When Love Is Colour Blind
LOVE is colour blind.
I can tell you that much. If my past relationships was anything to go by, love was definitely blind.
Being an Asian and a Muslim, my hardest part was when I fell in love with a Caucasian guy. For some inexplicable reasons I have always fall for them. Hard. Perhaps it is true when they say the opposites do attract.
I consider myself short at 4’11” or most of the time I would bluff by saying than I am 5ft tall. Hence, I would be gravitated towards a tall guy. My Asian complexion is slightly on darker side, and I am crazy about pale skin. Sounds trivial isn’t it. But that’s what made me fall for the men in my past.
Only after those superficial filtering system being put in place (such as height and pale skin) then comes the substance. Lol! This was the real test of our compatibility. And I would know it from our first chat/meeting right away if there’s chemistry and compatibility of the minds. Remember our brain is our most powerful organ. Everything starts there.
Happily married (in an interracial marriage) until my late hubby John passed away almost four years ago, I couldn’t help but noticed how people perceived us and looked at us. Not that I was bothered anyway. In fact I found it amusing.
Especially whenever I walked with John. I had shared jokes with him about what went through people’s mind whenever they saw us together. Mostly were self-deprecation jokes… Because I loved doing it and John would be laughing along and shook his head in disbelief.
I remember the day when I introduced John to my parents and telling them on my intention to marry him, a Scottish by blood and a proud British, my mom’s reaction was priceless. Unhappy, she asked me bluntly, “But why? No Malay men left in Kuala Lumpur for you to get married to? Is it?”
My late dad was quiet. He didn’t say many words. I was a daddy’s girl and my dad was giving us his blessings there and then. Despite the fact that it was fairly smooth affair, I could only imagine what my parents were thinking then. Both were growing up in the hardship in those years leading to independent in 1957, including Japanese occupation. I am sure they don’t have very pleasant image in mind when comes to a white person or a Mat Salleh as locals would call them. And now they had to let their youngest daughter to marry one…
She disapproved it alright. For someone who took pain (paid too much attention, if you ask me) about what her neighbours’ said (of her family/children) my mom was very much tied up to do’s and don’ts (according) to short and narrow lenses of the villagers. Their thinking was that Malays should stick to Malays, and any marriage outside the race was frowned upon.
Can’t really blame my mom coming from her background. But they both know that they couldn’t dissuade me let alone stopped me from marrying John knowing that this daughter was stubborn and hotheaded to boot.
And before too long, John has become my mom’s favourite son-in-law!
Let’s face it friends. We do live in a multicultural society. While in the past, people were more likely to “stick with their own kind,” we are seeing a significant growth in interracial relationships. By integrating with different cultures and nationalities, we are doing away with the seeds of hate, racism, and prejudice.
For me personally, interracial relationships provide me with the unique opportunity to learn, experience, and appreciate different cultures and backgrounds. I am given the opportunity to see the beauty in different nationalities and people. Most importantly, I was learning that the outer shell of a person does not change who they are on the inside.
Deep within, we are all one in the same. Interracial relationships strengthen individuals and build harmony between different races. Learning and experiencing different cultures enrich us.
Some will argue that interracial couples need to deal with more differences and a greater number of challenges than “regular” couples – I would agree. I believe that by overcoming these differences interracial relationships become stronger and develop stability.
Finally, let us not forget the most important part of any relationship: love. An interracial couple is just as capable of loving each other as deeply as any other couple. If love is present in any relationship, great boundaries can be overcome. Any relationship will bring many challenges along with it, but one thing has always remained constant: true love will prevail.
I also noticed that interracial couples may have recently become very popular, but sceptics would ask are they really working? Two people from two different backgrounds will likely experience a significant number of challenges and communication barriers. With different cultures come different customs. With different customs come misunderstandings. With misunderstandings come pain and grief.
Not only can interracial relationships result in unhappiness for the individuals involved, but it can also affect their family members. There might exist language barriers between families, making it difficult for the couple to live harmoniously with each other’s loved ones. This can cause unnecessary conflict and broken relationships.
Interracial couples are constantly haunted by questions such as, “Which culture will my child belong to? What cultural values will I instil in my child? Will my son or daughter be ostracised from both ethnic backgrounds because s/he is mixed? Will they be confused as to their identity and heritage?”
Opposites might attract, but can they really survive? If you ask me, yes they have and will survive, love and hard work, just like any other marriages, are the key ingredients of any successful marriages/relationships.
Whatever questions posed by doubters (as written above) about interracial marriages, I didn’t find that in mine though. John who was born in Baltonsborough in Somerset, England, he went on to Cambridge University and graduated but opted to work in far-flung new country called Malaysia. He was privileged boy while he was growing up with his dad worked in several top posts in the UK government including as a supreme court judge. While myself on the other hand, was born in the south, raised by farmers. An Asian to boot.
But we didn’t find any aspect of our different background gave us any excuse to fight and disagree about.
We were so alike. We embraced each other’s cultures and differences with open heart and mind. The only thing which occasionally reminded me that my husband was indeed a Caucasian was his pale skin, dark brown hair and piercing blue eyes.
Sure just like any normal couple out there we had our disagreements every now and then but they weren’t caused by our differences in culture and background. Never. It was never an issue.
He was my soul mate and he happened to be a Caucasian. He was my very own Mat Salleh. Al Fatihah my darling… A
For additional read…the earlier interracial marriages recorded …http://www.pbs.org/black-culture/explore/interracial-marriage-relationships/#.VoNL7LZ95kg