Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The wrong kind of love?

There has been oodles said about inter-racial marriages and I probably would not contribute much by way of new insight into the whole issue. But recently a friend got married and I found out only through the photos she mailed me that her husband was from a different race. She said that she had been hesitant to tell me because of the general attitude towards those marrying outside one's race.Some of her friends didn't attend her wedding, whether because they were genuinely busy or opposed to the union, she couldn't say, but she felt their absence keenly.

I know a girl who married a half-Vai guy. Her family, especially her father opposed the marriage vehemently. He was a church elder and it didn't matter to him that the man her daughter married also came from a Christian family. He kept insisting, "God wants me to never forgive this great sin". WTF? He never acknowledged his daughter or her in-laws, and later, his own grand-daughter. The couple eventually separated and only then,  he took his daughter and his grandchild back into the fold.

Admittedly, I'm thankful that we Mizos dont have 'honour killings'. It was brought to my knowledge fairly recently that apart from the many threats of reprisals and the ostracisms faced, there have been remarkably little violence perpetuated in the name of inter-racial marriages within our community. We women sometimes rant against the inflexibility of our males on their stance towards inter-racial mingling, but it has to be admitted that they are not as violent in the way that they have shown their disapproval. And who knows, we women might just be as bad if one of our 'eligible' males decides to marry outside our community. Just food for thought.

Nooo..I don't want this to be a post about racism and discrimination. Rewrote this post over and over again and it still refuses to say what I want it to say. Still, one last effort...

There are those who disregard sentimental notions like love and build a marriage based on shared interests, compatible lifestyles, mutual respect and perfunctory affection. These marriages do work. And then there are those lucky enough to fall in love with someone who share similar interests, lifestyle etc with them. Then there are those who fall in love with people who, for various reasons, society deems is 'wrong' for them.  

Then there are those who make that extraordinary leap of faith and take on the collective disapproval of a whole community, all for that "illusory, fickle and temporal" thing called love. There are those who choose the 'wrong' person, come what may. There are those that refuse to spend the rest of their lives living on the remnants of "what might have been". There are those that refuse to subsist on forced 'love' with those that society has judged as suitable for them.

So is this the wrong kind of love?

Would anything that makes a woman look this hauntingly beautiful and exuberantly alive be wrong?

Nah. As far as Im concerned this is probably the rightest thing ever.

I know. This seems like a scattery (?), illogical post. But what the hell, this is for all those who have dared to prove society's nay-sayers wrong. And especially for you, yes, you, the girl in the picture. I know you'll make sure that your children will have the best of both worlds, despite what THEY think.   


fierce flame said...

you just KNOW im going to comment :-)
i feel this issue deeply not only because i HAVE been there but because i am an extremely fervent believer in a human being's ability to love, irrespective of caste/religion/color/geography. and an even fervent-ER believer in a human being's responsibility to respect other human being's ability to love.
so yes, in my not so humble opinion, it all comes down to respect; respecting your fellow human. so if your daughter or your son(which is RARELY the case in Mizo society) has been decreed by Fate to fall in love with a person not of your society, respect her/his ability to love and the significant other's ability to love her/him in return.
i will post more in due time

ku2 said...

Gawwwddd, Miss Fierce, you took the words right outta my mouth. Really! I wanted my post to come out as something like this, only I couldnt articulate.
I havent strictly 'been there, done that' but yes yes yes, I agree completely with what you said. I wish your words were mine, hihih

fierce flame said...

i give you them.with all the love and fury i am capable of feeling towards whatever manner of mankind fumbles his way into my wayward
btw, i cant wait for Mr.Kafka to comment on this post and the ensuing

ku2 said...

Hah, Kafka is too busy with the likes of strauss and foucault these days. But if he does come... am sharpening my teeth in advance.

Calliopia said...

This is an issue that's been hotly debated on every Mizo forum since I can remember and I've noticed that most males (unless they've been exposed to a lot of other cultures in their formative years) strongly oppose interracial unions while females are less disapproving. With stuff I've read elsewhere, I've since formed a little theory and it does have a lot to do with race issues, though not necessarily in the negative sense.

Mother nature and society have given men the responsibility and onus of race preservation. They're eventually the ones to keep the race going. Case in point, a few years ago, the young grandson of a local politician died. He had been the only son of an only son and his grandfather's mourning refrain had been, "Our family lineage is now dead!" ("kan chhungkua kan mang ta") The boy had sisters but you know how it is in our, and in most sociological groups, girls don't carry forward the family line. I think this accountability is hardwired in boys right from infancy which explains their rather rigid views on interracial unions. Even a white South African online friend I used to have long chats with years ago would tell me that Mizo girls shouldn't marry outside the community or the Mizo race would die out. So I've come to the conclusion that it's not so much a men are so racist, discriminative and thickheaded thing as a racial community preservation instinct thing.

On the personal front and for the record, my stand is that of any other freewheeling woman - to each his own, you do your thing, I'll do mine..etc. And good luck to your friend. Like this great quote I came across yesterday, we make our decisions and then our decisions turn around and make us, she's made her decision so she now needs to stand by it and if some of her friends don't like it, she has to just accept that and make new ones who do.

illusionaire said...

Pains me even more to read this here, when I personally know the girl you are talking about so well... she doesn't deserve to be treated like this by her (our) community, when she had done so much for them (us) at various Mizo functions and events.

Well, at least, like you said, we don't have "honor killings" in our community. I have seen Mizo guys thrash-talking about a Mizo girl who is seeing a non-Mizo dude. But that's all they do. Talk. And maybe treat them as a social outcast. But when I was going around with a Merwari girl back in College, the other Marwari and Merwari dudes from her place (Rajasthan) used to fight with me almost everyday, just because I was with her. They threatened her many times that they would break my legs if we don't end our relationship, and came close to it many times. Phew, at least our Mizo guys are not like that, but still, that doesn't mean I completely condone this.

Eveline said...

A thousand times WORD! Liberals of the world unite and force a change in thought.

At the risk of sounding like my grandmother: What is this world coming to? I don't understand all the hate and anger against race. :(

As a person I make it well-known that I believe that love and respect surpasses everything else. It’s a fact I’m damn proud of. I won’t be bullied into thinking any differently.

ku2 said...

@ Ms.Calliopia: Interesting theory. Much as I support people's right to love who they love, I didnt want this to become an angry post, especially against men. As a kid, I used to really hate it when people tell my dad, "I chite an mang" because he had no sons, and I'd want to ask, "What about us? Dont we matter?"

But, like youve said, most societies being patriarchal,the need to propagate the male line becomes understandable. We women, esp in our society,become a part of our husbands' families and history, so its no wonder that our men sometimes get a little tense when we women marry outside the community.

That said, what ticks me of is the attitude of people like the man ive mentioned. There are some who believe that Mizo (or British) Christianity is the only kind of Christianity that matters. Heh, now Im delving into religion, an area on which I have even more less to contribute on.
That said, I believe that God IS love, and he would want us to love, irrespective of race, colour or creed.

ku2 said...

@Illue: You know the girl? Hihh.. daimmed perceptive of you :D
And I guess your legs survived the relationship?
Right, there still is that xenophobic element concerning the whole issue but Im thankful that for the most part, our capacity to love is more than our capacity to hate. There are some cultures that would cut off their own children completely for marrying outside their community. For the most part, Mizo parents do accept their children and their 'foreign' families into the fold.I guess that, at least, is a redeeming factor.

@Eve: Right on gurll!! And your grandma rocks :)
Wisdom of the ages, and all that. We would all do well to listen more to people like her :)

OpaHmar said...

Its still a case of babu-worship...
if someone marries a "vai", he/she will be condemned/talked about.... if u (get lucky enough to) marry a "sap" you will be envied/forgiven

OpaHmar said...

and i believe "LOVE" is the most used and abused word in the world

Mimihrahsel said...

If we are talking about LOVE, then I guess a girl dating a non-mizo must choose between the LOVE she has for her guy, and the LOVE she has for her race. Which one is wrong and which one is right? Can we risk our Mizo race to die out?

mangbuhril said...

it's indeed shameful the way our society perceives certain issues like this. What if our very own marries a saap instead of a's more a sense of pride rather than shame, which is the case if the latter happens.
And then we find it quite convenient to condemn those who do so inorder to hide our own insecurities and inferior complexes... et cetera
I think issues like marriages is best left to those two active participants, if they wanna go for it after careful considerations of the pros and cons, so be it... and it's none of our damn business to poke our noses into it. Btw... there are still quite a number of families who accept whoever their love ones marries!!!

RTPA said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ku2 said...

@OPA: The friend Im talking about married a Sap, heh. Is it a form of progress that our xenophobia has become a bit unbiased? Hihih.

@Mims: Ih, heh, I know a woman whose parents forbade her to marry her Vai boyfriend. She has sworn off marriage and currently enjoys life as a 40 something spinster hehe.
Mahse, i sawi hi chu dikna chu awm alawm. But, whatever road they choose, personally, ka demlo ve ve.

@Mangbuhril: Hi, thanks for dropping in :)
And yay to the fact that as a whole, we do know when to draw the line :)

@RTPA: STFU! i a thei lutuk, i hresual ve ropui sii, bleh!!! I fapa ka vel trap dawn!

Mos-a said...

Ka nu leh pa hi an inngaihzawn/inneih hun lai 1977/78 bawr chho khan ka nu nau mipa hian ka nu in vai a ngaizawng kha a ngaitheilo khawp mai a. Ka hriatsual loh chuan ka nu leh pa kha a lo vau titih deuh a. In inneih chuan in bawp ka tan ang ti zawng khan a lo tia. A cowboy ve hrim hrim ka patea kha chu hehe.

Midang lo hmuh ve dan chuan hmangaihna diklo te chu a lo awm mahna mahse a changtupa leh changtunu in hmangaih em em tan te chuan a diklo a awm dawn emni tiro?

Sawi tur ka la ngaih viau mai a mahse nidangah!

vered said...

A dik khop mai!@Pu Amosa :)

Alejendro said...

Sawi tur pawh ka hre velo.... an duh duh hnam chu lo nei vel mai mai se.. nep e, ka chaw ei a tui loh phah loh.. :-P *As long as they Love each other* Do not sacrifice your LOVE for the the love of your Tribe.. hehe te ka ti ve vel mai mai a... keipawh vainu neih tur kan zawng ve teh ang.. :-P

RTPA said...

Hehehe..Ka nau pasal nai tawh rawh:) u leh nau te fa awm kual vel hi nuam i ti rei mah2 lo maw.. I thil rawn post chu sawi tur ka nei tam mai.. Rawn ho hun ah kan sawi dawn nia ka fapa min awm sak pah in hehe:)

OpaHmar said...

Mimihrahsel hi hnamdang ngaizawng chungchangah hian comment a phur thei riau

ku2 said...

@Mosa: Heh, sawitha ve phian bawk sia.
I nu leh pa pawh chu a hunlai ngaihtuah phei chuan an lo va risk nasa ve. I patea chu a den hmel angreng bawk sia,hehe. An inchhirlo em, your parents te chu :)

@ Vered: Nia tiro.

@Alejandro: Heh, i duhzawng anih phawt chuan vainu chu tha deuh ilo nei dawn nia. Mahse kan hnamzia hloh phah lovin aww.

@RTPA: Ka u, i fapa chu thil thalo lo ka lo zirtir i hlau lo ami? Han inngaihtuah chiang leh hlek teh. Ka hnek ila ba tho2.

@OPA:hehe, chutia mi? Lo chik vee :D

illusionaire said...

Nia, mimihrahsel comment na blog tawh ah hi chuan OPaHmar hian comment a phur thei riau :D

jay-me said...

better late than never....keicu the excuse "kan hnam kan mang ang" etc. is unacceptable ka ti lo theilo because if we're dead serious about ethnic preservation, why attack only vais?what about sap? Or do we make an exception n worship the whites because we are obsessed with fairness and we think marrying a sap is a quicker way to fairness than a lifelong application of fair and lovely? an hausa a han ti don ila vaiho an hosa thur2 tan th bk si, an changkang ti don ila the vais will soon rule the world economically leh bok si kha daih kha sin....hehe ka sual hmel...i have my own share of love, i am not envious or desperate enuf to interfere in or judge other peoples' love affairs,vai or no vai related.