While the vast majority of humans in today’s society have gotten over this idea of elitism when it comes to romances, there are still many people in my own friendship circles that find it difficult to enjoy a lasting romance with someone of a different culture, religion or race.
Now, I can understand, culture is very important to some. It governs many lives, determines many believes, forming a secure foundation on which individuals can base their existence. Fair enough. As stated in previous gabbles, I have no set culture to affiliate with; I rather dance between the rules of varying traditions accepting that which I like, disregarding that which I don’t. As a result, when it comes to a romantic fling, differences in culture don’t come as a hindrance so much as a celebration or something to explore.
Such is not always the case with many of my friends, who, in meeting their perfect mate, expect them to conform to the same rituals and rules, afraid, perhaps that should they follow different ordinances, there may be conflict in the romance, or, worse yet, conflict in the ideas of the resulting offspring. Some are afraid of “losing” their culture in romances with people of a different sect. I would, naturally, put forward that should you feel that your love for a person is enough to pull you away from your cultural background, do you indeed love that background enough? And, if not, perhaps it is time to explore alternatives.
I am amused by the number of friends that seek partners in a specific culture, closing the door to any other potential, and, subsequently remaining single because the potentials within the chosen culture don’t, as individuals, reach the necessary standard. I would hope to be wrong, but I can see them eventually marrying into a culture purely for the culture. Alas, I have seen this happen before. A Hindu marrying another Hindu simply because they shared the religion, and not necessarily anything else.
There’s a marriage set for disaster in my opinion. Yes, it could last, but that doesn’t mean it works.
Still, in this context, there is often a lot of outside influence. Family and friend pressure and the like. The people who are very comfortable with an animated rabbit kissing a stuttering hunter, quite happy with the mating of a nectarine and an orange to produce a sweeter fruit, would even allowing their own poodle to hump the neighbour’s ridgeback (yes, I’ve seen this before, too)! These same people cannot bear the idea of two humans of different culture and religion, no matter how similar in physical appearance, sharing a life and children together. I mean, god forbid, a Greek and Spaniard? An Indian and a Pakistani? A Zulu and a Xhosa? Protestant dating Catholic? Hindi-speaking Hindu with a Tamil-Speaking Hindu?
Sacrilege! Even in this enlightened day and age.
Most recently I have been amused at a few friends breaking off relationships on the grounds that they worship different gods. Naturally, the first question in this case is, “Do you really want to support a god that doesn’t want to play with other gods?”
I mean that sounds like a bit of a superiority complex to me. Takes god-complex to hold different level, doesn’t it? I would think any god worth her or his salt would jump at the opportunity to mingle, share ideas, dress codes, worship differences, and the like.
“So you get your people to pray to you through the rising sun? Wow. I just let them pray whenever. As long as there’s a picture or stature of me to pray to. What? You don’t do statues? Well, alright then. I can see why you’d need the sun.”
That could lead to some pretty interesting fusions I would think.
Now if we could just get the humans to follow the same logic.
My take, of course, as I’ve alluded to, is why harp on our differences. Celebrate them, explore each others’ cultures, backgrounds, religious beliefs and adapt them into your lives as they feel right. An ideal partnership is not about conflict. The whole “choose me or choose your culture” ultimatum implies an unhealthy relationship from the beginning. Romances and marriage are about union, about coming together. That would include all aspects of your respective lives.