Type: Exploratory
Pages: 5 | Words: 1479
Reading Time: 7 Minutes

Interethnic and interracial marriages, in other words multicultural marriages, have existed since the ancient times. Marrying a foreigner frequently is considered to be prestigious. However, even now, nothing has changed — mixed unions are quite popular. Dry statistics shows that in the mid-90s, the proportion of mixed marriages was 22%. What is more, in the mid-2000s, ethnic associations counted for 58%. Obviously, the number of marriages in the past decade has increased and continues to grow. Undoubtedly, there are both critics and supporters of such marriages. Even though the first ones point our several misunderstandings between spouses due to religions or cultures, such families tend to be much stronger since a couple manages to find compromises and learns how to share everything, even cultures.

In fact, it is quite easy to oppose any disadvantages of multicultural marriages. Those who carried out a study of the marriages among different nationalities name several negative aspects of such unions. First of all, they point to a mismatch of cultures, traditions, customs, and approaches to education. They prove that it is because of “these discrepancies various divisions”, up to conflicts often may arise. However, this is a rough misconception. Typically, important aspects of life, the daily observance of rituals and customs, culinary traditions and religious ceremonies take on a special importance not only during the various stations and major religious holidays, but also during organization and wedding reception, birth and upbringing of children. As a result, multicultural families have a great advantage in such cases since they have a unique opportunity to combine experiences of two cultures; and by doing so they can achieve the best results. That is, any significant positive or negative life events can be treated from two perspectives benefiting both spouses.

Secondly, unfortunately, there is a common belief that denies multicultural marriages. As a result, international marriages often encounter misunderstanding and condemnation from others. Not only neighbors, colleagues, friends, and distant relatives may reproach, discuss, gossip and look insincere, but a couple may be condemned on looking for material benefits by officially legalizing their relationship. Still, such attitude is a powerful lesson for a couple: since their acquaintance, they learn how to stand for each other and how to defend their relations. As a result, such experience leads to strong ties between spouses and such marriage is a much stronger union, when compared to other marriages. According to psychologists, mixed marriages teach a society “tolerance and ability to be sensitive to people of different nations and contribute to the improvement of relations between countries and ethnic groups”. Due to such families, legal conflicts between states are more and more discussed and resolved, plus, there is a growing mutual interest in cultures and history of social life of other people, stimulated by social cooperation.

Thirdly, some ancient peoples, since childhood inculcated a sense of national pride and fear of assimilation, belief that a family is essential in a nation. Strangely, but many of these ethnic groups even in the era of globalization are sure to communicate such “essential” truths in their daily life so that their “tribe” does not lose its identity with bright distinctive national features and does not change, does not dilute, and does not merge with other customs and traditions. However, this is a complete nonsense since in such a way a nation is closed in tough limits where a person cannot look around but simply in one direction. “The era of globalization made it possible to see the world and compare everything, even representatives of different cultures”. Therefore, by following ancient tradition, a woman should accept a man from her nation, even if he is not close to her spiritually and so on. As a result, men tend to feel their superiority since women are bond to their own nation. Especially drastically this tendency is revealed in the Caucasian nations, where women are mistreated but nobody can deny anything. Frequently, our culture and religion being an essential part of us presents a big obstacle towards wellbeing of a family. In this case, there is no specific advice. Here, the question is how people are able to sacrifice themselves for the sake of a loved one. If this is not possible, there should be respect and neutrality. Consequently, on religious basis, a multicultural marriage teaches people to show respect and neutrality to things which might not be usual, but still are present in everyday life.

Even though some people believe that another minus for spouses in a multicultural marriage is living in different countries, in the 21st century it is not longer an issue. Transportation bonds are well developed and in a few hours a person may be in the other country. Plus, such a situation broadens an outlook of spouses. One has to move to a new country and assimilate there. This is a chance to learn a new language, to meet new people and, after all, to start a new life. “In such a family, at least one partner has to face a new mentality and a new way of life”. Undoubtedly, such changes present a special value for young people entering a marriage.

A particular point in the relationship is the issue of children who are born in interethnic unions. Only in this case it is important to think about in which culture a child will be brought up. However, despite all skepticism, there is an interesting fact: the sooner parents start talking with their child in several languages, the better it accepts both languages and acquires them. Modern research has shown that such approach has a beneficial effect on the development of a child: the progress of a child’s speaking is intensified and it can speak two languages from the early childhood. After all, multicultural family is also a bilingual family, although it mainly communicates on one language. Perhaps, this is key point which will help parent to raise a harmonious personality. It is believed that children of mixed marriages are born healthier, larger, capable and talented. Many studies of experts in this field have shown that this is really so. Spouses who differ in origin give births to larger and more viable babies. However, it should be pointed out that the long-term effect is not inherited. “It is manifested only in the first generation, and in the future there is its gradual decay” (Lazarre 33). What is more, the myth that marriage ties with the genetic variance may cause prenatal maternal-fetal conflict due to the presence of paternal genes in the genotype of a child is also completely refuted. Previously, it was thought that these infants may develop diseases of the nervous system or mental retardation. However, several studies proved that parents’ cultures have no connection with this fact.

Interesting observations were published by a group of American scientists (Driskill 68). It turns out that in families where a husband and a wife present different races, far more money and efforts are embedded in the upbringing and development of children than in homocultural pairs. This phenomenon is seen as “a response to the existing social and living conditions, which are often faced by mixed couples”. These families are more likely to buy a computer for their child; plus, they will make sure to provide their child with individual training and will lead their child to all sorts of educational excursions and extra classes. Scientists argue that this is due to the fact that mixed marriages are treated with great prejudice in a society. Hence, parents of these kids try to compensate this negative attitude from others. As a result, the child brought up in a mixed marriage has much more knowledge and advantages over his peers. “Everyone is well aware that marriages between relatives are highly undesirable”. Hence, multicultural marriages, as proved by special studies, show that kids have no hereditary diseases and do not lag behind in their development, but on the contrary, tend to be more talented and beautiful. Therefore, we can safely say that the special talent of children from mixed ethnic marriages is not a myth.

There is nothing wrong in the inter-ethnic and inter-racial marriages. Most importantly, both parents and children should be able to find a common language in all senses of this word. Mixed marriage and family is not an invention of the 21st century. They have always had a place in the history of different nations. However, such families were an exception rather than a rule in the past. Today, such marriages are increasing. Any marriage is a pair race through a life, regardless of culture, origin and ethnicity. Psychologists believe that no matter whether a union is mononational or multinational, well-being, harmony and stability of a family depend on the members of this family. This includes ability to forgive and forget, tolerance and patience, openness to new experience and respect, trust in each other, seriousness, responsibility, mutual affection and love.

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