Embracing Liminal Identity : Uncovering Hidden Diversity : Celebrating Cultural Mobility

My Experience in an Interracial Relationship

As the year comes to an end and holiday season is upon us, a lot of things cross my mind. This time period involves holiday parties, Christmas or Thanksgiving dinners, and overall spending quality time with friends and family. The person that attends all of these gatherings with me is my boyfriend. His name is Ezra Huston and we are in an interracial relationship.

Being in an interracial relationship looks different for everyone. For us, this means he has to decipher the conversations that occur in my house. My parents are Mexican and all my siblings were born in Mexico. They moved to the United States in 1990 and have been here since. At home, English and Spanish are spoken. However, the occasional ‘Spanglish’ is also common. Sometimes I have to translate what my family is saying to my boyfriend. Other times, a joke will be said in Spanish and by the time I translate it to English the joke just isn’t funny anymore or isn’t funny in English. My boyfriend can understand Spanish for the most part but doesn’t really speak it. This leaves a lot of questions in my mind. For example, will our children know Spanish? Will they be able to communicate in both languages to their cousins or grandparents? And most importantly, will my Mexican culture fade as time goes on?

Another thing to note about being in an interracial relationship is that our families, and ultimately our traditions, look different. My side of the family is big and loud. I have four sisters, one brother, four nieces, and one nephew. My parents have at least six siblings each. I grew up around a lot of people. Mexicans value gathering together with family while enjoying great food and great company. However, my boyfriend only has one younger sister. His family dinners with grandparents and cousins are the same size as my family dinners with my siblings and their families.

Ultimately, the contrast in family dynamics help us learn more about each other and appreciate the opposite sides of the spectrum. For example, his house is usually almost always quiet and peaceful. I have learned to appreciate that more. I was so used to a loud house and when it was empty I felt sad. However, now I learn to appreciate those quiet moments more often.

This brings me to my next point; traditions. Our family traditions look a little different. Growing up, I always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve. My family still celebrates the holiday on this day. My mom, siblings, and I cook all day on Christmas Eve and have dinner that night. After dinner, my family and I open Christmas presents right at midnight. However, for my boyfriend, Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Day. Usually his two cousins, grandma, sister, and parents get together to celebrate Christmas at grandma’s house. They arrive at her house around 11 in the morning, have lunch, and open presents. I love that our families celebrate on different days because we can spend all day on Christmas Eve with my family and all day on Christmas with his family.

Overall, our lives look a little different from each other. There are a lot of traditions we celebrate differently. Additionally, we each have our own cultural backgrounds. I used to be afraid that my future children might not value my home culture as much as his or vice versa. Instead, I am now thankful that my children will grow up in an environment that celebrates both cultures equally.

 

By: nparra

Nicole Parra believes everyone has a story. She has a passion for all things food, fashion, and culture. As a Mexican-American, she has experienced life traveling in between cultures. Ultimately, Parra believes diversity enriches life experiences. Follow her for more updates on Twitter @NicoleDeeParra

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