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Lets talk about Interracial Relationships…

Those close to me will know I am in a Chinese-Indian relationship. My boyfriend is from India and I am ethnically Chinese, although I am of British nationality. Our common language is of course english, although both of us would love to learn each others mother tongue.

No matter how much we all say that race doesn’t matter, colour doesn’t matter, religion doesn’t matter etc etc, ultimately you will always encounter problems which are due to the fact that this is an interracial relationship. It doesn’t matter how much the other person loves you, but sometimes when you come from such different backgrounds, different cultures and different walks of life, it can be difficult to adjust- both for you and your extended family.

The biggest issue for my relationship is not about our arguments, or something the other does or does not do… It’s mainly due to our family. I have never met my boyfriends family, but I feel (and hope!) that they do accept me and whenever I see them on FaceTime when my boyfriend is speaking to them, they always say Hi and will compliment me on what I am wearing or if I get a new haircut. Whenever I do eventually meet them I hope that they can continue to like me as I want them to know that they do not need to worry about their son getting hurt.

My family is a mixed bag due to half of my family growing up abroad and thus being much more open-minded than the HK lot, but some hold more traditional views than others.

Some of my extended family treat my boyfriend like he’s invisible, which sometimes I’m sure he wishes he was because I know how terrible he feels and even I can see the way some of my relatives look at him. It’s something that we have even argued about- I wished that he would make more effort towards these relatives so that they could see him in a better light, but for him he felt that no matter what he does, it will not change the fact that they dislike him because he is Indian and doesn’t speak chinese and this will not change.

I’ve come to realise now that I really don’t care about the extended family and what they think. I would love for them to accept him as part of the family, but if they dislike him because he is not chinese and cannot speak chinese, then there’s not a lot I can do about that.

My parents and brother on the other hand are a different case. My brother has gone through the same thing as me, as he is also with a non-chinese (You can check out their blog here: http://www.ourchinglishwedding.co.uk) so he knows all too well the problems that we face. Thankfully my brother has met Arnav and he likes him, so thats one less person to have to deal with!

Being the youngest and the only daughter, my parents have always wanted the best for me and I know without doubt if I ever needed them they would drop everything to come to my aid. It is a wonderful feeling to know that your parents will always be there for you, but at the same time, it is a double edged sword. They can be overprotective at times, especially when it comes to boyfriends.

They have openly discussed with me any concerns that they have and if I was a weak-minded girl, perhaps I would have broken up. I am not weak-minded though, I’ve been in a relationship where I wasn’t happy so I know exactly what I want from my man.

I will fight for my guy because I believe that this is a relationship that works and he makes me happy. I don’t disagree with the fact that we are both incredibly different people, we like different things, our favourite foods are different, our families are totally different. This doesn’t change the fact that we love each other and make each other happy. I am not willing to let a guy who truly makes me happy and loves me go just because my parents or anyone else thinks that we cannot be together. My hope is that once my parents see how happy we are, they will begin to accept him as part of the family, even more so than they do now.

For many people, what their family thinks is incredibly important and can be the make or break for their relationship. What I ask of you is that you fight for your other half because they cannot fight alone. If you truly love that person, you should be prepared to do all that you can to fight for their corner because they are the ones that matter. If you are not prepared to fight for the person you love, then you just don’t love them enough. If this is you, then end the relationship before it gets too late and save them the heartbreak. If you know that you will not fight for your partner, you must know that this relationship will never go all the way and thus you are only stringing them along for YOUR benefit.

 

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7 thoughts on “Lets talk about Interracial Relationships…

  1. If your boyfriend was a white European guy, would your extended family still disapprove of your relationship?
    I don’t they would. Let’s be honest here, it’s got more to with skin colour than mere cultural differences.

    1. Actually my brother is about to marry a european girl and my family have the same issues… so it’s not to do with the skin colour, it’s simply the fact that they are not Chinese.
      At least, this is the case for my family, I can’t speak for other people. Even when I was with another british chinese guy who did not speak chinese (he was born and brought up in UK like me, but did not identify as ‘chinese’ like I do) my family had issues as they felt he was not the same as us.

      1. Fair enough. But I do think skin colour plays a big part in Chinese attitudes towards non-Chinese people. It isn’t a coincidence that in most cases when a BBC girl (living in the UK and particularly in London) opts to date outside of her ethnic group, she will invariably go with a white male. I feel like white males (and females) are far more tolerated purely on the basis of aesthetics.
        I once knew a BBC girl who told me that her mother said to her that she wouldn’t mind if her daughter was with a white non-Chinese male because they would still have “beautiful babies”. These kind of attitudes towards skin colour are quite common across many parts of the Far East and they feed into successive generations via parents.

      2. Agreed. Unfortunately I do see in HK a lot swell as in other countries similar to here (S.Korea etc) where girls will flock to be with a white guy but will not give the time of day to a non-chinese guy or another race. I actually think it is more to do with the fact that white guys are considered to be rich and thus the girl will marry into wealth.
        That isn’t the case in my family as such, especially on my fathers side as most of my cousins on my dads side have married non-chinese of different races. Not so sure about my mums side though…
        My parents are OK with my BF being indian.. if anything they prefer it as he is very family orientated and they think a european guy would not have the same strong ties to family and sense of responsibility to the family as another asian guy.

  2. Yeah, it’s the common idea that fair, white skin is associated with power, wealth and beauty and darker skin is associated with poverty and criminality. I think it’s particularly bad in South Korea, but I’ve heard stories of people not sitting next to “dark” foreigners on trains/buses in Hong Kong. And there seems to be visible contempt for foreign domestic workers who tend to be from south East Asian countries.
    I don’t think it’s unusual to see these types of unpleasant attitudes in insular, homogenous societies though.
    But I do find it troubling when I see the same kind of attitudes exist in a “diverse” city like London. A place where wealthy and successful people come from many different ethnic backgrounds.
    This is why I feel like there’s a racial aesthetic element to the overwhelming number of oriental female / white male pairings I see (in London).

  3. This is way too real for me. I, too, am from HK and dating an ethnic Indian guy. He grew up in NZ, where I’m getting my PhD. We live in NZ and only get the ocassional stares from old Asian or Indian couples, which we are okay with. His parents are super nice to me. Mine are somewhat okay. My parents are pretty open minded for HKers. They prefer someone Chinese but they know I’m way too stubborn to say anything. But I just had someone that i respected try to talk me into breaking up with him. They claimed that it had nothing to do with race, but I’m 100% sure it was the reason. I got pretty upset during the conversation because I thought the comments they made were very unfair for him. I even cried about it. Of course it didn’t change how I feel about my bf. He is my best friend and i usually tell him everything, but I’m not sure if I should tell him what happened although it troubled me so much. He is such a wonderful bf and I don’t want him to be bothered by those mean, ungrounded things people say about him.

    1. I’m sorry about what has happened to you. I do think that it is common though and so many people have gotten past it so just keep on looking forwards! 🙂 I also get quite upset about the things that people say/do, but my bf has more of a ‘they can think what they like, I don’t give a F’ attitude, which is rubbing off on me. I’m happier than ever in my relationship so nothing they can say or do will change that.
      As for whether or not to tell him about it, its totally your choice. My brother chose not to tell his wife about these things and they are happier than ever, but I think it takes a lot of pressure on him to keep it in when he is unhappy. I chose to tell my boyfriend because I get so upset about it and I felt like only he could make me feel better. I don’t doubt that it upsets him to know about it all, but it also helps both of us to be stronger. 🙂

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