Friday, October 28, 2011

Would you marry again?

Last weekend we had an Indian visitor, a graduate student in a different state that came to Brasília to play cricket (not many teams here, as you might expect given the rareness of South Asians...). After practice he came over to our place for lunch and while I was finishing up the cooking I heard the guys talking outside. Since another friend (a Brit, also married to a Brazilian girl) was also there they were conversing in English. The Indian guy (let's call him R.) has been living in Brazil for almost 3 years and has been dating a Brazilian girl for two and a half of those years. And he was very interested to know what A. thought about marrying a Brazilian.

A.'s gut response was immediate: "Don't do it!" Then he went on to try to qualify his answer:
"It is difficult, there are lot's of different expectations and lot's of things you have to give up to make it work. Has your gf lived abroad?"
R.'s reply:
"No... she went to Peru once but has otherwise never left Brazil."
"Then this is definitely dangerous. Or do you expect to spend the rest of your life in Brazil?"
"Well, I intend to spend some more years here, but not sure for how long..."
A. was adamant: "Don't do it! What it you want to go back to India, would she adapt?"
R. started wavering: "Well, she says she would and she says she wants to go to India."
"Listen, Samba is different, we met in a third country, she traveled by herself before we met, even to Asia, she  speaks other languages and we did go to India before any decision was made." (I thought it was cute how he defended me there :P )
In the mean time the Brit tried to intervene, saying that love should be enough to get married... but he got little attention... The rest of us agreed that Brazil and India are much more of a challenge than England and Brazil relationships!

A very winding road indeed.

They continued the discussion and when lunch was ready R. asked me what I thought. I said that I agreed that adaptability to different cultures was needed in an intercultural relationship, especially when there are chances of moving to different countries. I didn't tell him not to get married, but I did tell him to make an informed decision.

I thought A.'s reaction was quite interesting... and I wonder whether he would do this whole relationship+marriage deal again (he says he would, but he definitely agrees that things would be easier if he had just married a nice Indian girl). And I cannot blame him, I feel the same. I would do it all over, but I agree that the path we chose is not the easiest, and sometimes even seems too difficult, but it is definitely more interesting...

This weekend we will meet R. again and his gf... it seems like she is the one interested in talking to us now :P


  1. For some reason, I really like this post. Probably the best one on this blog so far. A's insight was brilliant. As a male Indian professional in America, I will not even marry an Indian-American girl who grew up in America since (i) compatability issues and (ii) despite what she thinks, she's only really experienced America and is definitely not Indian.

  2. @anonymous:
    What is truly "Indian"? As an Indian-American girl who has grown up in America, your opinion is a typical discriminatory remark. It is fine to have your own opinion with (i) but with (ii) don't make generalized assumptions. How would you know how an Indian American person is raised because you were not raised in an Indian American Household? This is not to start an argument on Samba's blog but I feel that people who come from India to work here always have their own preconceived notions about us and it is generally negative. In fact, the culture in India has really changed and I feel sometimes we are more "Indian" than the girls that come from India and marry people like you. Nice blog Samba!

  3. @Anonymous, I didn't mean to offend anyone. All I wanted to say is that there are differences between people of different cultures. I'm not saying one is better than the other.
    @Samba: Great blog and great post. Sorry if my comments were provocative.

  4. Hi Anonymous 1 and 2,
    Thanks for your comments. I do agree with A1 that where you grow up plays a big role on who you turn out to be, but I also agree with A2 that one is definitely not better than the other, just different.
    Thanks for your comments guys!

  5. Samba and the two anonymouses...fantastic post and comments.

    Anonymous 2...I agree with anonymous 1. I'm an Indian guy in the US..and I agree that its just easier to marry Indian, than deal with all sorts of cultural differences in a marriage. I mean, 25 years on, a marriage is less romance and roses and more business, what kids need to do, etc.

    Its easier to marry in a culture than outside it. So, as a desi male, even I prefer desi's to marry.

    and yes, I openly and shamelessly enjoy the free sexuality that is present in the west, while expecting my woman to be an innocent girl.

  6. No offense I don't think its your place to give advice when your relationship is very similar. I understand that she hasn't traveled much abroad.But who are you to judge when you were once in that same situation.

  7. Houstonian,
    I do feel the last part of your comment is quite offensive. I just hope the girls your find are not innocent in that regard.

    And A3,
    I wasn't giving advice, I was just giving my opinion and did not intend to make it sound like advice.

  8. Um, I assume (and rather hope) your husband's comments of not marrying a foreigner because they haven't travelled etc or been to India would apply if a girl had asked him about her man (who hadn't left India but they had left to live in a third country?).To what extent does the guy fit with the girl's culture? It seems that a lot of the time it's about girls going to India and adjusting and perhaps not the other way round. Not having a go - I guess just trying to put it from another point of view.

  9. Hi A4!
    Thanks for your comment. I'm sure A.'s comments would apply if a girl had asked about a guy. Here I have not met a single Indian girl though... most Indian women seem to come with their husbands. And if a girl was in India dating an Indian but not intending to stay there for the rest of her life I think it applies just as well.

  10. @A4: Your comment makes sense but is meaningless for the most part. The guy is already in the girl's country. Presumably he is comfortable enough with the country's culture enough to date the girl. So of course no one asks is the guy fits in with the girl's culture since he clearly does (he's living/working in her country and managing fine).

  11. Olá, meu nome é Paula e tenho um namorado indiano. Estamos pensando o que fazer, e ele vem em julho para pesquisar sobre possibilidades de trabalho aqui no Brasil. Você teria algum email ou telefone para que eu pudesse entrar em contato? De repente voce poderia passar algumas informacoes para nós? Meu email para contato é Muito grata Paula

  12. Well, sorry for my sincerity but by his reaction sounds like he is sorry for marry u and also would not do again if he had the chance. My congrats tht u guys are together but if were me in ur place i would be very upset with his reaction, anyways each couple knows wht happen inside the four walls and how to do to manage tht. I just wish u guys best of luck and i hope ur husband dnt take his disappointments in a way to discourage other couples only because of their cultural differences. You guys might know tht is not easy but never impossible if hv patience, love and good intention with the relationship. Anyways to be alive is also not easy and we keep on trying... same way relationships are not easy not even between ppl with same nationality =)

  13. I am about 3 years late to this post! but i'm an Indian girl going to marry a Brazilian guy! we live in india now but should eventually be moving to brazil in a few years... I have only been once for 3 weeks to meet his family.. They are lovely! Wish me luck! haha

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