Anyone else so ready for the weekend they could kiss it?
I’m glad that you’re back to read the next installment in our series. If this is the first time you’re joining us – WELCOME, it’s good to have you. Here are the other features in case you want to catch up.
Here’s a little bit of background as to why I want to do this series and why I want YOU to read it and share it with your friends. I am one half of a mixed race marriage (if you want to read my story, check it out here) and we have had our fair share of adjusting to this new life that is often not accepted by everyone.
Besides the odd intentional racist, I feel like a lot of the hurtful comments floating around are actually just brought about through ignorance about how their words will affect other people. Thinking only of our own personal situations with little regard for others, because that’s all that we know. So in an effort to broaden what we know, I thought I would interview a wide range of South Africans that have a variety of different situations – from mixed race couples to single race couples that adopt cross racially to couples that share the same “race” but differ vastly in terms of culture. A bit of a mumble jumble of everything really.
So let’s get started!
If you would like to join in and be featured in this series or know of someone that would, please feel free to get in touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want this to be a safe space where we can share stories and encourage each other to be more accepting of our fellow South Africans of all races, cultures and situations. So while I want to encourage you to comment and open a discussion, I will not tolerate any abusive or troll like comments here.
How and when did you meet your partner? – We went to the same school for 8 years, but please believe me when I tell you that we did not say ONE word to each other. I mean like, not even a second glance when we passed each other in the passages. Then my friend invited me to her youth (when I was 19) and, when I recognized the face in the far corner, she told me that we went to the same school and then it all made sense. (At this point we hadn’t seen each other in about 3 years.) We “caught up” over the fact that we are both into faith and being spiritual. That’s the first time we actually spoke to each other and met really. (August 2014)
Give us a bit of insight into your racial/cultural backgrounds. – I’m a white girl who grew up in a white family, white church, coloured area and attended 3 “coloured” schools. I grew up in a certain indoctrination and was exposed to a completely different one when I went to school. Chalin is a coloured guy whose parents are from Durban and indoctrinated with a Zulu and Indian culture. Chalin grew up in a coloured area in Cape Town, went to a mostly coloured school and a mixed church.
Where do you live? Does how you are “accepted” change when you visit different places? I live in Ottery. I’m generally accepted here but that might only be because I have been here my whole life. When I go out, I’m also generally accepted pretty much wherever I go. (I don’t go to places like Khayelitsha, Cape Flats, etc.) Chalin stays in Plumstead. He is accepted anywhere and everywhere he goes. Even the places I wouldn’t go to.
I know babies may not be on the cards right now, but do you have any fears/excitement about having “mixed race” babies in the future? We are personally very excited to have “mixed race” babies in the future. This is partially because we will be one of the first few couples to BUILD our rainbow nation. (For me – Sam – I despise the stigma that was always attached to me for merely being a white person, and would love it if my kids don’t experience that as well.)
What kind of role does race play in your family dynamic? Family dynamics have nothing to do with race for us. Why should family change when a new race is introduced?
How have your families reacted to your relationship? Both families are really happy. None of our parents/family members (whose opinions matter to us) are racist.
Are there big differences in your relationship that are affected by your heritage/culture? We aren’t married (yet) but after thinking about it, we cannot come up with any potential differences. None of our cultural/heritage norms affect our relationship. With regards to South African culture in general, we are still at the stage where seeing mixed race couples isn’t something you see every day.
What are some of the ignorant and hurtful things that have been said to you and your partner about this issue? Nobody has really said anything to either of us with any intentions OR results of offense on that topic. We do, however, get looked at quite a lot in public places such as the mall. And all the people who have given us ‘looks’ have only been around people of their own race.
Do you have any advice for those in a mixed race relationship that are facing judgement because of it? Stop caring about other people’s opinions.
If you see me in the mall please come and high five me!! Lol, but importantly, the fact that you are in a mixed race relationship shows that you have a beautiful heart by just accepting the other person. That amount of strength and beauty should never let the opinions of those who don’t share that characteristic get to them and ESPECIALLY not affect their relationship.
Like what you’ve read here? That’s flipping awesome – feel free to share it with your friends. Also come hang out with me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram where you can expect to find a whole lot more of this, just shorter.