YAY for Friday am I right?
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.
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.
Here we go…
· Tell us a little bit about yourself – what you do, what you like to spend your time on etc
I am 31, white and have lived in Cape Town all my life. I love artsy, creative activities and have never really been much into sports except for my love of ballet, martial arts and motorbikes. I studied Psychology and am currently a coach, which I am thoroughly enjoying!
· Tell us a little bit about your partner – what they do, what they like to spend time on etc
Denton is coloured and is currently working as an Architectural Technologist and studying part time to become a qualified Architect. He is mad about motorbikes (especially his) and is extremely gifted with his drawing ability. He enjoys gaming too 🙂
· Give us a bit of insight into your racial/cultural backgrounds.
I was brought up a Christian in the suburbs, mostly all white, English speaking neighbourhood. Denton grew up in Parkwood and was also brought up in the Christian faith.
· Where do you live? Does how you are “accepted” change when you visit different places?
We have been married a year now and we both live in the same suburb that I grew up in. Honestly, I don’t feel that we are treated any differently or get any strange looks wherever we go. Maybe I am completely oblivious to this, but I really couldn’t care. There has been the odd time where I would get passed the bill after dinner as if I’m the one earning the big bucks?! But I’m proud to be part of a mixed race couple, I like to show him off – hehe.
· I know babies may not be on the cards right now, but do you have any fears/concerns about having “mixed race” babies in the future?
I can’t wait to see what our kiddies look like! Ever since we got serious about each other, we said that our kiddies will be our little Caramello Bears. I have never really fitted into any one clique at school and bounced from group to group, so I’m not worried about our kiddies fitting any one ‘stereotype’. As long as they are friendly to others and treat everyone equally, I don’t believe they need to fit into any one group, they will always have friends, no matter the race etc. I’ve always embraced difference and individualism and followed my heart even if it was totally unexpected, so I hope our kiddies embrace their difference because it is beautiful.
· What kind of role does race play in your family dynamic?
We are different races and we love that about each other. We joke that together we are Topdeck. But other than that, it is not an issue and it never has been.
· Are there big differences in your marriage relationship that are affected by your heritage/culture?
When we were dating someone mentioned something about cultural differences possibly becoming an issue – nope! There are some differences in upbringing, but that’s no different from anyone who is brought up in a different home – every household does some things differently from others. We are both Christian so our love for God will bring us through anything (should it ever arise).
· What are some of the ignorant and hurtful things that have been said to you and your husband about this issue?
As mentioned previously, I must be completely oblivious, because I haven’t heard anything, not a peep (other than the occasional bill story).
· What do you think we can do to combat this ignorance/stupidity?
People believe stereotypes due to their upbringing and what they were taught was ok and not ok, unfortunately mixed race was seen to not be ok. To an extent everyone has their judgements of one thing or another. I just think that if it doesn’t affect you, then keep your opinions to yourself. Spread peace and happiness. Live and let live.
· Do you have any advice for those in a mixed race relationship that are facing judgement because of it?
Yes, I do! Follow your heart!! If you are unsure about your relationship purely because of what other people think, then you have nothing to worry about.