It’s been a while since I had a guest blogger but I’m so happy that Brittany shared her story with me! She describes herself as “a white girl married to an Indian with an almost Indian family”. She loves making Indian food and sharing what she has learned in her intercultural marriage. Check out her blog for more info and enjoy the guest post!
“Intercultural families are very unique. Most couples have two people from different families come together and start a new family. While their families may have been different, they have a similar culture. The similarity helps hold them together. An intercultural family has two people from two different families and two distinct cultures. Intercultural families have to figure out how to blend two distinct cultures into one family.
I met my husband in a program we were both doing with our church. We fell in love and were married one year later. Now, we have three children under four and six years of an intercultural marriage under our belts. Is our family just like everyone else’s? No. Our family is unique.
What makes intercultural families unique?
You have grown up in two different cultures.
I am a white girl from the Pacific Northwest. I spent half of my childhood with a single mother and then she remarried and my new father adopted me. I was also the oldest of my siblings. We moved around a lot after my parents were married and settled in California.
My husband is an East Indian that spent a few years in India and was raised in Chicago. His family was born and raised in Hyderabad, India and moved to the US after his parents were married.
Being a second generation Indian, my husband was raised in Indian culture, while living in the US. He was taught Indian customs, traditions, and ideals. I grew up the same with American customs, traditions, and ideals. With this, we often encounter a clash of cultures. There are some similarities between both cultures, but we’re always being reminded just how different they are as well.
A birthday party for my family involved about 20-30 friends and family members. The party usually lasted about three hours and then we wrapped up. Indian parties are huge, involving every Indian in the area, and last an entire day.
Your families function differently.
I was raised by my single mother for part of my childhood. While she was on her own, her family was always there if she needed them, especially my grandma. She was there for my mom for anything she needed. She was doing what she could to teach her how to be independent as a mom and as a strong woman. I learned a lot from this. I learned how to be a strong independent woman from all my aunts, grandma, and mom.
My husband’s family was also always there for each other growing up. While my family was there to support our independence, his family was there to create a strong family unit. Independence isn’t necessarily a desired trait for them. They function as a unit whether they are together or separate. This means they head each other’s advice and wisdom regardless of how old they are. They help each other make big life decisions.
Both ways have taught my husband and I so much in raising our kids and has showed us the way we hope our family will function.
You will raise biracial children.
Our children are completely blessed because they belong to two different cultures. They have two heritages to pull and learn from. They don’t have to identify as Caucasian or Indian; they are both.
As they grow, we have to figure out how to blend both cultures in their ideals and daily life. This affects where we live, what language they speak, the way they interact with family, family traditions, the way they treat each other, and so much more.
You will have to decide what you will bring into your children’s lives from both cultures. It can be difficult to decide sometimes because both of your cultures have so much to offer.
Intercultural families are unique and one of a kind. The number of intercultural families is on the rise, but each one is very unique and special.
Are you in an intercultural family?
What makes your family unique?