I’m sure you know I am in an inter-ethnic marriage…You didn’t? Now you do! That simply means that Tee and I do not come from the same ethnic group. I am Igbo, from the East of Nigeria, he is Yoruba, from the West. Technically, that is similar to someone from Cambridge in England gets married to someone from Bristol. Or someone in the US, from New York, gets married to someone from California. No big deal right?
Yes. True. Except in Nigeria it is kind of a big deal… for several reasons.
Our Bri’ish and Yankee couple speak the same language, and primarily have the same culture.
Nigeria is culturally huge! We have over 350 ethnic groups, with quite different languages and culture. These are often grouped into the East, West and North… and sometimes the South-South.
More so, we’ve had a shaky history – we had a bloody civil war between 1967 – 1970. I think that’s when things got really bad. The ethnic and religious rage and hate manifested.
I’ve digressed. Apologies.
The reasons for this post? Let’s picture the below situations which are so ridiculously common!
Akin and Nneka are in love and engaged. Their families are not in support. The engagement is called off. Akin has to marry someone who naturally kneels down to greet her elders.
Ugo and Yinka actually brave the pressures and do get married – Few months in, and it gets really rocky. Why do they argue over seemingly very little things? #CultureShock
Aisha and Etim would rather be ‘baeless’ than consider dating or marrying from another ethnic group.
Let’s talk about this, people. Can we stop ethnic divisions and stereotypes from ruining our chances at a lifetime of love and happiness?
PS: I am in no way thinking that everyone should go the inter-ethnic marriage route. Nah.. But it should not be the reason for a loveless life if all the other boxes check out. I’m not sure how I’d have felt if someone said I was unable to marry Tee, because of what side of the Niger River he hails from (after all the garri I had drunk with him for years. Lol!)
I’ll be sharing my experience and thoughts as it comes to me. More importantly, I hope to share the experience of others. The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.
Love should have no boundaries. Ehm… at least not one based on ethnicity.
What do you think? Please share your experiences on InterEthnic Marriage or Dating. Or contact me privately if you prefer.