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When we met in Ireland, he didn’t realize how completely common I am in my home country… The interesting thing for me is this: my non-Latvian husband has taught me that I’m Latvian in ways I didn’t even realize. If every marriage is, in a way, the meeting of two cultures, getting to know that other culture also teaches you about yours.
I’m a Latvian married to an American, but I’m an American, too, so I’m not exactly married to a foreigner. I think my brother-in-law put it best at our wedding, when all the Latvians sang me and Joe a folk song and then the brother-in-law said, “You know how people say you marry not just a person, but their family, too? But he’s at least somewhat supportive of it, and we dye our Easter eggs in onion skins every spring.
I still can’t cook a steak properly, and he still doesn’t get the concept of eating rice with the little side dish at the same time, instead of separately!
🙂 Also, to quote Daina, with a slight modification: dating him has “…taught me that I’m Asian in ways I didn’t even realize.” So true! And that’s another nice thing–that intermixing–it helps the following generation too. My youngest granddaughter has blond hair and lovely golden skin. It is nice to be able to argue in front of other people without any of them understanding you, isn’t it?
Reply I didn’t marry a man from another country, but I did marry one whose family is intractably Republican. I converted him in the end, but we still have to have holidays with Republicans! You should write one titled “10 Reasons Why You Should Marry a Republican (Like I Did)”! Knowing you, it would be hilarious, full of tongue-in-cheek witticisms and so much more. then you could have had both the foreigner elements AND the Republican elements – oh yea baby, bring it on! Being married to a republican would DEFINITELY be more difficult than being married to my Chinese husband. I’m currently not speaking to one of my husband’s nephews who is a far right wing idiot who just can’t keep his mouth shut.
😉 Reply I think if I were married to a republican I would go insane or want to leave him. I used to really care for him but he really pushed me TOO FAR!!! although we are both native English speakers the cultural differences between Americans and Brits is vast!
I finally have an excuse to indulge in that high quality chocolate (the kind that melts in your mouth like nothing else in the world) that he can’t live without! Especially after our children arrived, things got really challenging (and it wasn’t the decision of whether to use cloth or disposable – that decision was the easiest: ! Corey Heller is the founder of Multilingual Living and the Editor-In-Chief/Publisher of Multilingual Living Magazine.
But in time we did become fascinated with one another’s cultures (even if not always for good reasons).
I can totally relate to what you say about your non-Latvian husband teaching you about how truly Latvian you are.
Meeting in Ireland, breaking up in Versaille for an excruciating 10 minutes, meeting the families, being separated for a year to finish college…
And he wanted to hang with the locals, not some American on an Education Abroad Program.