by Felecia Farrell
"Would you date someone of a different race?"
I have never thought too much about interracial dating. It’s not because I have had any particular emotions about the subject, but more because I never had to think about it. So when the question was posed to me a few weeks ago I realized that I did not have an answer.
As a West-Indian American female, I was raised to not only love my family background, but to cherish the opportunities that can be found in the United States of America. My family is an incredibly loving, lively group from the Caribbean and Virgin Islands. Curry and plantains run through our veins to the sound of Bob Marley's Freedom Song. The thought of having to explain any of my culture to someone who wasn't a part of it caused more doubts to circulate through my mind than I had anticipated:
What if he does not like some of the food we eat?
What if he thinks our traditions are weird?
What will my family think?
What do I think?
What I've come to realize is that simply because two people share the same culture does not mean that they will have the perfect relationship or live a life without conflict. Cultural similarities or differences are not the determining factor for whether a relationship will be a story of success or one of heartbreak. If I am honest with myself, I have to admit that not even I like everything about my own culture. Although my uncle’s delicious jerk pork is so delicious it could put a smile on anyone’s face, I have also never been able to stomach even the thought of eating the cow’s feet dishes that my aunts love so much.
Culture matters. Our culture is a crucial factor in the development of our identity and sense of self. Traditions, dialects, family background, and heritage combine to lay the foundation for who we are. In life and in love there will always be differences. It is how we address, cope with, and move past those differences that matter the most.
It could be that stepping out of your comfort zone changes your entire life, because when cultures collide they are there's the potential for something beautiful to happen.