The Story Only Goodness by Jhumpa Lahiri
People usually have strong opinions and differences when it comes to problems that face intercultural marriages. Most of the people I know my brother, dad and some of my friend married from different culture and each one has a story to tell. However, some of the problems that face intercultural marriage are culture difference, religion, and last but not the least identity conflicts. Some people think culture difference is not an issue and they can adapt to a new culture very easily, but that is not true.
It is number one problem that faces every intercultural marriage. There are a lot of things that we do that are normal to us, which are not normal to others. For example, in my community a man is known as the breadwinner while a woman is caretaker of the children and has nothing else to do, so she cannot ask her husband to change diaper, or help her clean the house. In America something like this is normal. Another example of culture difference that leads to a lot of problems is a woman having a male friend.
In most of the communities a woman should not have a male friend besides her husband, but in America it’s normal for her to have friends regardless of their gender. All of this culture difference leads to problems in intercultural marriage and makes understanding each other difficult. Religion is one of the main problems that faces intercultural marriage. Despite the upswing in the religious fundamentalism in all part of the world, very few couples can speak of their religious conflicts freely in their marriage.
However, people normally think they can address their religious differences thoughtfully before marriage, realizing that what people believe affects not only how they worship, but also how they live their daily life. A good example is a marriage between a Muslim and Christian. A Muslim person has a lot of restrictions he is not allowed to drink alcohol or eat pork meat, which is normal in most part of the world, but not to a Muslim person and will lead to a lot of problems because some people can’t live with out alcohol.
Another problem is, a child borne into this kind of marriage get confused which way to follow because the father and mother have different religion and they each want their child to follow their footsteps and they get caught in the middle. Finally, another problem that faces intercultural marriage is identity conflict. Children borne out of two races for example black and white or different nationalities have difficulties in stating their races because mostly they face rejection from both sides, some time they call themself half white or half black or fifty fifty.
A good example is our president Barack Obama. Some people think he is black while others think he is white because of his mother, and most blacks don’t like him for that. I have a half brother who is still trying to figure out whether he Arab or African because his mother is an Arab and lives in Dubai and our father is African. Last year when he came to the USA we met each other he couldn’t speak any other language except Arabic and we couldn’t communicate each other well because of that, but he did not think of me as a brother, but a stranger he just met.
His mother got divorced from my father long time ago when he was a child and took him along with her. All these are problems that face intercultural marriage. In conclusion intercultural marriage has many problem such as culture difference, religion, and identity conflict. But all of these are how nature is and nobody can change it. It doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t marry; they still do get married from different community and live together happily ever after. Even I want to get married to a white girl and let’s hope things will never change for us and remain the way it is now and tomorrow.