Where are you from?

My name is Anna, and I’m Russian, my boyfriend is called Ailo and he’s Norwegian.

Where did you meet?

We have known each other for 5 years, we’ve been internet friends. Last year I just went to Norway to study and we started dating.

What language do you speak at home?

We speak English.

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

I cook Russian food, he likes it a lot,he cooks different meals like Mexican, Italian, American so, nothing in particular. But not Norwegian as it’s more for holidays, than everyday meals.

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

Yeap, he’s not very emotional all the time, but I learned how to tell what he feels by his face and body language. He doesn’t talk about love a lot, but if he tells that he loves me it means that this is very serious, not just words, So it’s new, but I really appreciate it.

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

It’s that everything is so different and interesting, not routine. It’s so interesting to talk about differences in our cultures, make jokes about them, it’s fun!

I just like Norwegian culture, I know a lot about it, so it’s more a nice thing that we’re from different countries than a problem causing thing.

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

Hmm, I guess it’s language that can cause misunderstanding… but in fact it’s not. it’s all about respect and value. If I misunderstood my boyfriend, we would always sort the problem out and we’d see what was the root of the problem. So it’s probably the language and cultural differences, but you can always avoid big problems if you learn the language better, learn each other’s cultural peculiarities and simply respect each other.

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

Yeah, learn as more as you can about the culture of your partner, listen to each other, appreciate and respect each other.

UPDATE (13 Jan): the original version of the interview didn’t have Ailo’s name, and has been updated.

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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.