Inter-caste marriages in a diverse country like ours are not a surprise to come across and at the cost of sounding clichéd I could say “love surpasses boundaries”. What we fail to take into consideration is that when your parents are of different cultures, you, as their children face certain situations which nobody but people like you, can relate to. Apart from all the drama that comes into the life of your parents even before you are born, you learn at a tender age to handle people and become well-versed with the problems of being a child of an inter-caste marriage.
- The language: If you are a mixed child, chances are you grew up multi-lingual that is, you can speak a number of languages owing to the fact that your parents probably speak their mother tongue in their own hometown and have taught you as well. This gives you a great advantage over people who only speak one or two languages because it is quite comfortable for you to interact with people in your parents’ respective hometowns.
- Surname conundrum: If you are from a home where your mother is a professional and as a result has not changed her surname because of legal reasons, you have a hard time explaining to people why your mother’s name in your certificates has to be a certain way. Government officials look at you with surprise when they discover your mother has a different surname than your father.
- Identity crisis: You are a mixed kid which makes you two halves of both your parents’ respective cultures. This is why when people ask you where you are from, you have to give a detailed summary of your origin both from your mother’s and your father’s side. However, this gives you an opportunity to relate to people from both cultures because you are that much familiar with their customs and rituals.
- The element of surprise: If your parents’ are from different cultures, chances are you have a weird accent in both languages you speak because you try to perfect each one. Moreover, you probably look more like one parent and when you interact with people in the other parent’s language they are surprised because you do not “look” like you can speak in that language. For example, in my case, my father is a North Indian and my mother is from Assam, and I look like a someone from the North so when I speak in Assamese, people are genuinely awestruck about how fluent I am in Assamese. It is awkward at first but the element of surprise allows you to keep the conversation going.
- The education: People often inquire about the cultures you have grown up with and you feel like a teacher when educating them about it. You wish your parents’ relatives on their respective occasions and you make it a point to learn which occasion falls at what time of the year. You constantly educate your friends about where your respective parents’ hometowns are and sometimes it is exhausting as well as exhilarating.
In conclusion, being a mixed kid has its perks and its downfalls but nobody can deny that being a part of two cultures makes you a better visionary and your perspectives are much broader because you have seen just a little more of this vast and diverse world.