both have full-time jobs and a little kid (very strong-willed) to take care of. My husband is also travelling a lot for work and this makes our time together close to zero. One of the most challenging aspects of our intercultural relationship is being far away from both our families, and it is particularly tough now that we have a child.

What's the best and the worst part of being in an intercultural relationship?
I think diversity is at the same time the best and worst part. In a way, you are always discovering new views and broadening your horizon, but there are a few times when you would like to just have the same "experience" on things. For me, the positive side is very much worth it.

Have you come across people who disapprove of your intercultural union? If so, how do you deal with them?
We had people staring at us, but no major incident that I can remember. Vee's uncle did not approve our marriage at first, and I was sad as they have a very close relationship. We actually ended up connecting when I met him in person in India.

Then, one time we were with my in-laws at a temple here in the US. We were not yet married so, technically, by the Indian standards, he was single. The four of us were eating and a lady tried to arrange a marriage between her niece and him! Right in front of me! I was furious and that time I could not follow my MIL's advice...

Take-away advice for other intercultural couples...
Be patient and open. Things may seem slow and crazy, but it is worth waiting for the most exciting journey of your life!



  1. Nice romantic story ! I can relate about feeling sometimes it would be nice to just have the same experience of things... :) It's also true there seems to be a mysterious connection bewteen Italy and India, I don't know why.- Pad

  2. they make a really beautiful story. it was really nice to read their story. wish them all the best in the world :)

  3. Akexandra did you see this cute windian story ?


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