Interracial Relationship – Dating Outside One’s Culture Without Betraying One’s Roots
The public’s outlook on socially and culturally sensitive issues is changing with every passing day. From 1967’s legalization of interracial marriages to current trends of legalizing gay marriages, it is apparent that, given time, society learns to accept change. Interracial dating and romance is no longer uncommon and is becoming well established throughout North American society. The individuals within these relationships are generally comfortable with the knowledge that they can both maintain their own culture as well as introduce themselves to another. These couples do not feel that they are betraying their roots by learning new customs. In fact, in most cases it is the parents that pressure their children into not abandoning their culture and thus to avoid dating those of different ethnicities. When it deals with other people, it appears that most individuals are willing to accept multicultural dating, but those same individuals are against it when it jeopardizes their own customs and beliefs.
Many parents are worried that mixed raced dating will somehow dilute their own culture and will threaten the preservation of their cultural beliefs. They feel that in order to control the weakening of their cultural bonds, they must restrict the actions of their children i.e. prevent them from dating outside of their culture. Parents worry that if their child falls in love with someone of a different culture, they might sacrifice their own traditions in order to make the relationship work. Technically, it is up to their children to make these decisions. Realistically, the parents have the power to decide. Many children who go against their parent’s will are punished with disapproval and even worse, alienation.
For couples in multicultural relationships, compromise is sometimes the best way to bridge the gap between the varying traditions. Choosing the most important traditions from each culture, while making sure to include the parents’ opinions, will allow the partners and their parents to feel equally significant. The parents may never be completely happy with the choices their child has made, but at least they won’t feel as thought that family roots have been betrayed.
People of different cultural backgrounds are not impervious to learning new customs and traditions. New partners may readily accept the challenge of engaging in the practices of different cultural groups. A person’s roots are not left behind simply because they are exposed to new customs. Cultural and familial roots make us who we are, and that can never be t