When my parents married, waayyy back when (okay–26 years ago), interracial marriage between Asians and Whites wasn’t completely uncommon but it was much more exotic than it is now. Visit any college campus, stroll on any city street, browse in any local bookstore and you’re bound to see couples composed of all races. No need to raise an eyebrow–save that for something truly surprising (like $0.79 gas!)
If this New York Times article from March of last year is anything to go by, it seems that “ethnic minorities” may be increasingly searching for people with a shared cultural background when it comes to finding a partner to settle down with.
This particular passage struck me:
“Le is a gregarious, ambitious corporate lawyer, but in her parents’ home, she said, “There’s a switch that you flip.” In their presence, she is demure. She looks down when she speaks, to demonstrate her respect for her mother and father. She pours their tea, slices their fruit and serves their meals, handing them dishes with both hands. Her white boyfriend, she said, was “weirded out” by it all.”
Thankfully, I haven’t had to deal with such expectations. But it really made me ponder…do differences like these cause serious issues in the long-run?
And in the short-run…how do you decide what kind of wedding to have?
How do you bring up your children?
Should they learn three languages at birth or just one?
Post-fingers, chopsticks or fork?
It made me think–if the cultural clash causes as great a chasm as described–then multi-raciality deserves further examination. It’s not enough to pass Hapas off as genetically blessed, exotic specimens of visually appropriate cultural combinations. There’s more to the struggles of straddling ethnicity than the way you appear in the mirror.
This leads on to the subject of mixed race people and mental health issues…but I’ll keep that idea stored away for a longer post.