Growing Inter-Racial Marriages
- By Sam George
- Published 05/26/2006
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at email@example.com
Indians in America have many unique distinctions. The highest levels of inter-racial marriages of any ethnic community might not be obvious to many.
According to US census 2000, 12% (220K out of 1.9M) of Indians listed themselves as Indian and one other racial group. This is 5 times more than the national average. Nationwide only 2.5% whites, 4.8% blacks falls into multiracial families. Although total numbers are low (because of relatively smaller population), the Indian community is breaking the boundaries of caste, color, religion and race to explore new forays of bicultural and biracial existence.
Coconut generation are much more open to exploring relationships outside of their race. With their unique bicultural self, they feel comfortable with exploring and even blending through marriage and raising blended families. Even though it sends chills to many of their immigrant parents who value cultural homogeneity and dread at the possibility of having to deal with son or daughter in-law who aren't Indian.
Marriage experts tells us that Inter-racial marriages aren't easy. It require twice as much of work. But it brings riches that are often missing in same-culture marriages. One cannot assume or take things for granted. Everything need to be communicated clearly, explained and become a student of your partner's culture. If all couples work in their relationships like the inter-racial couples and develop such attitude towards others, all of relationship will improve significantly.
Maybe coconut generation has something to teach us all about relationships.