Cross-Cultural Marriages are on Rise: Dr. Renuka Singh

Published Date:   Saturday, Mar 16, 2013

International migration has created profound impact on the way human being live and interact. Speaking at a seminar organised by Global Research Forum on Diaspora and Transnationalism (GRFDT) on 16 March 2013 on topic “Life-World in Cross Cultural Marriages”, Dr. Renuka Singh of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India has thrown light on some interesting development among cross cultural human relations. The growing international migration not only opened opportunities for cross cultural contacts, but also provided opportunities to actualise these interactions in marriages.  Based on survey data in North America, Europe and India, she finds that the second and third generation of Indian diaspora increasingly opting for cross-cultural marriages. What makes these marriages so attractive?

Dr. Singh finds some interesting answers. According to her findings these marriages provide opportunity to have their individual growth, especially in the professional front. Some couple prefer to become international identity or global citizens rather national identity. For some these marriages allow them to learn about the other. These marriages allows cross fertilisation of world views.

She finds that these marriages have also serious challenges in many fronts. Most of these marriages do not last longer. “About 50% of these cross cultural marriages are failure in India”, she said. This failure happens due to factors such as joint family and mother-in-law syndrome which does not allow freedom to the married couple. In a mixed marriage, some differences are celebrated while some became a matter of contention. These marriages also have impact on kids when they grow up. These marriages often go through tough times as there is constant change of location, diet, culture, which creates difficulties in adjustment to new situation always.

There are also legal and citizenship issues involving these cross-cultural marriages. Foreign wives had legal problem to the right to property in India till recently. Now they can get People of Indian Origin (PIO) card.

Another interesting observation in her study shows that “Indian lady marrying westerner becomes more westerner than the native lady themselves. Similar things happen to the foreigner lady marrying to Indian husband too”. This phenomenon arises due to insecurity, she mentioned.

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