Cross-cultural marriage in the UK and beyond

February 5, 2010 1 comment

Cross-cultural marriages are quite common in the UK. Recently Anoushka Asthana, who is of Indian descent, described her own cross-cultural relationship in an article in the Guardian.

For Toby and me, our first three months together have undoubtedly been a reminder of just how different our cultures are. After all, the wedding did not prepare him for the next step of our marriage – a trip to India to meet the real family. Toby grew up on the outskirts of Oxford with his mum, dad, brother and a succession of dogs. He had one aunt and no first cousins. I, too, grew up in England (near Manchester) with both parents and a brother – but that is where the similarities end.

Welcome to India, where first cousins are akin to brothers and sisters, second cousins to first cousins and any close family friend is considered – and treated – as a relative. Add to that the fact that everyone wants to meet, cuddle, feed and interrogate a new husband. For Toby, that means a new family with 17 “brothers and sisters”, dozens of cousins and almost 100 aunties and uncles“.

More cross-cultural families means more cross-cultural children. A study mentioned in the article found that 10% of children in the UK now live in mixed-race families. More on this in the next few weeks – if you’d like to share your experiences please get in touch.

Is cross-cultural marriage common in your country? If you’re in a cross-cultural relationship, do you know others in similar relationships? Tell us about it in the comments.

Read more:
Meet some cross-cultural couples
Elvis and the calabash: building common cultural references
Eating like a Persian: how to impress the in-laws

About the author

Lucy (Liz) Chatburn
Lucy is English and first ventured out of the UK she was 19. Since then she has lived in 4 different countries and tried to see as much of the world as possible. She loves learning languages, learning about different cultures and hearing different points of view.
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1 Comment

  • senem

    Hello;
    i am from Turkey and in my country the cross-cultural marriage is not common like in England…
    lastly it is increasing due to the foreign investments that brings lots of foreigners to work in Turkey and then of course LOVE grows..:)
    that’s how i met my italian husband..:)
    in my town in bursa i know a lot cross-cultural marriages with italians spanish english etc…
    in the northern parts of Turkey also cross-cultural marriage is seen with russians especially..
    You can see here there are more turkish men who are married with foreign womens than turkish women who are married to foreigners because of the religion issues i guess..
    personally; in my relationship with my italian husband i did not experience difficulties like Anoushl from india..he is from south of Italy and like turkish families he has a huge family with lots of cousins:)
    so i got used to it easily..
    My husband he had at the beginning some problems of course with the huge curiosity of my people..asking loads of questions and wanting to know what you are doing in every moment…
    but he got used to it with time …he tried to understand how they see life etc..
    day by day i am hearing cross-cultural relationships more
    lastly; one of my turkish girlfriend is having a relationship with a greek boy..both of them are afraid to tell their parents ..both are 30 years old…guess why??
    best regards
    senem