On Sunday night, Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America, becoming the first Indian-American woman to win the pageant.
Sadly, this spawned ALL KINDS of racist comments on social media, from people who still, in 2013, are have a 50s mentality and can’t comport themselves properly online.
So today's post is kind of deep. WIth all of the controversy going on with Miss America, I decided to write about being in an interracial and an intercultural marriage. When I met Allan (my husband) I had thought absolutely nothing of his race. I mean obviously I knew he was of indian descent and did I picture myself dating an "indian" guy? No, but I had dated outside of my race before andI had no idea of who I was going to end up with. His race was the least of my concerns. After getting to know him it was even less of a concern. He made me laugh, he made my smile, and we quickly fell in love.
During this time I also learned that he was Hindu. I am not very religious, but I am a Christian and was brought up Catholic. Religion is not something I am very educated in, so at first I had absolutely no clue what that meant, some may call me ignorant, but it wasn't that, it was just no exposure or education about it. I wanted to learn! My husband doesn't actively practice Hinduism anymore, but one of the things he does to honor his religion is abstaining from beef. "OK cool, no problem, I will give that up as well." We haven't eaten it in 5 years now. We talked about it on several occasions and I learned a little bit more about it. As we got serious we discussed how we would co-exist and our future children and none of our conversations left me worried.
Then, we got engaged. His parents said our date we picked to get married was a "dark night" and we would need to come for prayers. Clearly this was something I did not believe in, but if it was important to my husband, fine, I am all about praying for our marriage in any religion out there. So we go and it is more like a mini wedding, did I feel set up at the time, totally!! Did we get through it, yes, but we modified it so I would feel more comfortable and we prayed and we got married a few months later on the date we chose and it was great.
Have we been starred at? Of course we have!
Have people clearly been rude to us because of us being in an interracial relationship? Yes, definitely.
You will think I am crazy, but I swear since traveling with my husband I have been stopped and searched every time and never prior. Coincidence? Maybe.
Have we been judged? No doubt.
Then, we had kids. This is the first time I felt concern about our differences. I am a very strong willed person and I want what I want, especially for my kids. I want to raise them Christian, but of course educate them as much as possible about the Hindu religion and all other religions too. Then, when they are older I will respect whatever decision they make. One of my regrets as an adult is that I don't know more about the bible and other religions, Allan may very well know more than me. I want them to know all about his religion & culture and respect their roots on both sides. There were moments where I can admit that I can see how religious differences can cause problems in relationships and I am so glad that my husband and I came to terms with how we want our family to co exist. Religion is something I feel confident we are now on the same page with 100%.
But, the most important thing to me was the way my kids would grow up. There will be a time when they are judged for being "mixed" or someone may make a comment about me or their father. I want them to be confident and take those moments head on. I want them to know their parents love each other and that color or culture doesn't matter. You have to judge each person for who they are inside. How would we handle these moments with our kids, how would we talk to them about it and teach them how to handle it? We aren't 100% sure, but we will definitely face it head on and make sure the lines of communication are open so they are aware this is something that we pray they never have to face, but they very well may be judged or deal with someone who is ignorant.
Our cultures and backgrounds are very different and I feel like that is an amazing thing. Is it sometimes difficult? Sure, of course. Is going back to his hometown in Trinidad my favorite place? No way I would be lying if I said I enjoyed being out of my american comforts. The amazing part is that we love each other, we have a united front, we have 2 beautiful kids who we plan to educate and communicate with and we have the best of 2 worlds!
Now, to the Miss America pageant, it is absolutely absurd what people are tweeting about this, I mean really? Come out of your cave! Here are some of the tweets:
"More like ‘Miss Terrorist.’”
“Miss America, footlong buffalo chicken on whole wheat. Please and thank you.”
“Darn…I wish Miss Kansas would’ve won! Real American woman!!”
“Don’t you have to be AMERICAN to win Miss AMERICA? This [B-word] is some type of Indian.”
“We have a black president and an Asian Miss America. This ain’t Merica no more guys.”
I pray to God my kids never have to deal with people as foolish as the ones writing this garbage, but if they do I would like them to handle it with grace, dignity and be in command of the situation!