Interracial marriage is a form of exogamy. (Exogamy is considered a social arrangement where marriage is allowed only outside a social group, community, clan or tribe) Interracial marriage can also be referred to as mixed or intercultural marriage. Most people do not give any consideration to skin colour, tribe or religion when choosing their life partner, while others put all these factors into consideration before choosing their mate. Some may wonder why someone will choose to marry a person who is e from a different world, background and culture. Family, friends and the society are not left out in such decision, they will definitely have a negative attitude to bear when their son or daughter fall in love or marry someone from a different race. They may not be too accepting the choice of a life partner for several reasons, for some, they simply feel uncomfortable interacting with people from different race. Interracial marriages is becoming popular around world today and have undergone big transformation over the past generations. People who are involved in this type of marriage may experience discrimination, stigma and lack of acceptance from the society they live in. The challenges of interracial marriages are uniquely different from other forms of marriages. Couple who indulge in interracial marriages have to be able to effectively blend into their partner’s culture, tradition, values and beliefs. Placing your values above your spouse will only lead to slow, steady and certain destruction of your marriage. Therefore, it is important to be well inform and aware of the advantages and disadvantages involved with interracial marriages before taking the big step.
Some advantages of interracial marriage include but not limited to:
It enables the couple the opportunity to learn the uniqueness of each other’s culture, understand each other ethics, moral standards and way of life. They will also be able to learn each other’s language, food, religion, their music, fashion and arts.
Genetics: Children that are born into interracial marriages inherit the best side of their parents’ genes. This unique combination of two different races can be of great benefit to offspring of interracial couples when it comes to physical appearance, emotional strength and IQ. Hey also tend to have stronger immunity against several diseases.
Breaking Stereotypes: When you marry someone that is of a different race from yours, it gives you and people around you the opportunity to break negative stereotypes about respective races. It also provides a counter example to ignorant and hateful stereotypes, help others become more open minded to accept other races, which will help create awareness and reduce discrimination.
There is never a dull moment: Interracial couple never lack what to talk about. They always have so many wonderful and diverse things they share with each other such as talking about their childhood experiences, their cultural history, food, fashion, languages and land.
Disadvantages of interracial marriages include but not limited to:
Lack of acceptance: Interracial marriages tend to experience high level of discrimination from family and friends. Family members will find it very difficult to accept one’s choice of a life partner for fear that one might abandon their culture and traditions, and over time forget their root.
Different parenting Style: Interracial couples may have difficulties in bringing up their children due to the different ways they were brought up by their parents and the background in which they grew up .These differences can cause disagreement amongst the couple. In other to avoid clashes, it is important for interracial couples to compromise in the areas that they disagree and come together in the areas that they agree on.
Both Families may have difficulties interacting: Both families may have difficulties in interacting and relating well with each other due to differences in language, accent and intonation and stress pattern in their various languages. Interracial couples may misinterpret gesture from their mate and this could lead to serious misunderstanding.
Identity problem: They may have difficulties in knowing which culture to belong to and some may end up not being able to identify with their root especially if their parents never introduce them to both their maternal and paternal relatives.
Attract unnecessary attention: Interracial couple tend to attract abnormal attention from people. For instance most people stare at them when they are together in a public place. Particularly, when they are attending a social function an unusual stare could make them uncomfortable and may decide to leave the function before the official closing time.
Wrong motive Involved: Some people get into interracial marriages because of personal interest. Some people have enter interracial marriages as a result of promises of economic benefits, migration or political reasons. For such individuals, the may be inundated with problems
People’s perception about this type of marriages is undoubtedly taking a positive spin that is why interracial marriages are flourishing today. So, before you take the leap into interracial dating or marriage, be sure that you are well aware of the challenges involved.
By Mercy Kukah