Apr 21, 2012

Is marrying out of your culture harder than marrying out of your faith

Marrying out of your culture is different from marrying someone from another faith. That would be religion. Marrying out of your culture is about your environment, what you are used to, where you were born and grew up, the way language is spoken, the way food is made, the kind of spices people are used to, on and on. The comic Trevor Noah talks about culture in one of his comedic performances and how people cannot differentiate between culture and faith. He went on to say that he is colored, but grew up in Durban, and did not speak and sound the same as a Cape Town colored; nuances, lingo and so on. Yet, the culture is firmly embedded in all of us whether from Durban or the Western Cape.

The familiarity of culture

For people who want to broaden their horizons and live overseas and find a partner in Australia, New Zealand or England it might seem a breeze at first when you meet someone you like and everything is working between you. Eventually, however, when you are over the novelty and things go wrong, you want to go back to your roots. It is not religion that separates you in this case; it is the warmth and beauty of the oceans and mountains versus the freezing cold of a British winter. Humans want comfort. Still, a South African would be more at ease with New Zealand and Australia as they have something huge in common: a rugby culture. They can unite through a sport. They speak the same language when they speak of tackles, rucks and mauls. South African rugby fans are in awe of the All Blacks and the Wallabees, and likewise the boys from the Pacific are in awe of them. Even though one rugby player might live in the others country, they will always have a connection through sport.

Which is the harder then to live without? Live without the familiarity of your culture or live without the person you couldn’t marry because she is a Muslim and you are a Jew? I don’t know; they both seem equally hard. I would hate to have to make such a decision. For survival on earth I would choose culture; for life after death I would choose God.


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