Interracial dating and religion
Even while dating, race or religion never became an issue. But the recent On The Red Dot series, Love Is (Colour) Blind prompted me to reflect on just how lucky perhaps we were.The documentary profiled three mixed-race couples who spoke about the ups and downs of their relationships, from gaining family acceptance to bringing up their mixed-heritage children. WE’VE HAD IT EASYYet in talking to some of those who wrote on our Facebook page, and re-watching the episodes, it struck me - my wife and I have had it easy, relationship wise.Last year, 4,142 marriages in Singapore involved couples of different races, making up 21.5 per cent of all marriages for the year.In 2005, inter-ethnic marriages made up just 14.9 per cent.In response, hundreds of netizens have commented on Facebook, eager to share their own experiences in inter-ethnic marriages. The same can’t be said of Facebook writer Hui Jing Ong.I was heartened to see all those different races and religions coming together – it was like those United Colors of Benetton ads I wished the world could be more like. Inter-racial marriages have been around for a long time. A Singaporean Chinese who is Buddhist, she married an Indian national who is Sikh. In a telephone interview, she told me: “My parents are divorced, but my father until now cannot accept our marriage or children. My mum says as long as I’m happy, she’s okay with it.”Another Facebook user, Jasmine Jay, had dated her husband-to-be for four years.
At some point, matters of race and religion will come up, and perhaps these may actually turn out to be issues for both sets of parents, as Jasmine learnt.“Managing families - that is still a challenge,” said the 23-year-old stay-at-home mother and trained nurse.“So many awkward moments.The same goes for my wife, who identifies herself as a third-culture kid.