Being in an intercultural marriage brings a lot of variety my life. My husband is from Afghanistan, while I was born in USA to Indian immigrants. Our cultures are vastly different though our similarities is through our religion. He hates spicy food, while I love them. I come from a small family with little extended family, whereas he comes from a large family and has tons of extended families such as aunts, uncles and cousins.
We certainly have our challenges with our cultural differences but our journey of getting to know each other just makes life more interesting. There are conflicts in intercultural relationships as in any relationship, and yet there are also some benefits of being in an intercultural marriage as well.
Here Are Some Benefits of Being In An Intercultural Marriage
1. More holidays to celebrate!
Actually, my family did not celebrate much holidays except occasional American mainstreamed holidays! When I got engaged to my husband, there was a whole new set of holidays that we celebrated such as Eids and Nowruz(Persian New Years).
2. Delicious Food to Discover
There is no shortage of ideas of what to cook. Afghan food is extremely delicious and I did not know how much variety of dishes I could cook from my own culture! My husband and I enjoyed cooking different types of cuisines and discovering each other’s cultural popular dishes. Some Indian dishes my husband likes are Samosas, Pani Puri, Indian Chai, and Tandoori Chicken. Some Afghan dishes I’ve learned to love are Mantu, Kofta Korma and Bolani (Their version of paratha).
3. Learning Different Languages
You get exposed to your spouse foreign language. Granted, my husband and his families all watch Bollywood movies so they already understand Hindi pretty well. Some of his relatives can speak Hindi fluently. I also began to understand Dari as I went to his family gatherings where Dari was commonly spoken. Dari was very similar to Urdu so it was not hard to make out what they were saying. Additionally, your kids could be bilingual or even tri-lingual!
4. Family Traditions
Intercultural marriages allow each spouse to learn about the other’s family’s cultural rituals and traditions. The history of family traditions becomes part of each spouse’s world and future generations. One of my favorite traditions that stems from the Middle East is that husband and wife eat from the same plate.
Here is a wonderful explanation from Khalid Al Ameri for why we eat like this:
5. Exposed to New Ways of Thinking
There are many new things that you learn about your spouse’s culture. You will learn to see from your spouse’s perspective and vise versa. I never imagined I would eat from the same plate as anyone, but I did with my husband due to his family’s encouragement. So there you go, exposed to one of the new ways of thinking as mentioned in #4.
6. You may have taller and smarter children!
A study done by researchers from University of Edinburgh had analyzed health and genetic information from more than 100 studies around the world. Children from multicultural relationship are more likely to have increased height, the ability to think quickly, plus higher levels of education!
7. There’s Never a Dull Moment
Despite all the differences, your intercultural marriage may be very interesting and there is never a dull moment. There are so many different ways of thinking and different cultural upbringings, you are bound to have something interesting to discuss.
Do you have anything to add to this? Are you in an intercultural marriage or relationship? What are the positives that you have experience? I look forward to hearing what you have to say! Feel free to comment below and share this article!