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It was for this reason that I began to look for like-minded guys who were also from my own culture, guys I could relate to. I know my family would be pleased if I brought home a Congolese man, but what if I do so to my own detriment? Love blinds common sense.” The idea of retiring in a country totally unfamiliar to me is quite daunting and something I know would take a lot of discussion with my future partner, if he happened to have a different country of origin.
“Dating is one thing, but marriage is another”, an aunty told me. Marriage and dating are two different things, clearly, but which factors are fundamental when deciding whom to marry? Love is love, as one of the respondents said, but is it better to stay within cultural boundaries to save ourselves from the potential future troubles that might result from mixing cultures – as some elders advice – or should one ignore boundaries and deal with issues if they arise? Having to decide which culture my children followed more or which one was dominant in my household is another consideration, as I find it important for reasons of identity.
Some field digging I did a bit of digging to get the views of other people of African origin on intercultural dating.
Some responses: “Love is love.” Jennifer (23), Angolan “I would only prefer to date a Congolese man because we both understand each others cultures.
There were no cultural preferences, except they had to speak English and couldn’t be a “freshie” (someone who’s recently moved to the UK from Africa). However, as I got older and continued to date people from other countries, I realised there was always a barrier in the way, almost like a culture clash, and language, I felt, was the ultimate clash as it is one of the key markers of culture.
It didn’t help when I went to their houses and the family would purposely speak in their language to exclude me, which reminded me that I wasn’t one of them.
In fact I wasn’t into my own culture as much because I grew up along a lot of other nationalities, in what I call “London culture”.
Outside our homes, we spoke the same street language, ate the same type of food, listened to the same type of music and were attracted to the same type of guys (or girls).
I can get with someone from Cameroon or Ivory Coast because they speak French but not a Nigerian or a Ghanaian.” I agreed with Alexi.
A Ghanaian friend of mine told me “My (Jamaican) boyfriend really tried to speak my language because he realised that it was important to me.” Ethnic capital of the world For me, a twenty-something year old Congolese woman who grew up in the city of London – a city I like to call “the ethnic capital of Europe” – dating someone from a different culture was not a problem.
I went to a secondary school that was predominantly West African and attended a university that was predominantly white, so my choices were wide and I dated a few of those choices.
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