Love can be found in unexpected places. This is why you must be open to it anytime and anywhere. Who knows, you might find yourself entangled in an interracial marriage.
Nowadays, it is very common to see a happily married couple of different races. Since the landmark ruling of the Loving vs. Virginia case in the 60s, interracial marriages have been steadily rising. Children from interracial marriages are exposed to a wide range of different cultures and identities.
Meanwhile, being in an interracial marriage is not all fly and cute. It comes with challenges from the couple or the outside world. Notwithstanding, interracial marriage is a culture that all should embrace.
What is interracial marriage?
Interracial marriage is a marriage between two people of different races or radicalized ethnicities. In the past, such marriages were prohibited in the United States, Germany, South Africa, etc. Nowadays, there are no restrictions which is why mixed-race people are increasing.
Disadvantages of interracial marriage
Lack of acceptance
Interracial couples often face discrimination from family, friends, and society. They will be subject to ridicule or derogatory remarks. In extreme cases, interracial couples are physically attacked just because the attackers feel offended by their marriages. We live in the 21st century, where the issue of racism and racial profiling should be in the past. But some parts of the society are still narrow-minded on the issue of race, which can affect an interracial marriage.
Interracial marriage may be cute and may have produced the first black President in America. But there is something called culture shock in such marriages. Couples may find it difficult to interact with one another. A simple gesture may mean a terrible insult to a partner. The language barrier is also part of the cultural difference in interracial marriage when both partners cannot understand each other’s languages.
Different parenting styles
They say love conquers all. That’s not true in all cases, especially in marriage. Interracial marriage is particularly challenging because it is the coming together of people from two different worlds. Therefore, it will reflect in the way they raise their children. For instance, every African or Asian mother knows that giving brain-resetting slaps is an effective way to raise stubborn children properly. But their Caucasian partners may have a different view. This causes conflict between couples which could result in bigger problems if they don’t compromise.
Children born from interracial marriages often face the challenge of identifying with their race. They don’t know whether to identify as black, white, or Asian. In Basketmouth’s voice, they are confused. Also, some of them never know their roots due to discrimination from extended family members.
Some people go into interracial marriages for the wrong motive. For instance, Nigerians who are married to white or Asian people are often accused of doing it for financial security. Some involve interracial marriages to have mixed-race children, while others do it for migration or political reasons. Either way, they are all wrong which can backfire seriously.
Benefits of interracial marriage
Diverse and healthier genes in biracial children
A 2015 study by the University of Edinburg shows that biracial children born with a more diverse genetic background tend to have sharper thinking skills and better height. Also, they tend to have better lung capacity, educational attainment, and general cognitive ability, which correlates to their genetic diversity. In addition, possible recessive diseases from an interracial couple will not be passed on to their children, which creates a healthier genetic composition in a child.
Exploring new cultures
This includes cuisines, languages, lifestyles, and new people, which can expose one to a better worldview. Life is good when we experience new things. Interracial couples can also experience new holidays and enjoy the security of a large family. For instance, a white woman married to an Igbo man will enjoy the New Yam festival while he will enjoy the Oyinbo type of Christmas holiday. Isn’t it that cute?
Becoming a dual citizen
As in, you’re married to a partner from a different race and country, which means you have two countries to choose to settle in. For instance, you can enjoy the benefits of being a Nigerian citizen while still holding a Canadian passport and vice versa. Plus, interracial couples who live in a third country get to choose three countries to settle in.
When more people accept interracial marriages, issues of racism will greatly drop. As long as you love someone, you will respect and treat the person well no matter their racial differences.
Accepting other races
Once you’re married to someone from another racial background, your perception of the race will definitely change. No more negative thoughts and stereotypes. You will only treat people based on their personality and not race.
A more rounded parenting style
Once you can get past the conflict in your parenting styles due to your different cultural backgrounds, you will be able to raise your kids in a more rounded parenting style. Of course, both cultures have their strengths and weaknesses. You can capitalize on the strengths to help your children grow into more rounded citizens.
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Lots of travel
Interracial couples travel a lot for different reasons. It’s either to visit family, attend an important function, or just travel to another country for a holiday. It’s fun to experience new places, especially with the family surrounding you.
Interracial marriage statistics
Ever since the United States lifted the ban on interracial marriage in 1967, interracial marriage has risen from 3% to 17% as of 2015, according to Pew Research Center. The study also shows that the most dramatic intermarriage increases among black newlyweds, which have tripled from 5% in 1980 to 18% in 2017.
Also, Asian and Hispanic are far more likely to intermarry in the US, with 27% getting married together. The Pew research also concluded that intermarriage is even more prevalent among the US-born Hispanic, with 39% of U.S.-born Hispanic newlyweds and almost half (46%) of U.S.-born Asian newlyweds having a spouse of a different race or ethnicity.
Unfortunately, there is no verified statistic for interracial marriage in Nigeria. But we do know that it happens. Look at Nollywood actresses Ufuoma McDermott and Uche Jombo, married to white English and American-Puerto Rican husbands, respectively. They are just a few among many less famous Nigerians worldwide.