Saturday, April 30, 2016

My Intercultural Love: Nikita & SG

(Img via Timothy Colczak)

Nikita is a Blindian blogger who lives in the U.S. with her North Indian husband & daughter!

Introduction....
I'm Nikita and I'm African-American. I'm originally from Chicago, Illinois and now reside on the East Coast of the U.S. My husband's family is originally from Northern India. He was born and raised in Michigan. I have one child and no pets. I write a blog called Growing Up Gupta.

Three words that describe you...
Driven, Passionate, Classy.

Favorite childhood memory...
Going to Walt Disney World with my parents for the first time.

Where/how do you feel most inspired? 
My husband is currently my muse and I feel inspired daily.

Where/how did you meet your spouse? 
We met at work at a mutual friend's cubicle. I thought he was cute and that was it. He said that "it was like a light shined down from Heaven that said I was the one." After that, we saw each other at a work outing on May 5, 2004 and just started to talk to each other and we just clicked. We became friends, enjoyed talking to each other on the phone, and then he asked me out on a date on August 15, 2004. On that date, he wooed me by opening my door when I arrived (we decided to drive separately because I didn't want it be an official date), and handed me an orchid and said that he was going to treat me like a princess. We headed to dinner and just talked and talked, and talked. We had so much in common and our lives mirrored each others in so many ways. Neither of us wanted that date to end and so we stayed up all night and morning talking and we have been together ever since.

How long have you been together? 
We have been together for 11.5 years. We started dating/courting in August 2004.

What qualities do you admire in your spouse? 
I admire his intelligence, sensibility, loyalty, and work ethic. 

Favorite memory together as a couple... 
There are numerous I just can't choose one.

What did you know about your spouse's culture prior to your relationship? 
I knew that Indian men did not customarily marry outside of their ethnicity. Also most Indian marriages were/are arranged by their families.

How did you tell your friends/family about your intercultural relationship? 
I traveled home to Illinois and told my parents (both church Pastors) that there was a guy that I liked. My dad uttered his first name and asked what kind of name is that and I told him an Indian name.  They wanted to meet him, get to know him, and loved him after they met him. Some of my girlfriends were ecstatic for me, while others at the time frowned their nose up at the relationship because they had never heard of an Indian man and African-American woman being together. Let's just say we are no longer friends.

How has your relationship enlightened your life? How has it changed you & your outlook on life? 
It has given me a bigger picture of the world and human race. It has made me see that you don't have any control over who you fall in love with it . It may be with another ethnicity although you grew up thinking it would be with someone from your own ethnicity. I think life is so much more flavorful and beautiful since marrying my husband and having our daughter.

Who proposed and how? 
My husband got down on one knee at a beach in Michigan.


Describe your wedding...
We had two weddings. Our Christian ceremony in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (a destination wedding due to initial resistance of our union), and a traditional Indian ceremony in Michigan.

What does being married mean to you? 
 It means that I have made a decision to dedicate my life to a partnership with someone and them to me.

What are your dreams for your future together as a married couple? 
 Continued travel, more kids, greater successes, and growing old together.

What's the best marital advice that you received from elder family/friends? 
Never go to sleep angry - always resolve a conflict before you go to bed.

What positive cultural values do you bring to your relationship? 
We bring a joint love of family and cooking to our relationship.

What do you do to keep your relationship alive? What kinds of things do you do to connect with your spouse? 
 We make each other a priority. We make sure to talk about everything and anything that we believe the other needs to improve on. We do little things like sending a cute text during the day to say I love you. And when the baby is asleep we enjoy having dinner and movie date nights.

In what ways have you adopted aspects of your spouse's culture? 
I have embraced wearing Indian clothing and preparing Indian food, and even observing a yearly fast for him.

Has your family adopted aspects of your spouse's culture? 
My parents will wear Indian clothing to Indian events.

(Img via Ankita Ku)

What aspects of your spouse's culture do you find difficult to embrace? 
 The language has been difficult to learn without adequate resources on the Hindi language.

Name some cultural faux-pas that you have unknowingly committed...
We made sure not to commit any. However when we went to India last year we almost kissed each other in public!

What was the most challenging time in your intercultural relationship? 
When we were dating and he wanted to introduce me to his parents. They did not want to meet or hear about me. His parents didn't want to meet me because I am African-American. We overcame it with help from his family (sister-in-law) and childhood friends that got the chance to know me and loved me. His dad came around 6 months before our wedding, his mom didn't come around until about a month before our wedding.

What's the best and the worst part of being in an intercultural relationship? 
The best is sharing in a unique fusion of cultures. The worst is the language barrier and sometimes wondering if you are truly accepted.

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions that people have about intercultural relationships? 
That perhaps that they are all the same when they are not.

What are the biggest misconceptions about African-American women?
That we are all the same and we are not.

Have you come across people who disapprove of your intercultural union? If so, how do you deal with them? 
Yes, some of my husband's friends didn't approve and they bluntly said to him that my parents would never accept and that I would be disowned. He told them that it's sad that you would let a wonderful person walk away because of the color of their skin and that your parents wouldn't trust you to make great decisions; after all they raised you didn't they?

Take-away advice for other intercultural couples... 
Being in an intercultural relationship may not be easy at first. You may get uncomfortable stares, jibes, and even find yourself confused about cultural practices, etc. However as you grow in your relationship things will become easier and you will see how the fusion of the two cultures is an amazing thing that not everyone gets to experience. Make sure that your relationship is not built on sand and that you are truly invested in each other. I think we are all brought together for a purpose outside of ourselves.

-----

Be sure to follow Growing Up Gupta on their Facebook page!
SHARE:

2 comments

  1. Indeed a rare match. The prejudice of Indians with respect to Africans and Chinese run very deep. So much that despite having trade relations with both China and African continent for centuries alliances never took place in a large scale. May you live a happy life and have many kids not just one!!!

    Achyut

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story!

    ReplyDelete

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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© Madh Mama. All rights reserved.
BLOGGER TEMPLATE DESIGNED BY pipdig