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You are here : home > Raising Children > Parental Dilemmas > Mixed Marriages or Mixed-up Marriages?

Mixed Marriages or Mixed-up Marriages?

The institution of marriage is solely based on adjustments on the part of both the couples. Mixed Marriages require all the more adjustments. Children of a mixed marriage are a confused lot with regard to their religion. Can mixed marriages work? Find out.

"Iyer boy Srivatsam Revathi Brahacharanam seeks fair, homely, cultured bride of same caste…" reads a classified in the matrimonial section of a newspaper. But why the same caste?  Should it matter? One look at the way the matrimonial section is classified - separate sections for Gujaratis, Bengalis, and Maharashtrians - and it is clear that it does matter. Even in a country like India with its different religions, communities, castes and subcastes, mixed marriages still raise a few eyebrows.

Marriage of religions, not people

People say they are not that rigid, but when it comes to religion, take it with a pinch of salt. Take Mrs. Khanna for instance. Her son married a Muslim girl. She says, "Like all parents I would have preferred my son to marry a girl from our community. But once I met Saira, I had no objection to the marriage because my daughter-in-law is a wonderful person. My only condition is that my grandchildren be brought up in the Hindu faith." 

These objections on religious grounds seem to have no rationale behind them. If Mrs. Khanna's daughter-in-law is a wonderful person in spite of being a Muslim, then as long as Mrs. Khanna's grandchildren also grow up to be wonderful people, does it really matter if they are Hindu or not? But then, religion and rationality rarely go hand in hand. 

Couples adjust, families don't

Most members of the older generation find it hard to rise above the religious differences. When Sarah heard her niece was going to marry a Hindu boy, she expressed her displeasure in no uncertain terms. "No one in our family has ever married outside the community. Hindus are idol-worshippers and we Syrian Christians believe that idol worshippers are sinners." 

Advocates of the arranged marriage system feel that by matching a couple's religion, caste, creed and horoscope, one is merely stacking the odds in favour of marital adjustment. Meera Sehgal is a firm believer in the system of arranged marriages. She says, "Adjusting to living with your husband is difficult enough. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to try and fit into a whole new culture if you marry out of community."

However, with the right attitude it is obvious that people do manage to maintain a balance. Sonea Vasunia, is a Punjabi married into a Parsi family. She feels that her children should be exposed to both the faiths. She says, "My children will be raised as Parsis, but my in-laws have no objections if I take them to the temple once in a while. As a matter of fact, both my children can recite the Gayatri Mantra as well as the Parsi prayers. They know that some prayers are Mummy's and some Daddy's. There is no confusion at all." 

Identity crisis for Kids?

Religion is more than just a belief in God. For some people, religion often dictates the way one lives one's life, the customs one follows, one's acceptance into the community. 

Sweta Keswani is the daughter of a Christian mother and a Sindhi father. In her opinion, religion gives you a sense of identity.  She says, "My parents are not religious at all so they never taught us any prayers or told us anything about their respective faiths. As a matter of fact, the closest I've come to being religious is attending a convent school. But as a result I feel lost and isolated sometimes. It would be nice to have something to believe in and to participate in family customs and celebrations. I've decided that when I have a family, I will see to it that my children follow some faith so that they have some a of belonging."

There is no guarantee that marrying the person of the same caste, community and religion is the key to marital bliss. It is how a couple deals with the ups and downs of marriage that determines whether the marriage will be a success, not whether they were raised with the same religious customs and beliefs.  And it is often those marriages that society summarily dismisses as "that marriage won't last for more than a day" that go on to witness many, many years of marital harmony.

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shanimon.3 years ago
i am Indian man i want get marriage to Nepal girl, i am looking for happy life.
pamela.5 years ago
Thank to you doctor Deva for helping me to get back my happiness after many years in trying to get a baby and even my mother in law want me out of my husband house because of not been able to give birth to a child for her son until you cast a spell for me and told me that i was going to get pregnant i never believe i was going to be able to get pregnant until now i want to say big thanks to you Dr.Deva i was put to bed last month and so i am happy to tell people about your work.
JR.8 years ago
i want to hear about more experiences of mixed religion couples going to hindu temple? does the white or black partner feel out of place? do the children feel different? does everyone mix well?
jamalikamali.8 years ago
i am english christina woman married to indian man of hindu faith whose parents are hindu/muslim. there was no problem for us to be married. i made a big effort to be make friends with my in-laws and be aprt of the family. in fact i loved them dearly. i loved to go to the temple and sit quietly listening to the aarti which fills my heart and makes it soar. i saw people look in a way wanting to know what the situation was but this didnt bother me. i alos went to the durgha and sat listening to the beautiful sufi music. my son is very fair and now being brought up by me alone as the father assaulted me. it is divali this week and we will light diyas and have mithai and welcome in the goddess. we celebrate christmas and the other festivals. i am proud of his heritage. the extended family in india loved me as a simple,kind and human person and welcomed me to the home.
susmita.8 years ago
love marriag
tracey.8 years ago
i fell in love with an indian muslim guy, i am white, but he wont go against his family and be with me as he has to marry a girl that his family want, this guy is british born and bred and i thinbk in this day and age its racist on his families side, and he shoulda fought for me but his fears were too great, im heartbroken and wonder if i was just played by him or if it ever would have worked out anyways.
NB.8 years ago
iam a roman catholic, married to a hindu brahim. we are married since eight years. although we decided to make sure that our children followed both faiths, the constant emotional states of our parents has put indirect pressures. initially, there was a lot of adjusting to do. today we our expecting our second child and are comfortable having found our own path. we celebrate both festivals with equal joy and take our daughter to the church as well as the temple. we know to respect our parents but we also know priority is to maintain bliss within our own family circle without feeling too pressured to please any one side.
hi name is mohamed ibrahim and i fell in love with a north india girl and her name is tripti and we are loving each other a lot and wanted to get married with our parents willingness and we are fighting for it.we still have hope that our parents will understand and agree to it, but main condition each of has is the religion . as a muslim i cant marry a non-muslim and as a hindu she cant marry a non-hindu . but from my opinion i respect all god as equal and so as she , she is from yadav family and doesnt take non-veg , so i quit eating non-veg for her , she has fast for me during ramzan . all we wanted is get married with our parent's willingness .our kids will also be brought as muslims for record and school purpose but we wont stop them going to temple and celebrate hindu festivals is what we decided. since she is going to live with me and we are joint family.

please let me know is this is a sin or what we are doing is wrong ?.
my parents doesnt allow me to marry a non-muslim and so as her parents and we are still fighting for it with peace and patience that we will get an answer one day.
Shahira.8 years ago
as such i am a woman from tajikistan who is happily married to a south indian brahmin iyengar man, who is very much caring and loving person.

we do have 2 children and we still plan to have 2 more children and that religion is not an issue for me as i had got converted as a hindu and that our children follow hinduism at home and we celebrate each and every occassion at home with very much respect for tradition and that people should have an understanding that money is not the great player in one's life, but it is the love and affection that has a big role.
Aileena.8 years ago
as such i am aileen foster who is from usa and i am a black woman who is married to an tamil indian man. i very much go to the temple with my husband and there is no feeling that we are out of place and very much we are able to mingle with people there in the temple. even we are invited to many get-togethers and also to many other functions. recently we celebrated the navrathri and diwali here in the usa and we are planning to go to india for the new year and pongal festival also.

it is our mind that has to mix well and not the skin color. thinking has to be broadminded so that there is not even a single thought of feeling out of place, since there is lots of love and affection.

as such my husband's elder brother's children come to our house every weekends and they spend their time with us and very much they also call me as mother as i am their father's younger brother's wife (complicated but not so complicated relationship).

i feel very much at home more than being out of place.

colors do not matter but love and affection matters.
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