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.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself – what you do, what you like to spend your time on etc
At the moment I am a free-lance Joomla website designer and blogger of course and I love spending a chunk of my spare time watching series, playing games on the PC and xbox is there in the mix as well. Other than that I love going to the beach and dining out.
- Tell us a little bit about your partner – what they do, what they like to spend time on etc
Hubby is currently on ice as home affairs (yes sigh) made a mess up with his student visa, it was never processed and until it is he can’t apply for a work visa, which totally sucks for us and is slowly driving hubby to the point where he says we should move to the Netherlands. He loves watching movies a bit more than series and is a serious gamer.
- Give us a bit of insight into your racial/cultural backgrounds.
I’m South African and grew up in an Afrikaans speaking house, hubby was born and grew up in the Netherlands, his father is Dutch but his mother was born and raised in the Philippines and he grew up with a lot of the Filipino culture. This part of his cultural background sometimes causes a little bit of friction
- Where do you live? Does how you are “accepted” change when you visit different places?
We live in Wilderness in the Garden Route, we’ve never felt unaccepted anywhere, I do however feel we got stared at a little bit more in the Netherlands than here in South Africa.
- Having previously lived overseas, do you face any adversity having married outside of your race and culture?
I never really lived in the Netherlands with my husband, but I spent 2 x 3 months there (maximum time allowed is 90 days every 180 days) as it is extremely difficult for me get a visa to live there on a permanent basis. It really bother smy husband that I found it difficult doing things with his family on a whim, as planning things is hard wired into me, the Filipinos are a really tight knit family and community and they don’t really socialise with other people frequently, which left me on many occasion not being able to take part in conversations as it seemed to me that they tend to forget that I don’t speak Filipino.
I don’t mind people around me speaking Dutch as I can pick up on the conversation easily and take part, which is the same reason it is easier language wise for us here, in South Africa as Afrikaans is close to Dutch and Chris easily picks up on what’s going on.
- 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?
My husband got bullied as a child for being different so that is one of my fears. I am excited for how the babies will look, but I think that is what any future parent wonders about regardless of the child being mixed race or not.
- What kind of role does race play in your family dynamic?
When interacting with my husband’s family a great deal of respect gets forced down, I didn’t know how else to put it, for example all younger family members have to address me as ate (pronounced atay) and for men kuya and it’s seen as really disrespectful then it’s not done, in the beginning it made made me feel really uncomfortable, but I’ve learned to get used to it.
- How have your families reacted to your relationship and subsequent marriage?
Everyone in both families accepted our marriage, in the husband’s family we are not the only mixed race couple and my family is really accepting, my husband just gets on great with everyone.
- Are there big differences in your marriage relationship that are affected by your heritage/culture?
No, not really big differences but there are small things about the way that we grew up that we see as acceptable and what not and this has caused some arguments on how we plan to raise our kids in the future but we try and compromise on these.
- What are some of the ignorant and hurtful things that have been said to you and your husband about this issue?
We have not really experienced hurtful things being said to us regarding to our races being different, well not up front.
- What do you think we can do to combat this ignorance/stupidity?
I know that mean and hurtful things do get said, I have a good friend that is in a mixed race relationship as well and she experiences it often. I think the best way to combat it is to just ignore it. I think the more mixed race couples are out there the less people will bother with it but it will never really go away, there will always be someone pointing fingers
- Do you have any advice for those in a mixed race relationship that are facing judgement because of it?
Like they say ignorance is bliss, just ignore it, just show the world you are happy that is all that matters.
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.