Tag Archives: cross-cultural

Cross-cultural barriers

Dear globalcounselor,

I am 32 years old and I was living with a man from Nigeria for about three years. We did a lot together. He said he loved me. I know I loved him a lot but six months ago he told he could not do this anymore. He said he has become a Christian and living in sin was out of the picture for him. I told him I was willing to become  a  born again Christian if that would keep us together but he made one excuse after the other  why we should not be together.

We separated and I was devastated. I thought for sure he loved me and would do anything to keep me but I was wrong.  I was not only hurt but I was ashamed of myself. My friends  (both black and white) and my parents kept telling me that he would not marry me or settle down with me because Nigerians are very culture-bound people most of the time. They return to their own kind even though they like to practice their shit on white girls but we’re not good enough for marriage. This is so hypocritical. And they say we’re prejudiced?   My folks always welcomed him in our family. They liked him a lot but they knew better than I did they say men like him (professional whom his parents put through college – he did not have to borrow a dime) do not go against tradition and their parents wishes and that he will return to Nigeria and find a girl or marry one in Canada. Lo and behold, this morning while browsing through face book, I did what I promised not to do and peeked at his FB page and there he was with this beautiful Nigerian girl – married. I cried my eyes out at what a fool I had been. I’m spreading this message to other white girls or girls who may not be from Nigeria to be careful with those men.   If you are looking for marriage, pin them down early on and know where you stand.  I am never going to trust anyone but my own kind from now on. I am mad and I am hurt.

Hurt.

Dear hurt,

Thanks for sharing. What happened to you could have happened with anyone. This man apparently wanted to end the relationship. Men and women do it all the time, not only a particular type of man. I know a man who slept one night with a woman had breakfast with her and then left and went to the registrar’s office to marry another woman. They were from the same race.  He was not into you anymore and maybe he had met this woman whom, you’re right, would be easier for him to introduce to his family and friends. There is comfort in being with a person whom you understand, with whom you speak the same language, to whom you do not have to explain common nuances etc. It takes a courageous person who believes in love so strongly that he or she would marry someone from a completely different cultural and racial background. I know this is happening more and more frequently these days but let’s face it, it is an added stress on a relationship which has its own stressors. Don’t see this as a racial issue, though it might be, don’t see it as a cultural thing, which it might be but see it as a human thing. This situation happens in every culture. People fall in love and they fall out of love. Don’t close the doors on other men who might see you as the one they want to spend the rest of their life with and he could come from any race or culture. Be open. Sorry this one did not work out.

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Cross-cultural relationship

Dear globalcounselor,

I am an African Caribbean man and I have a white girlfriend. I dig her quite a bit. She’s cool but she is driving me up against a wall. She wants to hang with me all the time. She does not want me to spend time with my buddies. She phones or text me all the time when I am not around. She wants to always be in touch and when we are together she spends a lot of time questioning everything I did. Like I have to give her a blow by blow description of what I did. I got up went to have a bath, phoned my friend, stopped at a coffee shop, text my buddies and it goes on and on.  I encourage her to get with her girlfriend but she says that I am trying to get rid of her, I don’t love her.  At first I thought, hey this girl really digs me and I was feelin all good but now I just want to run away from her. She is becoming so bad I’m thinking of leaving the city just to get away from her. She’s stressing me with her obsessing. What can I do? The love tap is running dry by now.

Crazy

Dear Crazy.

Whoa, your girlfriend has a problem man.  She sounds as if she does not have a life and you are her life. She needs help to get a sense of herself. She is strangling you in the throat and relationship like this can become terribly obsessive that leaves the party being obsessed about feeling trapped or caged.  It is not normal behaviour in any culture. Perhaps she has been hurt many times and is finding it hard to trust and needs to see you all the time to ensure you’re being faithful or she is one of those obsessive compulsive personalities, in any case you cannot live like that.  It will drive you crazy after a while and you might begin to wonder who is the crazy one  you that chicken or the egg first conundrum, so deal with it, get a handle on it and if you can’t she does not want to see professional help, leave when you can, leave now.

Tired of my hypocritical parents

Dear globalcounselor,

I am an 18 year old girl from East Indian background living in Canada, the multicultural capital of the world. My parents are good people but very hypocritical and I cannot stand them. They talk the good talk about multiculturalism. They want all the benefits but nothing more. They are as prejudiced as you get. I am in love with a boy from a different cultural background and they are dead set against it. They forbid me to see him again and say if I married him they would disown me. He is a good boy, he is training to be a dentist, he is brilliant, he is loving, he is thoughtful and capable of taking care of me but he is different and that is biggest fault.  When I confront them with their racism they say that I do not understand, our culture is different. I tell them I am a Canadian and that’s part of my culture and part of who I am. I want my family to be multicultural. I made up my since I was small that I was going to marry someone from a different race or ethnic background. Sometimes I feel I hate my folks for being so hypocritical.

Is there any saving grace in this or should I just detach myself from my folks.  I’m tired of the lies.

Tired

 

Dear Tired,

There’s always a saving grace with families. It’s hard for old folks to change but you’re young and you can and you can and it is good for young people to keep pushing the envelope because you are creating a new and different generation within the multicultural mosaic. There are no strong borders between people and I think that is good that you can transcend cultural hang ups and enjoy humanity. We after all belong to the one human culture, don’t we? You go ahead and live your life and your parents will follow. You are making your own choices and that’s the right thing to do. Don’t allow anyone, not even your parents to cheat you from your life. They may have give you life but have no right to take it away.

Torn between race and love

Dear globalcounsellor,

I am a torn black man. I am pro-black.  My life’s work is fighting against discrimination and racism. I love my black sisters and I think they are the most beautiful women in the world. I used to frown of my black brothers who chase after or marry white women. I am not racist but I thought that was a slap in my black sisters’ face.  Our women are strong with their own unique beauty that threatens other men. I used to think that the man who can tame a black women is truly a man because he has been tested.  My dilemma is that I am utterly and totally in love with a white girl. She is a beautiful blonde at that.  I am not that kind of guy who fall for TV image of what beauty is.  Sometimes I wonder if the good Lord is trying to teach me a lesson by making me fall in love with with a white girl. I am embarrassed and so conflicted as well as afraid. If I don’t act properly I am going to lose this woman who means everything to me.  How do I come out of the closet to my relatives and close friends without being seen as a hypocrite.

The girl is white but blacker in her ideas that some black women. She understands systemic racism and she is fighting against all forms of discrimination. This is her mission in life. She is smart, articulate, kind and very generous.

hypocrite?

Dear hypocrite:

It would be a shame if your pride stand in the way of your happiness. Falling in love is personal though some might argue that it is political. The heart is a borderless, raceless and expansive landscape. You’re at a cross-road of enlightenment. You can choose to return to the darkness of ignorance, racism, discrimination or enter the light of freedom of choice, freedom from racism and discrimination to judge a person by the content of their character as opposed to the colour of their skin or hair. It’s up to you to confirm that you are a hypocrite or to confirm that you are serious about fighting against the isms. Good luck.