Where are you from?

Özlem: I’m Turkish and Javier is Spanish

Where did you meet?

We met in Bursa (in Turkey) in a dinner organized by a mutual friend.

What language do you speak at home?

At the beginning we were speaking in English. Later I started to learn Spanish and for me to practice it we started to speak in Spanish. After, we moved to Barcelona, then in order that Javier does not lose his Turkish now we speak in Turkish.

Do you try to cook food from each other’s countries?

We don’t have a preference about the country, both of us like each other’s cuisine but normally Javier cooks Spanish Food and me Turkish. The food is quite similar but in general Spanish dishes include more seafood and Turkish dishes more meat.

Can you explain one part of your partner’s culture that you found surprising?

Özlem: The most surprising thing in Spanish culture for me is that they have dinner very late, around 10 o’clock in the night. In Turkey normally we have dinner lately at 7 o’clock. Oh my god, it is very difficult to keep until that hour and later to sleep properly. I will never be able to get used to it!

Javier: One of the things that surprises me about the Turkish culture is the huge sense of hospitality, they meet you today and tomorrow you are at their home having dinner and finally it happens like me…. you get married!!! 🙂

What’s the best thing about being in a cross-cultural relationship?

You do not stop learning things about each other’s culture and this makes you more open-minded.

What’s the hardest thing about being in a cross-cultural relationship?

Sometimes it is difficult to explain some feelings but on the other hand it is nice because it makes you learn more about those feelings.

For instance the way that we feel when we listen to a song in Turkish or Spanish is different because of the difference of the languages and cultures.

Do you have any advice for other cross-cultural couples?

It is very helpful to learn each other’s language. Also we hope for more cross-cultural couples to help work towards… WORLDWIDE PEACE!!! 🙂

Over to you – tell us in the comments what questions you would like to ask the next couples. And if you’d like to be interviewed, sign up here

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About the author

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.